The Community Eligibility Provision, (CEP), is a federal program that allows schools that serve a high proportion of low-income students to offer free breakfast and lunch to ALL students rather than collecting individual applications. The program qualifies all students attending YES Prep Public Schools for free meals as a district versus as individuals based on family eligibility/income. A huge thank you to our dedicated Director of Child Nutrition Programs, Nakita Johnson.
YES Prep will offer free breakfast and lunch meals to 100% of our eligible campuses* and anticipates great success with the CEP which will allow us to make numerous improvements to our nutrition program. These are five ways in which the CEP will help our students and their families:
- Increasing participation. All students receive breakfast and lunch meals at no charge!
- Improving efficiency. CEP helps lunch lines move more quickly, allowing students more time to enjoy their meal.
- Eliminating stigma. Because all students eat at no charge, students at CEP schools are no longer identified as low-income in the lunch line, and no student at a CEP school will ever be denied a meal (or substituted an alternate meal) due to a negative account balance.
- Fighting childhood hunger. Students attending CEP schools can count on two nutritious meals every school day and reduce hunger among our nation’s children.
- Less paperwork. CEP eliminates annual school meal application collection. Families will still need to complete the family income survey in order to ensure that YES Prep will continue to offer free breakfast and lunch meals to all student for the next 4 years. The application for free and reduced lunch, however, will no longer be needed.**
*Students at partnership schools- YES Prep Hoffman, YES Prep Eisenhower, YES Prep Northbrook Middle School and YES Prep Northbrook High School should continue to fill out lunch applications to qualify for free or reduced meals.
** As our newest campus, YES Prep Northwest families must complete the applications for free and reduced lunch for the 2018-2019 school year. They must also complete the family income survey in order to be included in the CEP for the 2019-2020 school year. This will be the case for every new YES Prep Campus