Emergency Operational Cost Reimbursement Payment Calculations for Child Nutrition Programs

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Curious how the new emergency operational cost reimbursements for March to June 2020 will work? Read this to learn more.


The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, passed in December 2020, authorized emergency operational cost reimbursement payments to help child nutrition program operators make up for lower reimbursements during March through June 2020 and assist in covering higher operational costs.

This document reflects the eligibility criteria and funding formulas in the authorizing legislation as well as the memo and Q&A released by the USDA on January 26, 2021.

State agencies must opt in to these emergency operational cost reimbursement programs and submit a plan for USDA approval. The deadline for the initial state application is February 25, 2021, and the full plan is due to USDA by April 26, 2021. 

In general, most operators will not need to take any action in order to receive a payment. However, CACFP sponsors of unaffiliated centers and family day care homes may need to calculate payments owed to unaffiliated centers and family day care homes, especially if the state agency does not require site-level claim data.

For program operators, this resource is not intended to replace guidance from your state agency. Please contact your state agency for information on the process, calculations, and timing.