Community Eligibility Provision

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, 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. CEP reduces the administrative burden for schools and allows them to offer free meals to all children.

CEP was piloted in select states beginning with the 2011–2012 school year and was made available nationwide starting with the 2014–2015 school year.

Updated Title I Guidance from the US Department of Agriculture (with USDE guidance from March 2015 linked in the Resource Materials section)
Joint letter from US Departments of Agriculture and Education 
Texas Department of Agriculture CEP website

For additional information or assistance with CEP questions, contact the Texas Department of Agriculture as follows:


Contact Information

With Title I, Part A questions, contact:

Anita Villarreal, Title I, Part A State Director
(512) 463-9244

With ESSA Consolidated Application questions, contact the division:
(512) 463-8525