Nutrition Services » Community Eligibility Provision (CEP)

Community Eligibility Provision (CEP)

What is the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP)?

  • Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) was created as part of the USDA’s National School Breakfast and Lunch Program. It allows schools with high eligibility for free and reduced-price breakfast and lunch to "opt in" to provide free meals for all students in the qualifying school, regardless of income.

Will my child receive free or reduced price breakfast and lunch even if we aren’t income-eligible?

  • Yes. All students in the 13 CVSD qualified CEP schools will receive free breakfast and lunch, regardless of income:
    • Adams Elementary, Bowdish Middle School, Broadway Elementary, Greenacres Elementary, McDonald Elementary, Mica Peak High School, North Pines Middle School, Opportunity Elementary, Ponderosa Elementary, Progress Elementary, Riverbend Elementary, South Pines Elementary, University Elementary

Will all of my children receive free breakfast and lunch, even if they attend different schools?

  • Only students at the 13 CEP schools will receive free breakfast and lunch through this program.
  • Students at non-participating schools may apply for free and reduced meals.

Why does one of my children get free breakfast and lunch when another one at a different school doesn’t?

  • Students who are not eligible for free and reduced-price meals, according to the criteria of the National School Lunch Program, ONLY receive free breakfast and lunch if they attend a CEP participating school.

Why did my child’s school send home a survey about my income and household?

  • It’s important for all families to complete the CEP Family Income Survey and return it to school. This survey helps the school district maintain Title 1 benefits from the federal government, which are used for educational programs, services and benefits for students.

What happens if I choose not to fill out the CEP Family Income Survey?

  • If a household does not complete the survey, the delivery of programs and services in your child’s school may be impacted. Therefore, it is very important that every household accurately completes the survey. It's more than a meal... it's about gaining benefits for your child, their friends, teacher, school and community!
  • NOTE: If you received a letter in the mail that you are "direct certified "(approval of meal benefits), then you do not need to fill out the family income survey. This letter means your child has been qualified through the state of Washington and no form is needed. If you did not receive this letter, please fill out the CEP family income survey form for the benefit of your school programs and services.

What if my child attends a CEP school, but is overflowed to a non-CEP school? Are their meals free?

  • Unfortunately, no. Only CEP-designated schools are covered under the CEP benefit. Families may apply for the free and reduced-price meal program in our other schools. 

What menu options are covered under CEP?

  • Students can receive a full meal breakfast, which includes an entrée, fruit, juice and milk. Students can also receive a full meal lunch, which includes an entrée, fruit, vegetable and milk. Students must take the full meal and cannot just select one item or another. This provides a balanced nutritional offering to each student. 

What if students only want to purchase a single item – like a milk or an entrée?

  • CEP requires that only complete meals be served at no-cost in order to provide a balanced nutritional offering to each student. We encourage students and families to take advantage of this by planning accordingly. Individual ala carte items may be purchased, but please note that your student’s account will be charged if they do not take a complete meal.

What if I do not want my child to participate in CEP?

  • If you do not want your child to participate in CEP, you are always welcome to pack a lunch for your student.

Will the district share my information?

  • The information collected in the CEP survey will be protected using the same protocol as the information collected through the free and reduced-price program applications. Families that wish to share their eligibility status for other program benefits, such as decreased fees to participate in other school programs, must fill out a "Consent to Share" form. The form is included with a free and reduced-price program application along with an income survey and with the on-line applications.

Further questions? Please call: 

  • Denice Kwate, Nutrition Services Supervisor, 558-5414
  • Shanda Simpson, Nutrition Services Assistant Supervisor, 558-5538
  • Shelley Ehlert, Nutrition Services Secretary, 558-5417
Printable Version of Family Income Survey: