Community Eligibility Provision (CEP)


School Nutrition Programs | Program Guidance | Forms | Resources | Nutrition Education

The CEP provides an alternative approach for offering school meals in local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools in low-income areas, instead of collecting individual household applications for free and reduced-price meals. The CEP allows schools that predominantly serve low-income children to offer free, nutritious school meals to all students through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP). The CEP uses information from other programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Family Assistance (TFA), instead of traditional paper applications.

CEP Benefits

  • All students receive free lunches and breakfasts.
  • Household applications for free and reduced-price meals are eliminated.
  • No verification is required (districts still complete the annual Verification Collection Report).
  • Potential increase in participation for lunch and breakfast.

CEP Final Rule

CEP Requirements and Implementation


Nondiscrimination Statements (USDA and CSDE)