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Extension of the Deadline for Local Educational Agencies to Submit Applications to Elect the Community Eligibility Provision

Last Published: 10/19/2016

One important goal of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA) is to ensure every American child has access to the nutrition they need to grow into healthy adults. The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) is a powerful tool to ensure children in low income communities have access to healthy meals at school. As noted in the February 2014 letter to program stakeholders from Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack and Secretary of Education Duncan, CEP allows participating high-poverty schools to offer healthy free lunches and breakfasts to all students without requiring their families to complete individual applications. Once initial eligibility and claiming percentages are established under CEP, they are guaranteed for four school years. There are approximately 3,000 local educational agencies (LEAs) and more than 22,000 schools that are eligible for CEP. CEP has the potential to offer over 8 million low-income children free meals each school day.

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