The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) provides an alternative approach for offering school meals to local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools in low income areas instead of collecting individual applications for free and reduced price meals.
The CEP allows schools that predominantly serve low-income children to offer free, nutritious school meals to all students through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. The CEP uses information from other programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Temporary Assistance Program for Needy Families (TANF) instead of traditional paper applications.
- CEP Base Year Instruction
- CEP Fact Sheet (pdf)
- ME Districts Eligible/Near Eligible April 2019 (xls) Districts listed eligible or near eligible based on April 2019 Direct Certification list and school enrollment data. The District/School would still need to complete a match between the enrollment and the Direct Certification list.
- Maine Economically Disadvantage Status Form: Maine DOE has developed a web page about Economic Status forms for Schools using CEP in the School Meals Program.
USDA Food and Nutrition Services Resources
- Estimator tool links to USDA; a tool to assist in determining whether the CEP is right for you based on your monthly reimbursement.
- USDA Memo SP 20-2017 CEP Eligibility
- SP54-2016 CEP Q & A (pdf)
- CEP Planning and Implementation Guidance
- USDA Community Eligibility page: www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/community-eligibility-provision
- USDA CEP Manual
For more information please contact the Maine DOE Child Nutrition Office at 207-624-6842 or Child Nutrition Specialist David Hartley at email@example.com.