USDA Proposes Lower Threshold for Schools to Qualify for Free Meals (March 23, 2023)

On March 23, 2023, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed a rule to expand access to the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), which allows high-poverty schools to serve free breakfast and lunch to all students without requiring families to file an application.

The proposed change would lower the minimum threshold of the “Identified Student Percentage” (ISP) from 40% to 25% for a school or district to qualify for CEP. That percentage is calculated by dividing the number of students eligible for free meals by the total student enrollment. 

The USDA opened a 45-day public comment period on the proposed CEP rule beginning March 23, 2023. 

Source: K-12 Dive

For more from K-12 Dive, click here.