Latest News for the Child and Adult Care Food Program

CACFP Application Processing

Published: 2 years 327 days ago
" July 1, 2021 - If you are renewing for participation and do not need to make any changes to your authorized representatives’ TX-UNPS user access/user rights, please do not re-submit a FND 101 form/Certificate of Authority form.
July 1, 2021 - If you are renewing for participation and do not need to make any changes to your authorized representatives’ TX-UNPS user access/user rights, please do not re-submit a FND 101 form/Certificate of Authority form.

  • TDA can only process complete applications; only complete applications will be reviewed for accuracy.
  • Incomplete applications will be returned to the CE without any review for accuracy having been conducted.

DUE DATES: We recommend submitting your application by:
  • August 15, 2021 if you are notified that you are a Tier 3 Renewal, and/or if you are a Dual Sponsor (a sponsor of Centers as well as Day Care Homes).
  • August 30, 2021 if you are a sponsoring organization, a Tier 2 Renewal, and/or are making significant changes to your previously approved application packet.
  • September 1, 2021 if you are an independent center and/or Tier 1 renewal.

  • If you wish to participate in the CACFP for PY 2021 you MUST SUBMIT AN APPLICATION (only complete applications that have no errors will be approved for renewal) FOR RENEWAL via TX-UNPS NO LATER THAN SEPTEMBER 30, 2021.
  • Submitting an application after September 1, 2021, may delay advance payments and payments for claims.
  • December 1, 2021 ALL CACFP renewing CEs must have an approvable application submitted; CACFP renewing CEs whose applications that cannot be approved as submitted as of December 1, 2021 will be declared Seriously Deficient (SD).

  • All Dual Sponsors’ (sponsors of centers as well as day care homes) budgets must be reviewed simultaneously by TDA. Therefore, all dual sponsors must submit their applications for centers and daycare homes at the same time. 

  • Data from the most recently approved budget detail will roll over from 2020/2021 to 2021/2022.
  • Via Memo CACFP08-2015, Assessing Costs in the Child and Adult Care Food Program, USDA provided a tip sheet with the same title to assist in the determination of the allowability of costs in the CACFP nonprofit food service. The tip sheet has been posted for your use here under both “CACFP Policy & Handbook” and “CACFP Administration & Forms.”  The tip sheet and the link to USDA’s FNS Instruction 796-2, Financial Management –Child and Adult Care Food Program have been put in the same location for convenience and ease of use.

  • You may upload your supporting documentation directly to TXUNPS via the CACFP application packet in the Checklist Section. Documents must be uploaded in PDF format. 
  • Any documentation/information not provided as part of the application packet in TX-UNPS should be submitted either via or via fax at 888-223-8645, including the CE ID, CE Name, and the total number of pages sent.
  • ALL CEs must be prepared to submit a compensation plan as part of the application for participation in the CACFP (refer to FNS 796-2, Rev.4 for additional guidance). Previous review and/or approval of the compensation plan DOES NOT EXEMPT a CE from this requirement; if the compensation plan is requested as part of the application packet the CE must provide it for review and approval.

NEW: Following a recent USDA Management Evaluation (ME) of the CACFP, the following clarifications are being provided to all Sponsoring organizations in reference to the documentation requirements as they pertain to an at-risk site:

Applies to ALL NON-SCHOOL Food Authorities (SFA) CE’s: Attendance Area Verification for all at-risk sites:
  • Non SFA CE’s must submit documentation verifying that the address of the At-Risk site is within the attendance area for the qualifying elementary, middle or high school information entered in the site application.  
  • Area eligibility documentation is valid for 5 years. 
  • CE’s are responsible to provide all eligibility documentation prior to the expiration date for all of their approved at-risk site to re-establish eligibility. 
  • All CACFP At-Risk sites that are not licensed must submit documentation demonstrating compliance with city, county or state health and safety requirements with their application.
  • All Non-ISD sponsoring organizations wishing/planning on sponsoring a school campus/a site that is located on a school campus MUST provide a signed agreement from the appropriate District Office/District Official for each (of the) site(s) that the non-ISD sponsoring organization is submitting for approval. The agreement must confirm that the appropriate District Office/District Official has given permission for the non-ISD sponsoring organization to service the school campus/site that is located on a school campus (the agreement must include all of the school campuses/sites located on a school campus that the non-ISD sponsoring organization is submitting for approval), the program that the non-ISD sponsoring organization is allowed to operate on each of the school campus/site that is located on a school campus, and the effective date of the agreement. Please note that if the school district in question is providing the same services as proposed to be provided by the non-school entity there may be a conflict of interest and/or a possible non-compliance issue; school-districts will receive priority of service as decreed by program rules and regulations.

The Specific Prior Written Approval (SPWA) process is incorporated into TXUNPS. (the SPWA Processing Guide is located on under CACFP Resources.
  • CEs wishing to submit any costs for SPWA must do so via TXUNPS. 
  • SPWA can be submitted independently from the application packet.
      • Supporting documentation, if needed, must accompany the request for SPWA.
      • CE’s must specifically identify and request approval of new and renewing SPWA costs during the annual budget approval process.

Note: Material changes in the terms of the contract will require a re-bid process of the product/service resulting in the need for a new SPWA request. Examples of material changes would be number of items requested has changed from original contract, different types or brands of products are required, additional services are required, etc.

Non-Expedited Processing:
CEs will be required to complete a more stringent application review process, including a possible evaluation of the CE’s Financial Viability, Administrative Capability, and Programmatic Accountability (VCA) if ANY OF THE FOLLOWING APPLY:
  1. Completed the most recent TDA Compliance (no more than 3 years old) review which resulted in a fiscal action/monies owed/disallowed costs in excess of $600;
  2. Is not in good standing with the State of Texas or the IRS at the time of application;
  3. Has less than 2 years continuous experience in the CACFP;
  4. Has been declared SD in the past 2 years and the SD was related to an aspect of the application; AND/OR
  5. Owes a debt and/or is involved in the claim validation process at the time of application.
CEs who are required to complete a more stringent application process will be notified via email and/or mail.

CEs who do not qualify for either of the above outlined application review process will renew the application via the standard application review process currently in place, which involves completing the application packet within TXUNPS, as well as submitting all required supporting documentation.

Expedited Processing:
TDA will continue to expedite the application review process for renewing CEs who have demonstrated their understanding and continuous compliance in the CACFP, as demonstrated by the following:
  1. CEs who have completed a TDA compliance review in the previous program year resulting in no monies being owed;
  2. CEs which have not been declared SD in any of the F&N child nutrition programs in the past 3 years and/or the current program year;
  3. CEs which have maintained their good standing with the State of Texas Secretary of State, the Texas Comptroller, and the IRS;
  4. CEs which do not owe a debt in excess of 3 months claims at the time of renewal,; AND
  5. CEs which are not involved in the claim validation process at the time of renewal.
Only if ALL of the above conditions are met will a CE qualify for the expedited application review process. These reviews will consist of the application packet in TX-UNPS, the Annual Audit screen, if applicable, (located in TX-UNPS under the Application tab) and the submission of any reportable changes made to the contract, as applicable.

Important Reminder:

CEs must be in good standing (and maintain their good standing) with the State of Texas Secretary of State (SOS) and the Office of the Comptroller of the State of Texas (Comptroller) while they're applying to participate/participating in any of the programs administered by the TDA Food and Nutrition Division. Failure to maintain a good standing status with either the SOS or Comptroller will result in denial of the application, and/or the CE being declared seriously deficient (which may lead to the termination of the CEs permanent agreement).

General Application Processing Information:
  • CEs must review the CACFP Handbooks published by TDA (copies are available on SquareMeals) on a frequent basis to ensure that the CE is aware of current rules and guidelines issued by TDA and/or USDA.
  • TDA can request that additional supporting documentation be submitted by any CE in order to ensure that a complete application review has been conducted at any time in the application review process.
  • TDA can only process complete applications. Incomplete applications will be returned to the CE for corrections.
  • TDA has up to 15 days to review an application packet submitted for approval and to notify the CE if the application packet is incomplete.
  • Once a complete application packet is submitted to TDA the CE will be notified of the application approval/denial within 30 days.
  • It is suggested that each CE designate at least two (2) authorized individuals as an authorized TXUNPS user for the CE in the event that one of the authorized users becomes unavailable and the application packet must be updated, and/or any additional authorized representatives must be added.
  • TDA cannot discuss the application with anyone other than a noted authorized CE representative.
  • Technical assistance in completing the renewal application is available by contacting our local Educational Service Center (ESC) or by contacting your local Community Operations Regional Field Office.


Assistance available in English and Spanish. Please call 877-TEX-MEAL (877-839-6325) for help. Additional translations services available as well.

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at:, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:

1. Mail:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
2. Fax: (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
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