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Office of P-20 Education Policy
Child Nutrition Program Administration
89 Washington Avenue, Room 375 EBA, Albany, NY 12234
Phone: (518) 473-8781 Fax: (518) 473-0018

School Food Service Directors/Managers
Child Nutrition Program Administration
Friday, October 6, 2023
Expansion of Community Eligibility Provision in New York State

Applications Due December 15, 2023, for 2023-2024 mid-year election

The New York State Education Department, Office of Child Nutrition, will host a webinar on October 16, 2023 from 1pm to 2pm to discuss the expansion of the Community Eligibility Provision.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has expanded access to the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) by lowering the minimum identified student percentage (ISP) participation threshold from 40 percent to 25 percent. This federal change, combined with the CEP State Subsidy, will open a window of opportunity for many students across New York State to receive meals at no cost, while ensuring schools receive the equivalent of the free reimbursement rates for every meal.

School Food Authorities (SFAs) should immediately determine if one of their schools, a group of their schools, or their entire district is now eligible to participate in CEP. The School List for CEP As of December 4, 2023 provides data to assist schools with determining potential for CEP participation.

2023-2024 Mid-Year CEP Election

SFAs may now apply/reapply for CEP to add newly eligible schools until December 15, 2023. SFAs currently operating CEP, but not adding additional school buildings, do not need to reapply.

CEP Application

CEP Application Instructions

Please note that CEP regulations require SFAs to use April 1 data to calculate their CEP ISP. However, for this mid-year election, SFAs without access to April 1, 2023 enrollment information may use enrollment as of October 6, 2023.

Once a complete and accurate application has been submitted, allow two weeks for processing. Notification of CEP election approval will be sent via email to the SFA’s designated Child Nutrition Management System Administrator and Users. The approval notification will include sample letters to notify your school community of CEP participation, a link to a sample alternate Household Income Form that may be used to collect income information for other funding that use child nutrition data as a proxy for poverty.

2023-2024 Mid-year CEP Implementation

Schools can implement CEP elections at the beginning of the month following approval. CEP cannot begin mid-month. For example, an SFA approved on November 17, 2023, must wait until December 1, 2023 to implement CEP.

More Information about CEP:

The Office of Child Nutrition is available to assist schools with evaluating CEP eligibility and with the CEP application process at 518-473-8781, or .

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at:, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:

  1. mail:
    U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
  2. fax:
    (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
  3. email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Click here for Nondiscrimination Statement translations.