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Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) COVID-19 Information


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The Wisconsin Community Nutrition Team has created this information page to help CACFP participants navigate their options for serving children meals during COVID-19.

COVID Waivers
This webinar covers the USDA COVID waivers for flexibilities with the CACFP Meal Pattern and providing meals off-site.


DPI Guidance
DPI CACFP Bulletins
USDA Waivers and Guidance

COVID Waivers
This webinar covers the USDA COVID waivers for flexibilities with the CACFP Meal Pattern and providing meals off-site.

CACFP agencies must request approval from DPI for using the following flexibilities by completing waiver request forms:

Other USDA CACFP Nationwide Waivers

USDA Nationwide Waivers Questions and Answers

Providing Meals

Wisconsin Community Nutrition Programs have been provided the option to continue to provide reimbursable meals to children during closures related to the COVID-19 virus. The following outlines the steps that CACFP facilities must take to be approved to operate during a closure.

  • Providing meals during a closure
    • Definition of closure: closing the facility and sending all the participants and staff home.
    • It is not mandatory that CACFP facilities provide meals during a closure; however, CACFP facilities are encouraged to ensure that the needs of low-income participants are met during extended closures.
    • If your agency would like to provide meals off-site to enrolled participants by pick-up or delivery, request approval from DPI by completing the CACFP Nationwide Waiver Application.
  • Ways to inform families of availability of meals
    • Wisconsin Child Nutrition Programs encourage CACFP agencies to use your standard methods of communication to inform households of the availability and location of meals during closures related to COVID-19. Such methods may include social media, emails, texts, and phone calls.
  • Ideas of Non-Congregate Meal Delivery
    • Consider ways to distribute meals to households, such as:
      • serving meals out of a drive thru area at the site,
      • serving meals out of a drive thru area at the site, using delivery trucks or vans to deliver to remote sites,
      • delivering a lunch meal along with a breakfast pack for the next day to provide multiple meals at once.
  • Providing Multiple Meals at a Time During the COVID-19 Pandemic: These tip sheets provide information about using bulk foods and distributing multiple meals at a time.
  • Shelf-Stable Menu Item Ideas: CACFP facilities that need to provide shelf-stable meals for food safety concerns or lack of available product may consider these options.
  • Food Availability
  • Food Safety
    • If serving meals at a site, CACFP facilities should continue to follow DCF regulations and the food safety plan for that site.
    • Refer to the Food Safety Tips for more information.
Additional Information

No Kid Hungry is offering real time funding and assistance for schools, early child care centers and community organizations that are making sure kids have access to the meals they need as schools close due to coronavirus. No Kid Hungry is providing emergency grants to support these local efforts like home delivered meals, grab and go meals programs, school and community pantries, backpack programs, and other steps to help reach children and families who lose access to meals. We’re providing $1 million in emergency grants on a rolling basis. This is the first phase of an ongoing multi-million dollar response.

For more information and to submit your interest in receiving an emergency grant visit the Coronavirus Grant Request page.

Upcoming Funding Opportunities


Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin: COVID-19 Community Response Fund
The COVID-19 Community Response Fund will provide flexible funding for organizations working in North Central Wisconsin who are disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus and the economic consequences of the outbreak. This Fund is designed to expand local capacity to address the effects on individuals and families as a result of the outbreak as efficiently as possible.
Deadline: Rolling

COVID-19 Emergency School Nutrition Funding
Calling all Principals, School Nutrition Managers, School Nutrition Directors and District Superintendents! GENYOUth is providing grants of up to $3,000 per school to supply much-needed resources for meal distribution and delivery efforts to get food to students during COVID-19. From soft-sided coolers, bags and containers for individual servings, to protective gear for food service sanitation and safety, this equipment will help ensure our children continue to receive the nutritious meals they need.
Deadline: Rolling

Eau Claire Community Foundation: Quick Response Community Fund
The Quick Response Community Fund will provide flexible and rapid resources to Eau Claire area nonprofits working with those who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and its economic consequences.
Deadline: Rolling

La Crosse Community Foundation: Emergency Response Fund
The La Crosse Community Foundation’s Emergency Response Fund provides flexible and rapid resources to charitable organizations working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and the economic consequences of the outbreak and its related preventative measures. The fund is designed to complement the work of public health officials and expand local capacity to address all aspects of the outbreak and subsequent closures as efficiently as possible.
Deadline: Rolling

Oshkosh Area Community Foundation: COVID-19 Relief Fund
The Oshkosh COVID-19 Relief Fund has been established to provide flexible financial resources to 501(c)(3) organizations working in the Oshkosh community who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) and the economic consequences of the outbreak.
Deadline: Rolling

InfoED Global’s National Funding Databank
InfoEd Global is proud to be able to share this library of COVID-19 funding opportunities and resources with our colleagues in the research realm and the broader community at large. During these uncertain times, institutions need to take advantage of every tool available to maintain and expand their research programs. Our SPIN funding opportunities database contains nearly 40,000 government, foundation, and industry sponsored opportunities that can help.
Deadline: Varies

USDA Farmers to Families Food Box
USDA will award contracts for the purchase of the agricultural products, the assembly of commodity boxes and delivery to identified non-profit organizations that can receive, store and distribute food items.
Deadline: Varies


Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment (AHW) Funding Opportunity
The Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment (AHW) Funding Opportunity works to support community partners in addressing acute health needs with “mission to make Wisconsin the healthiest state in the nation” according to Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, director of the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment. AHW’s investments through this innovative funding opportunity will support community-led partnerships in establishing new systems – or positively impacting existing systems – to address the root causes of poor health outcomes.

ALDI Smart Kids Program
Partners with organizations that make a positive impact on our kids’ health and wellness by providing funding and gift cards to organizations that promote kids being active and healthy. Requests for funding should be between $100–$5,000.

Charles D. Jacobus Family Foundation
Healthy Children’s Initiative has a Milwaukee County focus to encourage the healthy - physical, emotional, cognitive, and social - development of children. Pre-applications (now Letters of Inquiry (LOI)) will be available to complete in May and submitted to the Foundation.

Colonel Robert H. Morse Foundation
With a Beloit focus, funded projects have “social significance” for the community with a local/regional benefit for the greater Beloit area. All grant requests should be submitted for review by May1st or November 1st.

Fruit Tree Planting Foundation
The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation (FTPF) is an award-winning international nonprofit charity dedicated to planting fruitful trees and plants to alleviate world hunger, combat global warming, strengthen communities, and improve the surrounding air, soil, and water.FTPF programs strategically donate orchards where the harvest will best serve communities for generations, at places such as community gardens, public schools, city/state parks, low-income neighborhoods, Native American reservations, international hunger relief sites, and animal sanctuaries.

Good Sports
Resources for schools and community organizations serving youth between the ages of 3-18 years old in an economically disadvantaged area. Award consists of equipment, apparel, and footwear. Rolling application.

Playground grants to help communities build safe places for kids to play. Opportunities ranging building a new playground in your community, to creative play, to transforming sidewalks and vacant lots. Rolling deadlines.

Kenosha Community Foundation
With a mission of helping people to enhance the present and insure the future of the Kenosha Community, multiple funding opportunities are available.

Michael & Susan Dell Foundation Grants
The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation provides grants ranging from $500 to several million dollars to organizations working hard to improve the lives of urban children living in poverty. The foundation accepts proposals for specific areas within the education, family economic stability, and childhood health sectors. Programs must be able to demonstrate their progress toward helping children achieve their full potential through measurable data relevant to their problem statement.

Otto Bremer Foundation Grants
The Otto Bremer Foundation provides funding for organizations working to provide for people's basic needs and helping them become financially stable and self-reliant.

Reiman Foundation
With a Milwaukee focus, the foundation supports the dedication, imagination and courage of organizations, particularly those involved in our key grant focus areas of education, health care, the arts and children’s initiatives. The Foundation provides philanthropic support to a number of organizations that share and embody this mission. The Reiman Foundation will accept, review and make decisions on grant applications on an ongoing, rolling basis throughout the year.

Rural Feasibility Study Grant Program
The Rural Feasibility Study Grant Program awards funding for feasibility studies that will result in economic development in rural areas of Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin, including feasibility studies for healthcare organizations.

Rural Local Initiatives Support Corporation Community Facilities Fund
Community Facilities Fund to provide capital to help develop and improve essential community facilities in rural areas. Rural LISC utilizes this fund to provide permanent and construction-to-permanent financing for rural community facilities, including health care centers, hospitals, educational facilities, and other nonprofit and public facilities in rural communities with populations under 20,000.

Salad Bars to Schools
Salad Bars to Schools donates a 6-foot, five-well salad bar package to schools that serve at least 100 reimbursable meals daily. Any district or independent school participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is eligible to apply.

SC Johnson’s Education Grants
SC Johnson foundation makes grants in the areas of arts, culture, and humanities; community and economic development; education; health and wellness; social services; and environment and sustainability. Education Grants include support for programs that emphasize student academic achievement, with a focus on academic enrichment and advancement, early childhood, and kindergarten through grade 12 education; postsecondary institutions; and technical and vocational schools.

Department of Health Services (DHS) Orders

On April 16th, 2020, Secretary-designee Andrea Palm issued Emergency Order #28, which extends Safer at Home and makes some changes to the initial order. The changes from Emergency Order #28 will go into effect on April 24. Safer at Home order will remain in effect until 8 a.m. on Tuesday, May 26, 2020. Governor Tony Evers’ office also provided a question and answer document accompanying the order. See the Safer at Home extension FAQ.

While the Safer at Home Order continues to keep buildings closed, it does not close school operations. The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) encourages schools to continue what they have been doing to provide continuity of learning and school meals. Please see the statement from State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor below:

The closure of school buildings does not mean the end of services to children. The Department of Public Instruction remains committed to supporting schools and districts as they continue to care for their students, advance continuity of learning, provide meals for students, plan for the remainder of the year, and begin to plan for summer school opportunities and next fall due to COVID-19.

On March 24, 2020, Secretary-designee Andrea Palm issued Emergency Order #12, Safer At Home Order. This order became effective at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. The order requires all individuals present within the State of Wisconsin to stay at home or at their place of residence, with exceptions.

Schools play an important role during this public health emergency. Under the order, schools may continue to be used for food distribution. Also, schools may be used for essential government functions such as functions necessary to implement distance learning. A school district may determine its own essential government function and identify the employees and contractors necessary to perform those functions. In addition, schools may continue to perform Minimum Basic Operations, including human resources functions such as processing payroll and employee benefits and preserving the physical condition of the school and its equipment. Under the order, public and private K-12 schools remain closed for pupil instruction and extracurricular activities, except for facilitating distance learning or virtual learning. See Emergency Order #12 Safer at Home Order

On March 17, 2020, Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm, at the direction of Governor Tony Evers, issued an order prohibiting mass gatherings of 10 people or more to slow the spread of COVID-19. The order makes exceptions for transportation, educational institutions, child care, hotels, military, law enforcement, food pantries, hospitals, long-term care facilities, restaurants and bars can only offer take-out or delivery, grocery stores and convenience stores, utility facilities, job centers, and courts. Additionally, schools will be closed for the duration of the public health emergency, or until a subsequent order lifts this specific restriction. See the full order and a list of exemptions.

On March 13, 2020, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ Secretary-Designee Andrea Palm, under the direction of Governor Tony Evers, issued an order closing schools effective Wednesday, March 18, 2020, with an anticipated reopening on April 6, 2020. Additionally, Secretary-Designee Palm’s press release goes on to clarify the order goes into effect at 5:00 p.m. on March 18.

View State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor’s statement.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has detailed information about the Coronavirus, including a page with information specific to Childcare, Schools, and Youth Programs. At this time, much of the information available is about prevention, including distancing measures and good hygiene practices.

Here is the latest information from the CDC for preventing COVID-19 spread in communities.

For questions about this information, contact Shiela Coulton (608) 665-9232