Updated Title I Guidance for Schools Electing Community Eligibility
One important goal of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA) is to ensure that children have access to the nutrition they need to grow into healthy adults. The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), as authorized by amendments made in HHFKA Section 11(a)(1)(F), of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, 42 USC1759a(a)(1)(F), is a powerful tool to ensure children in low income communities have access to healthy school meals.
CEP allows participating schools to offer healthy, free breakfasts and lunches to all students without requiring their families to complete individual applications. First rolled out in pilot states beginning in School Year (SY) 2011-2012, CEP became available for nationwide implementation this school year. As a result, in SY 2014-2015, approximately 14,000 schools in more than 2,000 local educational agencies (LEAs) serving more than 6.4 million children elected to participate in CEP for its ability to both reduce administrative burden and increase access to school meals for children in low income communities.
While Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is encouraged by the significant response, we know more children can benefit from CEP.