The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) has expanded a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program to allow all students at those schools to receive free meal service. The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) enable schools that predominantly serve low-income children to offer free, nutritious school meals to all students through the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program without collecting school meal applications and regardless of household income.
The program has expanded annually:
- SY 14-15: 15 charter schools/sites
- SY 15-16: 18 charter schools/sites, 7 DOE schools
- SY 16-17: 16 charter schools/sites, 30 DOE schools
- SY 17-18: 16 charter schools/sites, 52 DOE schools
- SY 18-19 & 19-20: 15 charter schools/sites, 52 DOE schools
- SY 20-21: 12 charter schools/sites, 61 DOE schools
- SY 21-22: 15 charter schools/sites, 92 DOE schools
Students who attend schools that are not in the program can apply for free or reduced-price lunch through the National School Lunch Program.
- Students: Access to free nutritious meals for all students, no stigma, and less time spent in cashier lines and more time to eat nutritious meals
- Parents/Administrators: No more worrying about individual student accounts and no collection of money
- School staff: Streamlined meal service operation and more time for students to consume their food