The Programs: NSLP & CACFP

Two child nutrition programs provide support for kids in afterschool settings: the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Both are administered federally by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and both are run by the same agency in most states.

There are two major differences between the NSLP and CACFP. The NSLP must be run by a school district or school food authority (SFA), and the SFA must serve lunches through the NSLP in order to receive support for afterschool programs. In contrast, the CACFP can be administered by public or private non-profit organizations and eligible for-profit child care providers in addition to SFAs. The second major difference is that the NSLP provides reimbursement for afterschool snacks only while the CACFP reimburses both afterschool snacks and meals.

The NSLP and CACFP each have two sub-programs, shown at right, that reach children outside of school hours.

Download the full resource to learn about the other similarities and differences between these four sub-programs.