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Community Eligibility Database: Schools That Can Adopt Community Eligibility for 2015 - 2016

This searchable database, developed jointly with the Food Research & Action Center, provides information on which schools are eligible to adopt the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) for the 2015-2016 school year and which schools have already implemented it.  Community eligibility is a powerful tool to ensure that low-income children have access to breakfast and lunch at no charge through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.  The option became available to high-poverty schools and school districts in all states in the 2014-2015 school year.

Community eligibility allows school districts, individual schools, or groups of schools to offer two nutritious meals daily to all students at no charge if more than 40 percent of their students are “Identified Students” — that is, approved for free meals without an application because they either have been identified as low income by another program (such as SNAP, formerly food stamps) or are considered at risk of hunger (because they are homeless or in foster care, for example).  A school’s “Identified Student Percentage” (ISP) is calculated by dividing the total number of Identified Students by the total enrollment.

Under community eligibility, higher-poverty schools receive higher federal reimbursements for the meals they serve.  The higher a school’s ISP, therefore, the more likely community eligibility will be financially viable. Schools with an ISP of 62.5 percent or higher have all of their meals reimbursed at the highest federal rate, known as the free rate.

By May 1, 2015, each state was required to publish a list of schools eligible for the option for the 2015-2016 school year.  CBPP compiled these lists in this database.  Our 2014-2015 database remains available and includes data on which schools adopted community eligibility for that school year.

For each eligible school, this database lists the state, the school district (also known as the Local Educational Agency or LEA), the school’s ISP, whether the school adopted community eligibility, and the school’s enrollment, when the state provided those items.  To select more than one option, hold down the Control key when making selections.  The database can be sorted by school district, school, ISP category, participation, and student enrollment.  To sort the data, click on the column headers in the table.