Section 104(a) of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (Act) amended section 11(a)(1) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to provide an alternative that eliminates the need for household applications for free and reduced-price meals in high-poverty LEAs and schools. This alternative, which is now part of the NSLP, is referred to as the Community Eligibility Provision (Community Eligibility).
To be eligible, LEAs and/or schools must meet a minimum level of “identified students” for free meals in the year prior to implementing Community Eligibility; agree to serve free breakfasts and lunches to all students; and agree to cover with non-Federal funds any costs of providing free meals to students above the amounts provided by Federal assistance. Reimbursement for each LEA or school is based on claiming percentages derived from the percentage of identified students, i.e., students certified for free meals through means other than individual household applications. The claiming percentages established in the first year for an LEA or school may be used for four school years and may be increased if the percentage of identified students rises for the LEA or school.