For one week starting Monday, May 23, No Kid Hungry is dropping short and informative videos on Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) into your inbox. CEP is a great way to continue serving free breakfast and lunch to all of your students in school year 2022-2023! The information presented will help schools considering CEP and also provide ways to improve and expand existing CEP programs.

In today’s video, learn how CEP and Provision 2 compare to traditional counting and claiming. You will also hear the considerations and opportunities of each program option. 

Watch Day 1’s Video on YouTube!


In today’s video, learn how CEP can impact revenue and costs. You will also learn how you can manage the program to maintain overall financial stability in year one and beyond. 

Watch Day 2’s Video on YouTube!


In today’s video, learn how to make the case for CEP! Now that you understand the program, it’s time to talk to your administrators and central business office. In this video you will learn how to coordinate your district’s data needs (including Title I) and hear strategies for implementing CEP in some but not all of your schools. 

Watch Day 3’s Video on YouTube!


In today’s video, dive deep into maximizing your district’s Identified Student Percentage (ISP) which is critical to maximizing reimbursement. You will learn how to resolve issues in data matching and pick-up tips and tricks for special circumstances. 

Watch Day 4’s Video on YouTube!


You made it to Day 5 of CEP Week! Congratulations!  In our last video, you will learn how to measure CEP success and tips for ensuring future program stability. You will also learn about what Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are most effective to measure success.

Watch Day 5’s Video on YouTube!


School districts can use CEP to continue feeding all students, both breakfast and lunch, at no cost to their students and their families. 

As of today (May 23, 2022), the USDA does not have the authority to issue or extend nationwide waivers for School Year 2022-23. This means that SFAs will need to return to operating the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program next school year. Schools will need to collect income eligibility applications, claim meals according to students’ fee status, and charge students who do not qualify for free meals, unless a school is eligible and approved to implement a provision like the Community Eligibility Provision.

Also, California is now a universal meals state! Beginning in School Year 2022-23, the California Department of Education is requiring public school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools with an Identified Student Percentage (ISP) of 40% or greater to apply for a federal feeding provision such as the CEP or Provisions 1, 2, or 3. 

The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) is a federal school meal funding option that enables schools, participating in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program, to provide free meals to all students.

Resource: One-page CEP Overview

At this time, all of the usual CEP deadlines still apply. However, state agencies can submit deadline extension requests to USDA. Please reach out to CDE for the latest state specific information. 

Important Deadlines:

  • April 1 – Data Used to Calculate ISP

    Please note that CALPADS will be down from April 6 to April 11. LEAs may pull their CALPADS report April 12-15 and this will still reflect April 1 data.

  • April 15 – LEA Notification

  • April 15 – State Agency Notification

  • May 1 – State Agency Publication

State CEP Waiver Approved! SFAs may use data from anytime between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022 to establish ISP.

  • June 30 – Elect CEP for Following School Year

For more details on CEP deadlines, see this USDA memo and Planning & Implementation Guidance

CEP Assessment Tools

From maximizing ISPs to business savvy strategies to increase revenue. We have several tools for you!

Meals Count is a free tool to help school districts optimize their Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) applications, maximize school meal funding, and fight childhood hunger.

*NEW* CEP Data Analysis Tool

We are here to help! Have a question about CEP Rules & Policies, Technical Assistance, or the Tool.



The CEP Workgroup is a series of workshops led by school nutrition peers and experts, for school nutrition directors to help them prepare for the transition to CEP. Each session offers one-on-one support, active discussions with other districts, and a deep dive on each topics. The sessions include some of the following topics:

  • CEP Basics & Universal Meals for SY22-23

  • The Power of Partnerships & Strategic Groupings to Maximize ISP

  • Tips on Direct Certification & Data Management

  • Alternative Income Forms, Stakeholder Buy-In & Communications

  • Increasing Capacity & Participation with CEP

Rewatch the sessions! Watch the playlists of speaker presentations from both: CEP Workgroup 1.0 and CEP Workgroup 2.0.

Registration for this year’s cohort is closed. If you are interested in learning about the Workgroup or joining a future cohort, contact us and stay tuned!


We encourage you to always visit the California’s Department of Education and USDA websites for up-to-date information, deadlines, and waiver information.

Last Reviewed: August 3, 2022