This school year many students across Delaware have the opportunity to eat breakfast and lunch at school at no cost thanks to USDA’s Community Eligibility Provision (CEP).
CEP was enacted as a result of the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act and provides universal meal service to students in schools/districts that qualify. The CEP is an alternative to collecting, approving and verifying household eligibility applications for free and reduced price meal benefits. If at least 40 percent of the student population is identified as eligible, the entire school qualifies for the CEP.
“Good nutrition can contribute to the academic success of students,” Secretary of Education Mark Murphy said. “Whenever a school can provide students access to free meals, it is a benefit for the students and the school.”
In fact, 92 Delaware schools that participate in the National School Lunch/School Breakfast Program have opted to function as CEP schools this school year. This means that in these 92 schools – which enroll more than 46,000 students -- all children can eat breakfast and lunch for free.