Frequently Asked Questions

COMMUNITY ELIGIBILITY PROVISION (CEP) IS AT MY SCHOOL: Last Updated: 8/1/2014

What is the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP)?

  • The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) for the National School Lunch Program (NLSP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) gives Northside Schools with high percentages of low-income children the option to offer free school meals to all children in those schools without collecting lunch applications at these schools. Community Eligibility Provision is part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

Why are parents being asked to fill out a form?

  • Since your child's school qualifies for the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) which provides a free lunch and breakfast to ALL children, free and reduced lunch applications were not distributed nor will they be collected. However, at Sample Elementary we are asking that you complete the Student Information Form to help children and families that may qualify for assistance in other areas such as summer school tuition, testing fee waivers, grants, scholarships, etc.

What Are the Benefits?

  • All students receive two healthy meals at no charge. Students that have access to better nutrition tend to perform better academically, have better health, and maintain better school attendance.
  • Meal lines will move more quickly, because meal counting and claiming is simplified. Staff will not have to categorize each meal served as free, reduced-price, or paid.
  • Studies have shown that CEP Campuses increase student participation for both breakfast and lunch.
  • NO charging or alternate meals will be necessary.
  • NO FREE/REDUCED APPLICATIONS will be necessary for CEP Campuses for purposes of meals served. Note: A campus may request household information to assist in additional benefits to support other programs in a CEP School. 

How Does a School Qualify For CEP?

  • A school qualifies for CEP if the number of students “directly certified” for free meals is greater than 40% of enrollment.  Participants in TANF, SNAP, Head Start, Even Start programs and Migrant, Run-Away and Homeless certified students are included in the number of “directly certified” students.

What About Schools That DO NOT Qualify For CEP?

  • Applications Are Required to Determine Eligibility for Free or Reduced Priced Meals
  • Applications were sent to NON-CEP schools for distribution
  • Applications also available at:
    • www.nisd.net/parentconnection:  Select Free & Reduced Lunch application to apply online – English & Spanish
    • www.nisd.net  Select Departments/Child Nutrition:  Download and print – English & Spanish
    • At the cafeteria of NON-CEP schools
    • At the Free/Reduced Lunch Program Office, 7520 Mainland Road, San Antonio, TX  78250 (210-397-4517)
    • 24 Hour Locked Drop Box at Free/Reduced Lunch Program Office, 7520 Mainland Road, San Antonio, TX  78250  (210-397-4517)

What About Families With Students at BOTH CEP and NON-CEP Campuses?

  • Applications Are Required to Determine Eligibility for Free or Reduced Priced Meals for NON-CEP Student(s)
  • Include ALL household members on the application