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CEP Application Information

The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) is a four-year alternative meal counting and collection procedure included as part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. The intent of the CEP is to improve student access to free meals in eligible local educational agencies (LEA) and high poverty schools, while eliminating the meal application process. For more information on the CEP, please visit the California Department of Education (CDE) CEP web page.

LEAs may apply for the CEP by individual site(s), by school groups, or by district. To apply for the CEP, the site, group of sites, or district must have an Identified Student Percentage (ISP) of 40 percent or greater. The ISP is determined based on the number of directly certified students in the site, group of sites, or district. For more information on the application process and to calculate your LEA’s ISP, please refer to Management Bulletin SNP-03-2019, which is posted on the CDE CEP Application and Increasing ISP web page. Also included on the CDE CEP web page is a reimbursement estimator created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The CDE recommends that LEAs interested in applying for the CEP predetermine if the CEP is a good financial decision for their agency by completing the USDA reimbursement estimator.

While the USDA has provided nationwide waivers that allow LEAs to provide meals in a more universal setting during COVID-19, these waivers are currently scheduled to expire on September 30, 2021. Participation in the CEP provides LEAs with an opportunity to provide universal meals to students after the USDA COVID-19 waivers expire.

If you are interested in applying for the CEP, please note the following dates:

  • April 1, 2021—extract direct certification and enrollment lists
    (California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) direct certification data extract for July 1 through March 31 is typically available to LEAs April 7 through 10. Students identified as directly certified on this data extract may be included in the ISP if they were enrolled as of April 1).
  • June 30, 2021—the deadline to apply for the CEP for School Year 2021–22

The following forms are required when applying for the CEP:

  • Form SNP-71, CEP–Application Checklist
  • Form SNP-19, CEP–Implementation Request
  • Form SNP-55, CEP–Identified Students Preapproval Review
  • All source documents used to calculate the ISP

All forms are located in the Download Forms section of the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS) External link opens in new window or tab.. Instructions on how to submit each form and the source documents are included on the SNP-71. Please note that the application process has changed. Instead of mailing documents, LEAs are required to upload all documents into CNIPS.

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact your county’s School Nutrition Programs (SNP) Specialist. A list of SNP Specialists is available in the Download Forms section of the CNIPS, Form ID Caseload. You can also contact Jeremy Partsch, SNP Unit Office Technician, by phone at 916-322-3005 or 800-952-5609, Option 2, or by email at to be directed to your SNP Specialist.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, March 16, 2021
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