Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) Program FAQs

  • What is CEP?

    CEP is a USDA program that allows qualified schools to provide free meals to students without requiring their families to complete the free and reduced lunch application. 

    Who is participating in this program?

    There will be 57 campuses participating in this program.

    How does a school qualify?

    There are several factors that determine what schools qualify for the program. Schools must have a certain percentage of identified students (children who are certified for free school meals without the use of a household application - SNAP, TANF, homeless, foster or migrant.) The Food and Nutrition Services Department together with District Administration analyze the data to determine what would be best for the community and the district.

    What are the advantages? 

    • Encourage more students to take advantage of nutritious meals
    • Reduce stigma associated with free meals
    • Eliminate the problem of uncollected student meal balances

    What if a child changes schools within the district?

    If a student is enrolled in a CEP school and transfers to a non-CEP school during the school year, the new school will honor the existing status of the student within 30 days, or until a new application for the current year is processed. The parents will need to complete an application for Free or Reduced Priced Meals. They may be responsible for meal charges. Non–CEP campuses will have applications available in the office, cafeteria, or can be completed online.

    Is a free and reduced lunch application needed for CEP schools?

    No, however a Registration Income Information form must be completed.

    What is the purpose of the Registration Income Information form?

    EPISD must collect economic data from students in CEP schools for PEIMS data. This information will help ensure that students continue to have access to the level of resources he/she currently has at school. It impacts funding that each school receives from the federal and state government, affecting provisions.