Community Eligibility Provision (CEP)

The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) provides an alternative approach for offering school meals to local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools in low income areas, instead of collecting individual applications for free and reduced price meals.

The CEP allows schools that predominantly serve low-income children to offer free, nutritious school meals to all students through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. The CEP uses information from other programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Temporary Assistance Program for Needy Families (TANF) instead of traditional paper applications. For more information about the CEP application process, please contact the Nutrition Services staff at 402-471-2488 or 800-731-2233.

Summer 2020 CEP Webinar: Tuesday August 4th at 2 p.m. CST

The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) provides school meals to students at no cost to them. With rising food insecurity due to COVID-19, CEP will be a lifeline for many students and families in Nebraska in the coming school year. CEP also simplifies counting and claiming (hello, meals in the classroom!), eliminates school meals debt, and improves student behavioral and academic outcomes. Are you considering adopting or expanding CEP this school year? Join this public webinar to learn more about how to make CEP work for your team and your students in SY20-21.  Use this link to register for the webinar being hosted by our partners, Nebraska Appleseed:

Nationwide Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) Data Waiver

This waiver makes the following adjustments to annual CEP deadlines:

CEP Requirement Annual Deadline Waiver Deadline
Data Used to Calculate ISP April 1 Anytime between

July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021

LEA Notification April 15 June 30, 2021
State Agency Notification April 15 June 30, 2021
State Agency Publication May 1 June 30, 2021
Elect CEP for Following SY June 30 September 30, 2021

CEP Annual Notification

CEP Makes Cents

This July 2019 webinar uses Title 1, TEEOSA, and E-Rate data from current Nebraska CEP schools to show the program’s overall positive financial impact.

CEP Resources


USDA Memos and Program  Guidance

  • SP 20-2017 CEP: Annual Notification and Publication Requirements
    SP 20-2016 CEP
    : Extension of the Deadline for Local Educational Agencies to Elect the Community Eligibility Provision for School Year 2016-17
  • SP 19-2016 CEP: Community Eligibility Provision: Guidance and Updated Q & As
  • SP 19-2014 CEP: Department of Education Title I Guidance (January 31, 2014)
  • SP 21-2014 CEP: Guidance and Q & As (February 25, 2014)
  • SP 32-2014 CEP: Annual Nonfiction and Publication Requirements (April 01, 2014)

Power Points


Other Links

Updated March 30, 2021 9:29am