No one wants kids to go hungry for lack of resources or simply because the proper paperwork was not submitted. Schools serving large populations of low-income families don't have to turn kids away if the school qualifies for the USDA's Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). Every student in these qualifying schools receive free school breakfast and lunch without verifying household income.
Eligible schools are those with 40% or more of its students “identified,” meaning they qualify for free or reduced meals without an application because they live in households that participate in federal nutrition programs such as SNAP or TANF, or live in foster care, are homeless or migrant, or participate in HEAD START. If your school currently has 75% or more of its students receiving free and reduced-price meals, you are likely among the schools eligible for CEP.
Benefits of the program:
Results from CEP schools have been positive, with schools reporting higher student participation in both breakfast and lunch, which has generated higher reimbursements and revenues to reinvest in their school nutrition programs.
The USDA has developed a downloadable CEP Estimator to help you determine if it's financially sound to enroll in CEP based on your current monthly reimbursement.
Other CEP Resources: