The USDA published a final rule in the Federal Register on September 26, 2023, to expand access to the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) by lowering the minimum identified student percentage (ISP)1 participation threshold from 40 percent to 25 percent. The rule gives more high-need schools the option to elect CEP and offer all students healthy school meals at no cost when it is financially viable for them to do so.
The combination of the federal change and the Community Eligibility Provision State Subsidy has provided our district with the opportunity to apply for free meals for breakfast and lunch for all of our students. We submitted the application and were awarded the reimbursement rates for every meal.
Beginning on December 1, 2023, students enrolled at Valley Central CSD are now eligible to receive a healthy breakfast and lunch at school at no charge to your household each day of the 2023-24 school year.