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Provisional Programs


Community Eligibility Provision (CEP)

The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) improves access to free school meals in eligible local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools. All school food authorities must report data to CDE's School Nutrition Unit to determine CEP eligibility for the following year. Since implementation of CEP, participating LEAs have seen improvements in program operations, including: increased participation at lunch and breakfast, simplified food service operations and increased use of alternative service models, increased time for students to eat due to faster meal service lines and simplified counting methods, and increased customer satisfaction from students, parents, and staff.

To be eligible to implement CEP, the LEA must: 

  • Have one or more schools with an identified student percentage (ISP) of 40 percent or greater. In the first year, the ISP will be multiplied by a factor of 1.6, to determine the total percentage of students at the free rate of reimbursement. For example, an LEA with a 62.5 ISP, multiplied by the factor of 1.6 will receive 100 percent at the free reimbursement rate. If the total percentage of students is below 100 percent, the remaining percentage of students will be reimbursed at the paid rate to the LEA. Any difference between federal reimbursement and the cost of providing all meals at no charge will need to be covered from sources other than federal funds, such as the general fund. 
    • ISP refers to students directly certified with documentation from: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), extended eligibility with SNAP, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF, Basic Cash Assistance and State Diversion only), extended Eligibility with TANF, Federal Distribution Program on Indian Reservation (FDPIR), foster children certified through means other than an household application, migrant children certified by a migrant coordinator, runaway and homeless youth, as defined under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Act or under the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act, children enrolled in a federally funded Head Start Program, or a comparable state funded pre-kindergarten program, or students approved by a local education official.
  • The Portal opens for reporting annually on April 1. See the Data Reporting Guidance and the CEP Introduction and Data Reporting Video for additional assistance. 
  • Considering implementing CEP? See the CEP Considerations for Implementation Video to learn more about CEP benefits, requirements, and operations.

CDE's School Nutrition Unit gained approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to extend CEP data reporting and implementation timelines for 2022:

  • Districts can report data as of any date between July 1, 2021, and June 15, 2022. Districts must complete the CEP Alternate Report Date form if choosing to report data as of any date other than April 1. You will be able to access and revise your data in the Portal through Wednesday, June 15.
  • CDE will notify districts eligible for districtwide CEP implementation by June 30, 2022. CDE will not formally notify districts if individual schools are eligible. However, you may be contacted by a representative of CDE, Hunger Free Colorado, or the Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger to explain the implementation options for your eligible sites.
  • If a district chooses to implement CEP either districtwide, for a group of sites, or for a single site, the district must formally notify CDE of this decision via the CEP Request Form no later than Monday, August 15, 2022.

EDAC Stamp NU-122 Request Form

Provision 2

Provision 2 requires that the school serve meals to participating children at no charge but reduced application burdens to once every 4 years and simplifies meal counting and claiming procedures by allowing a school to receive meal reimbursement based on claiming percentages.  During the first year, known as the base year, there is no change in traditional procedures and administrative burden.  During years 2, 3 and 4 of the cycle, the school makes no new eligibility determinations and continues to serve all children meals at no charge.  The school takes counts of only the total number of reimbursable meals served each day.  Reimbursement during these years is determined by applying the percentages of free, reduced price and paid meals served during the base year to the total meal count for the claiming period in subsequent years.  Federal reimbursement is based on these percentages and the meals are reimbursed at the free, reduced price and paid rates.

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