What are Special Provisions...
In an effort to reduce paperwork at the local level, Congress has incorporated into Section 11(a)(1) of the National School Lunch Act four alternative provisions to the normal requirements for annual determinations of eligibility for free and reduced price school meals and daily meal counts by type (free, reduced price and paid meals) at the point of service.
Provision 1: Not currently used by any schools in Maine
Provision 2: This Provision reduces application burdens and simplifies meal counting and claiming procedures. It allows schools to establish claiming percentages and to serve all meals at no charge for a 4 year period. Schools must serve meals to all participating children at no charge for a period of 4 years. During the first year, or base year, the school makes eligibility determinations and takes meal counts by type. During the next 3 years, the school makes no new eligibility determinations and counts only the total number of reimbursable meals served each day. Reimbursement during these years is determined by applying the percentages of free, reduced price and paid meals served during the corresponding month of the base year to the total meal count for the claiming month.
Provision 3: Not currently used by any schools in Maine.
Provision 4 or CEP: Schools do not collect Meal Applications. The number of free eligible students is determined by comparing the number of enrolled students on the Direct Certification (DC) list and comparing this to the number of enrolled students. The number of DC students is divided by the number of enrolled students. The percentage of students qualifying for free meals based on the DC list must be 40% for a school or district to participate. For example, a school has 60 students on the DC list and 130 students enrolled. This means 46.15% of the students enrolled are found on the DC list. This is then multiplied by 1.6. In this example 73.85 % of students eating are claimed under the free status and 26.15% are claimed under the paid status. No money is collected from students for reimbursable meals.
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.
Community Eligibility Provision (CEP)
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.
The document below shows that school districts in Maine that as of April 1, 2023 are eligible or near eligible to participate in CEP. To participate in CEP the district must validate the number of enrolled students to the number of students on the DC list, Homeless, Migrant and Head Start. This is not an automatic eligibility. If you have questions email David Hartley at email@example.com or call 624-6878. CEP Eligible Districts
CEP Forms and Resources
- CEP Base Year Instructions
- CEP Edit Check Worksheet for Meal Counting (xls)
- CEP Fact Sheet (pdf)
- CEP - To complete the monthly claim for reimbursement enter the total amount of meals by type in CNPWeb.
- CEP Participation Agreement
- CEP USDA Calculator (xls)
- Community Eligibility Provision SP12-2012 (pdf)
Special Provisions Forms and Resources
In an effort to reduce paperwork at the local level, Congress has incorporated into Section 11(a)(1) of the National School Lunch Act three alternative provisions to the normal requirements for annual determinations of eligibility for free and reduced price school meals and daily meal counts by type (free, reduced price and paid meals) at the point of service.
- Special Provision II Agreement
- Special Provision II - How to complete the monthly claim for reimbursement
- Provisions 1, 2 & 3 Fact Sheet (link to USDA)
- USDA Provision 2 Guidance (link to USDA)
- CEP Fact Sheet (pdf)
USDA Food and Nutrition Services Resources
Provisions 1, 2 & 3: http://www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/provisions-1-2-and-3
For more information please contact the Maine DOE Child Nutrition Office at