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Community Eligibility Provision

USDA’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act provides schools which predominately serve areas of high economic need an option for meal certification under the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). Consideration may be given to schools with an Identified Student Percentage (ISP) at 40 percent or higher. The identified students are those certified for free meals without the use of household applications through direct certification or categorical eligibility (SNAP, TANF, FDPIR, migrant, runaway, foster, or homelessness).

Under this provision:

  • Qualifying schools are allowed to serve one (1) breakfast and one (1) lunch at no charge to all students in that building without having to collect and process individual meal applications
  • Under CEP, individual students do not have eligibility status, the school has the CEP designation based on the number of students directly certified
  • Meal reimbursement uses a formula based on percentage of ISP students qualifying for free meals by direct certification or categorical eligibility
  • Adults are required to pay for meals
  • Students may purchase extra milk, food and a la carte items at the secondary level

The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) may be considered for qualifying schools and determination by site shall be conducted annually.

Legal Reference:
2 U.S.C. §§ 1751 et seq
7 C.F.R. §§ 210 et seq
Iowa Code § 283A
281 I.A.C. 58

Cross Reference:
Policy 902
Procedure 902.1a

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