USDA shows August 31st deadline to sign up for CEP

There seems to be confusion by some in the Lowell School Dept. over how the CEP effects Chap..70 and other federal funding. the fact Worcester, Boston, Springfield and New Bedford have all signed up should be a sign that they found out it doesn’t affect them negatively. Maybe IF the Dep. Supt or someone from the business office instead of food service attended the winter seminar they would. have a better understanding.

The deadline according to the USDA Community Eligibility Provision page is August 31, 2015 which seems to me to give Lowell a month.

Maybe if we had stability in the Administration someone would be assigned to look into this from the Business Side.

Here is what is on the USDA has posted.

DATE:March 04, 2015 SP 25- 2015
MEMO CODE: SUBJECT: Extension of the Deadline for Local Educational Agencies to Elect the Community Eligibility Provision for School Year 2015-16
TO:Regional Directors
Special Nutrition Programs All Regions
State Directors
Child Nutrition Programs All States

One important goal of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA) is to ensure that children have access to the nutrition they need to grow into healthy adults. The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), as authorized by amendments made in HHFKA Section 11(a)(1)(F), of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (NSLA), 42 USC 1759a(a)(1)(F), is a powerful tool to ensure children in low income communities have access to healthy school meals. CEP allows participating schools to offer healthy, free lunches and breakfasts to all students without requiring their families to complete individual applications. First rolled out in pilot states beginning in School Year (SY) 2011-2012, CEP became available for nationwide implementation this school year. As a result, in SY 2014-2015, approximately 14,000 schools in more than 2,000 local educational agencies (LEAs) serving more than 6.4 million children elected to participate in the CEP for its ability to both reduce administrative burden and increase access to school meals for children in low income communities.

A 2014 Department of Agriculture (USDA) study of the CEP implementation in the pilot states recognized several benefits. The study provided strong support for the CEP as an error reduction strategy. Participating schools had significantly fewer certification errors than non-CEP schools. The study also indicated that participating schools demonstrated increased participation in their lunch and breakfast programs, experienced revenue gains and decreased administrative costs.

Participation in CEP is a local decision and one that requires careful consideration of many factors by LEAs. For some LEAs, the decision process to elect to participate depends on the approval of governing bodies with administrative control of the LEA. Additionally, LEAs may seek the support of various partners and stakeholders when considering CEP participation. Pursuant to the amendments made by HHFKA, LEAs have until June 30, 2015, to elect to participate in CEP. Because of the multiple benefits of CEP and in light of the unique decision process involved in electing CEP, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is extending the election deadline until August 31, 2015.

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