CEP Program

Community Eligibility Provision (CEP)

What Does It Mean For Richmond County School District?

What is CEP?

The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) is an innovative meal program for schools and school districts in low-income areas. A key provision of the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act (HHFKA, Public Law 111-296; December 13, 2010), CEP makes it easier for high need schools to serve free meals – both breakfast and lunch – to all students by removing the need for schools to collect paper applications.

What does CEP do?

  • Allows schools and local education agencies (LEAs) located in low-income areas to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students
  • Eliminates the burden of collecting household applications to determine eligibility for school meal programs.

Who benefits? Everyone! How…


Access to free nutritious meals for all students, no stigma, and less time spent in cashier lines and more time to eat nutritious meals.


No household application means less paperwork and no worries about lunch account.

School Staff

Streamlined meal service operation and more time for students to consume their food.


Reduced paperwork and administrative costs, no need to track unpaid meal charges, improved program integrity, and more nourished students.

  • Allows schools/and or school districts located in low-income areas to provide breakfast and lunch to all students at no cost.
  • Eliminates the burden of families having to complete a household application to determine meal eligibility for students.
  • Students
    Will have access to free nutritious and delicious meals with no stereotype or stigma and less time is spent checking out for meal service.
  • Parents
    No stressing over lunch accounts and the chore of completing the household application.
  • School Staff
    More time for students to eat & enjoy their meals. Meal services are more streamlined.
  • Administrators
    Reduced paperwork, no hassles of unpaid meal charges and overhead costs. More students are nourished and ready to learn.
  • Schools and School Districts with a minimum Identified Student Percentage (40 % or more) in the prior school year.
  • Identified students = those certified for free meals without the use of household applications (for example those directly certified through SNAP).
  • All schools in an district
  • A group of schools in a district
  • An individual school in a district
  • Authorized by the Congress as part of the Healthy, Hunger –Free Kids Act of 2010
  • Available nationwide beginning July 1, 2014.