Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) Election Procedures

Memo Information

Memo Number
Memo Date
Memo Type
Child Nutrition
Regulatory Authority
7 CFR 245; Section 11 (a)(1) of the Richard B. Russell National School Act (42 USC 1759a); 7 CFR 210, 220; Section 104(z) of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010; Public Law 111-296; USDA Memo SP 26-2016; SP 19-2016; SP 14-2016; SP 54-2016; SP 61-2016, SP 20-2017
Response Required
Federal Programs; Superintendents; Principals

Primary Contact Information

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Memo Text





Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) is an United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) special provision that provides schools with an alternative method for counting and claiming student meals in high poverty local educational agencies (LEAs).  Schools must participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and a School Breakfast Program (SBP) for the 2018-2019 school year.  LEAs electing to participate in CEP agree to serve all students lunches AND breakfasts at no charge for four (4) successive school years.  School Food Authorities (SFAs) may choose to participate as individual schools, groups of schools, or as a complete SFA.

Procedures to Participate:

LEAs that wish to participate in CEP for the 2018-2019 school year shall email the following to


  1. Completed SY2018-19 CEP “Election to Participate” form. For information regarding Identified Student Population Reporting (ISP) and the requirements to participate in CEP, refer to Commissioner’s Memos CNU-18-040. Information regarding percentage of Identified Students as reported by LEAs/schools as of April 2, 2018, is available on the Child Nutrition website under “Special Provisions”.
  2.  Documentation of approval by the school board to elect to participate. 

Contact the Arkansas Department of Education Child Nutrition Unit (ADE CNU) at 501-324-9502 for additional information and assistance in the decision making process.  USDA has provided a CEP calculator to determine the cost effectiveness of implementing this special provision.  Additional information may also be found on the ADE CNU webpage under “Special Provisions”.

The deadline to elect to participate in CEP for SY2018-2019 is June 29, 2018.

SFAs/schools approved by the ADE CNU to participate in CEP will be notified by letter after all documentation has been received.  The SY2018-2019 Community Eligibility Provision Addendums (both pages) to the Child Nutrition Agreement and Policy Statement will be included as an attachment with the approval letter.  These addendums must be signed and returned to ADE CNU at the address provided.  A copy of the signed CEP Addendum to the Agreement and Policy Statement will be returned to the SFA and must be on file before meals are provided to students at no charge.

For NSL funding information refer to Commissioner’s Memo FIN-15-101.

For additional information on Title I and E-Rate for schools electing CEP refer to the “Community Eligibility Provision Planning and Implementation Guidance” (September 2016) at:



2018-19 CEP Election Form


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