This Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) Characteristics study is the first comprehensive study since CEP became available nationwide in SY 2014-15. The study was designed to provide the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) with information about the impact of CEP. The study included both an implementation and impact component.
Key findings in this report include:
- CEP participation increased both student school meal participation and level of federal reimbursements.
- Seventy-six percent of Local Education Agencies (LEA) participating in CEP elected to participate LEA-wide.
- The LEA-wide Identified Student Percentage (ISP) was the most important perceived factor in CEP election.
- Eligible, non-participating LEAs indicated that CEP would be more appealing if the factor used to determine meal reimbursement levels were increased.
- Financial concerns were the largest barrier to CEP participation for LEAs with lower ISPs.