Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, all campuses (K-12) in the Raul Yzaguirre Schools for Success qualified for the Community Eligibility Provision Program (CEP).
This USDA program is a meal service option for schools and school districts in low-income areas. As a key provision of The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA, Public Law 111-296; December 13, 2010), CEP allows the nation’s highest poverty schools and districts to serve breakfast and lunch at no cost to all enrolled students without having to collect household applications from participants. Instead, schools that adopt CEP are reimbursed using a formula based on the percentage of students participating in other specific programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Benefits of the Community Eligibility Provision
- Lessens administrative work:
- Schools no longer have to collect and verify school meal applications and can focus on feeding children.
- Participating schools in the initial pilot states increased breakfast participation by 9.4% and lunch participation by 5.2 % in a USDA study.
Facilitates implementation of alternative breakfast service models
- When schools don’t have to collect fees or count each meal served by fee category, it simplifies implementation of breakfast in the classroom and “grab and go” service models that can boost participation further.
Improves the financial viability of school nutrition programs
- When participation increases, school districts can take advantage of economies of scale, and reinvest additional revenue to improve nutrition quality and provide staff training. n Eliminates unpaid meal fees—when all children eat at no charge, the school district does not have to collect unpaid fees from families.