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Updated USDA Guidance on the CEP

On February 6, 2024, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued the following Policy Memorandums:

  • SP 08-2024: Community Eligibility Provision: Planning and Implementation Guidance - Updated
  • SP 09-2024: Community Eligibility Provision: Guidance and Updated Q&As
  • SP 10-2024: Community Eligibility Provision: Statutory Annual Notification and Publication Requirements and School Year 2024–2025 Election Deadline*

*Please note that the California Department of Education (CDE) collects this data on behalf of the local educational agency (LEA) and no action is required from the LEA for this reporting requirement. These reports include proxy data and are informational only and do not automatically qualify your LEA or school for participating in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). Eligibility to participate in the CEP is based on your LEA’s application and identified student percentage (ISP) as of April 1 of the school year prior to participating in the CEP.

  • SP 11-2024: Community Eligibility Provision: State Agency Procedures to Ensure Identified Student Percentage Accuracy

You can view these policy memos on the USDA School Meals Policy web page External link opens in new window or tab..

USDA has also updated the CEP Fact Sheet External link opens in new window or tab., which can be found here.

The CEP is a four-year alternative meal counting and collection procedure. Participation in the CEP reduces paperwork and other administrative burdens at the local level by simplifying the traditional operating procedures for meal eligibility and meal counting while eliminating the meal application process. For more information on the CEP, please visit the CDE CEP web page.

Additional information on the CEP application process will be sent as the deadline approaches. The deadline to apply for the CEP is June 30, 2024.

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact your county’s School Nutrition Programs (SNP) Specialist. A current list of SNP Specialists is available on the SNP Specialist Directory web page. You can also contact to be directed to your SNP Specialist.


Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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