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Community Eligibility Provision Evaluation

Joseph Harkness, Chris Logan, Azim Shivji, Hiren Nisar, Patty Connor


March 20, 2015
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) provided schools and local educational agencies (LEAs) that predominately serve low-income children with a new option for meal certification. Under the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), schools do not collect or process meal applications for free and reduced-price meals served under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP).

Instead, schools serve all meals at no cost and are reimbursed using a formula based on the percentage of students identified as eligible for free meals using direct certification and other lists of eligible students. Any costs for serving these meals in excess of the Federal reimbursement must be paid from non-Federal sources. CEP is intended to increase low income students’ access to nutritious meals while reducing administrative burden.

Abt Associates examined the implementation and impacts of the CEP, and summarized its findings in a final report prepared for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service.  An addendum to the final report can be found here
Focus Areas
North America