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The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) is a non-pricing meal service option for schools and school districts in low-income areas. CEP allows the nation’s highest poverty schools and districts to serve breakfast and lunch at no cost to all enrolled students without collecting household applications. Instead, schools that adopt CEP are reimbursed using a formula based on the percentage of students categorically eligible for free meals based on their participation in other specific means-tested programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

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Child Nutrition Programs: Community Eligibility Provision - Increasing Options for Schools

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Eligibility and Participation in CEP


Community Eligibility Provision Resource Center

The CEP Resource Center provides extensive resources for parents, teachers, and school officials at the local, state, and federal level to better understand CEP and its benefits, along with useful tools to help facilitate successful implementation of the provision in your school!

Page updated: November 07, 2023