Community Eligibility Provision Frequently Asked Questions

05-Aug-2021

Common questions answered about the CEP meal program in schools.

I'm a parent with a child that previously qualified for free or reduced lunch. What happens now under the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP)?

  • Your child still receives two (2) free meals -  1 breakfast, 1 lunch - each school day.

  • You need to fill out a new form called the "Family Household Survey" that will help the DOE collect critical information that helps with other programs dependent on the information previously collected in free/reduced lunch applications. These forms will be sent home by the school at the start of the school year for parents/guardians to complete.

My child did not qualify for free or reduced lunch before. What happens now?

  • Your child will receive two (2) free meals -  1 breakfast, 1 lunch - each school day.

  • We ask that you fill out the new "Family Household Survey" form that will allow us to make sure we have the right information for other programs.

  • You no longer have to worry about negative balances and having to make payments at school, unless your child purchases additional meals or ala carte items.

How does my child attending a CEP school qualify for a free bus pass?

A student attending a CEP school will qualify for a free bus pass if he/she:

  • Is a SNAP recipient;

  • Qualifies for a free meal based on household income information which can be confirmed through the “Family Household Survey”;

  • Is a foster child;

  • Is McKinney-Vento eligible (Homeless);

  • Special Education plan includes regular transportation as a related service in their IEP;

  • Is directed by the District to attend a school outside of the designated attendance area; or

  • Has three older siblings who are fare-paying riders.

What happens if my child is part of the CEP program and transfers to another school?

  • The CEP program is specific to the participating schools.

  • The CEP program designation does not transfer with the student.

  • The family must apply using the traditional free/reduced price lunch application at the new school if the school is not part of CEP.

Why does the department need parents to fill out the Family Household Survey form?

The Department currently relies on free and reduced price lunch data for other qualified benefits. The alternate data collection form clears the way for additional funding for your child's school and scholarship opportunities to participate in school programs.​



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