𝙈𝙤𝙧𝙚 𝙎𝙘𝙝𝙤𝙤𝙡𝙨 𝘼𝙧𝙚 𝙉𝙤𝙬 𝙀𝙡𝙞𝙜𝙞𝙗𝙡𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙊𝙛𝙛𝙚𝙧 𝙁𝙧𝙚𝙚 𝙈𝙚𝙖𝙡𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝘼𝙡𝙡 𝙎𝙩𝙪𝙙𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙧𝙤𝙪𝙜𝙝 𝘾𝙀𝙋
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it is giving an estimated 3,000 more school districts nationwide—including approximately 700 additional schools in New York—the option to serve breakfast and lunch to all students at no cost by expanding the availability of the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP).
CEP is a federal option that allows high-poverty schools to offer free meals to all students. This new final rule lowers the eligibility threshold from 40% to 25%. Effective October 26, 2023, any school district, group of schools in a district, or individual school with 25 percent or more “identified students”—children eligible for free school meals by means other than an individual household application—can participate.
While this change in CEP applies across the country, it will be particularly impactful in New York State thanks to the new CEP State Subsidy. The CEP State Subsidy ensures all CEP meals are reimbursed at the “free rate,” allowing all eligible New York schools to provide free meals to all students while alleviating the financial burden.
𝘼𝘾𝙏𝙄𝙊𝙉 𝙉𝙀𝙀𝘿𝙀𝘿: 𝙈𝙞𝙙-𝙮𝙚𝙖𝙧 𝘾𝙀𝙋 𝘼𝙥𝙥𝙡𝙞𝙘𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙨 𝘼𝙘𝙘𝙚𝙥𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝙪𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙡 𝘿𝙚𝙘𝙚𝙢𝙗𝙚𝙧 15, 2023
The New York State Department of Education, Child Nutrition Program Administration is now accepting applications for schools to apply for CEP to add newly eligible schools. Schools that do not already offer free meals to all students are encouraged to consider the following next steps:
• Review SED’s guidance on the mid-year election for CEP, including an updated list of potentially eligible schools available to download.
• Assess potential eligibility to adopt or expand CEP in newly eligible schools.
• Consider applying for CEP or expanding CEP to other schools in your district.
Need individualized assistance? Hunger Solutions New York is committed to supporting school districts to apply for and implement CEP. Our goal is that all CEP-eligible schools maximize the CEP State Subsidy in the 2023-2024 school year. We provide support to schools at no cost.
Francesca DiGiorgio, MPH
School Meals Policy and Engagement Specialist
𝙄𝘾𝙔𝙈𝙄: 𝘾𝙀𝙋 𝙎𝙩𝙖𝙩𝙚 𝙎𝙪𝙗𝙨𝙞𝙙𝙮 𝙍𝙚𝙨𝙤𝙪𝙧𝙘𝙚𝙨 𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙢 𝙃𝙪𝙣𝙜𝙚𝙧 𝙎𝙤𝙡𝙪𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙨 𝙉𝙚𝙬 𝙔𝙤𝙧𝙠
This summer, Hunger Solutions New York hosted a webinar series and disseminated a newsletter to support schools applying for and implementing CEP in the 2023-2024 school year. View these materials on our website.
We will continue our CEP newsletter this year to share updates, new resources, and webinars. If you would like to receive this newsletter, please contact Francesca.DiGiorgio@HungerSolutionsNY.org.