What is CEP?
Per the USDA, Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) is a non-pricing meal service option for schools and school districts in low-income areas. CEP allows the nation’s highest poverty schools and districts to serve breakfast and lunch at no cost to all enrolled students without collecting household applications.
What are some of the benefits?
While CEP might not be the best fit for some districts, it is a saving grace for others. CEP includes many benefits not just for students, but for parents, school staff, and most importantly the districts, such as.
- Less paperwork all around. No more applications, notification letters, and administrative documentation.
- Reduced burden for high poverty districts. CEP was designed to be a financially viable resource for schools. It can relieve pressure by ensuring every student has a meal and reducing school lunch debt.
- Puts school lunch shaming to shame! Since CEP is a free meal to all students, there is no longer a stigma surrounding who can or cannot afford a meal. This way more students spend time eating healthy and nutritious meals.
How do I get started?
There are some requirements that must first be met before CEP can be considered an option. Your Identified Student Percentage (ISP) must be 40% or higher. The ISP count is based on participation in the following programs: SNAP, TANF, FDPIR, Medicaid. Children who are Foster, Homeless, Head Start, or Migrants can also be considered in your ISP count. Once we have that, we multiply it by 1.6 to find out what’s our percentage of meals reimbursed at the Free Rate versus Paid. The higher your ISP the more you get reimbursed.
Setting it up in PrimeroEdge
To set up CEP in PrimeroEdge go to System> Configuration> Special Assistance. From this page, we click Add to begin the process. Once we have our programs selected, we will then select our Student Count Date, based on April 1st from the previous school year. For example, if we elected to start CEP in the 21-22 school year, then April 1st of the 20-21 school year would be considered our Base Date. From there, our system will automatically pull in all the site information. We then enter our Identified Students and Enrolled Students where our system will calculate the ISP for us. For example, Cali Middle School has 100 Identified Students and 200 enrolled students so that puts our ISP for that site at 50%. Then we save the information and check to include which sites are participating in CEP. After that, we hit Save one more time and we are done!
Once you are CEP approved from your state, call one of our PrimeroEdge specialists to help you walk through this seamless transition and start enjoying all that CEP has to offer.