During the 2020-21 school year, Schoharie CSD will be participating in the Community Eligibility Provision program, which provides no-cost meals to all students.
CEP is a federal provision that allows high-poverty schools to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students. This option increases school meal participation by removing stigma, maximizes federal reimbursements, reduces administrative paperwork, and eliminates unpaid school meal debt. CEP schools continue to operate both the School Breakfast and National School Lunch programs, and must uphold nutrition standards and meal quality, but processes and procedures for counting and claiming reimbursable meals are simplified. CEP is available to any school, group of schools or district that have 40 percent or more students directly certified for free school meals, by means other than a school meal application.
School districts that participate in the CEP program:
- Must provide both breakfast and lunch to all students at no cost.
- Do not track meals by fee category (i.e. free, reduced-price, paid). They simply count the total number of meals served.
- Do not collect payment/fees from students.
- Do not collect and verify school meal applications.
While the reduction in paperwork related to traditional free and reduced lunch forms is a clear benefit, New York State still requires CEP schools to collect alternative forms – also referred to as CEP Household Income Eligibility Form – for other purposes, such as state education funding and Foundation Aid. Also, individual families may be eligible for certain benefits based on the data collected through these forms.
This form is available below: