School Districts and Schools That Are Eligible for the School Meals Community Eligibility Provision
June 16, 2015
High-poverty schools and school districts are eligible to participate in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) to help reduce hunger and make school meal programs more efficient. CEP allows school districts, individual schools, or groups of schools to offer breakfasts and lunches at no charge to all students if more than 40 percent of their students are “Identified Students” — that is, approved for free meals without an application based on data from other programs, like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp Program) that serve low-income children. CEP has already been implemented in more than 14,000 high-poverty schools serving more than 6.5 million students.
States must publish a list of eligible schools and school districts for the 2015-2016 school year by May 1, 2015. School districts have until August 31, 2015 to opt in. More information about how CEP works and the benefits experienced by schools that have already implemented it is available here.