School Nutrition » Community Eligibility Provision

Community Eligibility Provision

Dear Parent or Guardian:

Tift County School System is participating in the National School Lunch Program Special Assistance Provision for Free Meal Reimbursement in School Year 2019-2020. A school district or a single school may offer meals at no charge to all students. Continued participation in this provision eliminates the procedure of distributing and processing free and reduced-price meal applications each school year.

All Tift County schools will be participating School Year 2019-2020. All schools offer Breakfast, Lunch and Snack at no charge to students.

By participating in the Community Eligibility Provision eliminating the need for meal applications, Tift County will reduce administrative and printing costs. Families also benefit from the elimination of completing and submitting meal applications.

Children need healthy meals to learn. Tift County offers healthy meals every school day at no charge to your child(ren). Our food service receives support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs (NSLP).

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 local education agencies (LEAs) and schools. This alternative, which is now part of the NSLP, is referred to as the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP).

To be eligible, LEAs and/or schools must meet a minimum level of “identified students” for free meals in the year prior to implementing the CEP; 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.


Vanessa Hayes, Chief Nutrition Officer, MPA CC SNS