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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
Tuesday, September 26, 2023
USDA Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) Final Rule

USDA has released the Final Rule: Child Nutrition Programs - CEP Increasing Options for Schools. This final rule amends the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) regulations by lowering the minimum identified student percentage (ISP) from 40 percent to 25 percent.

These regulatory changes, combined with the New York State CEP Subsidy (that ensures schools are reimbursed at an amount equal to the full federal reimbursement for all CEP meals, eliminating what would otherwise be a local expense under the federal program), allows more schools to participate in CEP and experience the associated benefits, such as increasing students’ access to healthy, no-cost school meals; eliminating unpaid meal charges; reducing stigma; and streamlining program administration and meal service operations.

The New York State Education Department (SED) has requested waiver flexibilities from USDA necessary to allow schools to apply or reapply to participate in CEP during the 2023-2024 school year under the new final rule. SED’s Child Nutrition Office will communicate and provide guidance and training to schools on next steps once these flexibilities have been granted.

Please reach out to the Child Nutrition Office at 518-473-8781 or by email with any questions.  

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.