The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 provides local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools in low-income areas with an alternative approach for operating school meal programs. Instead of collecting individual applications for free and reduced-price meals, the CEP allows LEAs and schools meeting the eligibility requirements to use information from other means-tested programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Temporary Assistance Program for Needy Families (TANF). The level of participation in these programs determines the level of Federal funding for the school meal programs. Eligible schools must pay the difference between the level of financial resources allowed by law and the total cost of operating the programs. The CEP reduces the administrative burden for schools and allows them to offer free meals to all children.
The Community Eligibility Provision was piloted in select states beginning with the 2011–2012 school year and will be available nationwide for the 2014–2015 school year.
US Department of Education Guidance, March 2015
Joint letter from US Departments of Agriculture and Education
Texas Department of Agriculture CEP website
For additional information or assistance contact:
Texas Department of Agriculture Contact Information for CEP questions:
CEP ESC Contacts