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Nationwide Waiver for CEP Deadlines

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Main Web Page

Based on the public health emergency due to COVID-19, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) established a nationwide waiver to support the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) while schools are responding to COVID-19.

This waiver makes the following adjustments to annual CEP deadlines:

  • CEP Requirement: Data Used to Calculate Identified Student Percentage (ISP)
    • Annual Data Deadline: April 1
    • New Extended Data Deadline: Anytime between July 1, 2020. and June 30, 2021

  • CEP Requirement: Elect CEP for Following School Year (SY)
    • Annual Application Deadline: June 30
    • New Extended Application Deadline: September 30, 2021

To review the complete language of the FNS CEP Waiver, please visit the USDA web page External link opens in new window or tab..

COVID-19 Resources

For updated information, sponsors are directed to visit the California Department of Education (CDE) COVID-19 Guidance for Child Nutrition Programs web page and the COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions web page.

For information on waivers and communication sent out to program operators, please refer to the CDE Nutrition What’s New web page under the Disaster tab.


The 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 and high poverty schools, while eliminating the meal application process. For more information on the CEP, please visit the CDE CEP web page at CDE CEP web page.

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 Child Nutrition Information and Payment System, Form ID Caseload.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Monday, April 5, 2021
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