Language Translation
  Close Menu

Community Eligibility Provision

Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) is an alternative to collecting, approving, and verifying household eligibility applications for free and reduced price eligible students in high poverty local educational agencies (LEAs) for schools participating in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. For a LEA to be eligible to use CEP for school year 2021-2022, the LEA must have one or more schools having an identified student percentage of 40% or greater for the 2020-21 school year. School Food Authorities (SFAs) may use data collected for individual student through June 30th of the current school year. Please note that this is an extended period that has been granted by USDA due to the COVID 19 pandemic. The identified student percentage is NOT the same as the total number of students eligible for free and reduced-price meals. Identified student counts ONLY include the following:

  • Directly certified students and extension of direct certification benefits to other household members
  • Homeless students certified as such by the district liaison
  • Migrant youth certified by local officials
  • Runaway youth certified by local officials
  • Head Start students and
  • Foster children, certified based on documentation from the foster child case worker

The LEA and school must agree to offer all enrolled students breakfasts and lunches at no cost (free) and cover any cost above the federal reimbursement received with non-Federal funds. CEP is approved for four successive school years, with an option annually to return to traditional meal counting and claiming procedures. Reimbursement for schools participating in CEP is based on claiming percentages (Free and Paid only) derived from the percentages of identified students multiplied by a USDA established factor. Please watch the presentation below for more information. Applications and CEP worksheets are due to the State Agency no later than September 30, 2022, or the first day of school for the submitting SFA, whichever comes first. This due date, normally June 30th, has been extended by USDA as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic.


For more information about the Community Eligibility Provision, contact Marcia Yurczyk.