Strengthening Children, Families & Communities

Food & Nutritional Services

R’Club sponsors the USDA Nutrition program, serving approximately 1700 children daily, 220 Family Child Care Homes, and more than 25 unaffiliated Child Care Centers throughout Pinellas County. The goal of the program is to improve the nutritional value of the meals and snacks for these children. R’Club is always available to help more centers, and family child care homes benefit their children through the USDA Nutrition program.  

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What is the Child Care Food Program?

The Child Care Food Program (CCFP) is a program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service. The program is administered by the Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Child Nutrition Programs. R'Club Child Care sponsors licensed family child care home and Center providers in Pinellas County.

Purpose

Nutrition Requirements

Meals and snacks served to children must meet specific USDA meal pattern requirements. The meal pattern includes milk, fruits and vegetables, meat (or meat alternates) and grains or breads in amounts specified by age.

Eligibility Requirements

Program Requirements / Reimbursements

Participants have the responsibility to plan and serve nutritious foods that meet the CCFP requirements. Participants must maintain written menus and meal counts. Approved meal types may include two meals and one snack or two snacks and one meal. Meals claimed for reimbursement are based on actual daily count of eligible, enrolled children. Providers are reimbursed for meals on a monthly basis. The USDA has established a two-tiered rate structure for meal payments for all Child Care Food Programs. Under the law, Tier I homes are those that are located in income-eligible areas as defined by the USDA or those in which the provider's household meets the income guidelines for free or reduced price school meals. These providers receive a reimbursement known as the Tier I rate (higher reimbursement). Providers who are income eligible may also receive reimbursement for meals served to their own enrolled children under age 13.

A provider who does not meet one of the above criteria could receive Tier I rates if they care for children who are income-eligible or who are on a qualifying state or federal supported program. These programs include WIC, Food Stamps, TANF and free/reduced school lunch. All other providers receive the Tier II or lower reimbursement.

Type of Meal ServedTier 1Tier 2
Breakfast $1.32 $0.48
Lunch &  Supper $2.48 $1.50
Snack $0.74 $0.20

Monitoring

The USDA requires that participants be monitored minimally three times per contract year (Oct. 1- Sept. 30). One meal observation is accomplished for each meal type that has been approved. Additional visits are made to provide technical assistance as needed.

Meals and snacks served to children must meet specific USDA meal pattern requirements. The meal pattern includes milk, fruits and vegetables, meat (or meat alternates), and grains or breads in amounts specified by age.

Monitoring reviews note compliance in the areas of menu planning, record keeping, food handling and service, safety and sanitation.

Provider Training

Each participant must attend a mandatory Agreement Renewal Meeting annually.

Technical Assistance

Food Program staff provide assistance to providers and parents in such areas as appropriate feeding, food handling, and meal planning and preparation. Informational pieces are continually reviewed, researched and prepared by the Food Program staff. A new topic is distributed to the provider during each monitoring review. These are also available for parent use.

Contact Information

If you are a licensed family child care home provider or a licensed child care center and are interested in joining our Food Program please call R'Club Child Care at (727) 578-5437 (578-KIDS).

USDA logo

In accordance with Federal law and USDA policy, all institutions participating in the Child Care Food Program are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

USDA meal pattern requirements