Posted: Fri, 10/11/2013 - 11:00am Updated: Thu, 01/05/2017 - 3:05pm

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 2016-2017, the LEA must have one or more school having an identified student percentage of 40% or greater as of April 1, 2016. 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.

  • CEP Site List SY 16-17
  • Community Eligibility Presentation (CEP) with Notes
  • List of Potentially Eligible for CEP (SY 16-17)
    • Green-highlighted sites have a Direct Certification percentage of 40% or higher *
    • Yellow-highlighted sites have a Direct Certification percentage of between 35-40% *
    • Sites not highlighted are most likely not eligible but schools may do their own calculation of their identified students for these sites to see if they are eligible per the requirements listed above.
    • Sites with N/A could not be calculated due to missing data. Schools will need to calculate the identified students for these sites to see if they are eligible per the requirements listed above.

CEP Application and supporting documents information:

CEP Resources


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