CLOVIS (KSMX)- Continuously seeking ways to offer the students and community as much support as possible, several years ago, Clovis Municipal Schools began participating in Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), a federally funded program offered by the USDA which allows schools in high poverty communities to offer free meals for all students.
As a federal program, USDA criteria to qualify for CEP funding is based on the demographics of a given school zone, particularly, the number of residents who receive federal benefits including TANF, SNAP, and Medicaid.
Additional factors considered are students identified as homeless, Head Start participants, foster and migrant children. In school zones where the number of students classified as or qualifying for these benefits represent a majority of the student population, the USDA compensates school districts for the cost of meal programs so students can be offered nutritional meals at no cost.
According to the USDA, “The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) is a non-pricing meal service option for schools and school districts in low-income areas. CEP allows the nation’s highest poverty schools and districts to serve breakfast and lunch at no cost to all enrolled students without collecting household applications.
Instead, schools that adopt CEP are reimbursed using a formula based on the percentage of students categorically eligible for free meals based on them participation in other specific means-tested programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).”
Clovis Municipal Schools has been fortunate to be able to utilize the CEP program, providing free meals to the students at 11 of the 17 schools in the district.
For students at the remaining 6 schools that do not qualify for CEP, free and reduced meals are available to individual families who qualify by submitting an application. Additionally, the district has taken steps to assist students and families with the cost of meals by offering free breakfast to all students at all schools. In the case of students who qualify for reduced meal prices, the district also absorbs the price difference, offering those students free meals.
For more information about the USDA CEP program, visit:
If you would like further information about our Student Nutrition programs, or need assistance in applying for free or reduced meals, please call the administration office at 575-769-4300.