Now that we’re back in the swing of the new school year, we have been keeping an extra-close eye on our Google Alerts for all of the latest school breakfast and school lunch news for SY 2016-17. In between back-to-school breakfast celebrations and preparations for the upcoming National School Lunch Week celebrations, a few articles about Community Eligibility Provision caught our attention.
- In Texas, more than one million students received free breakfast and lunch thanks to CEP; 10 million more breakfasts were served in SY 2014-15 than in SY 2012-13.
- Delaware Rep. Ed Osienski has sponsored a “Breakfast After the Bell” law that requires public and charter schools participating in CEP to adopt proven ‘alternative service model’ breakfasts to students at no cost.
- Students at Northside Elementary in La Crosse, Wisconsin will enjoy universal breakfast and lunch this year thanks to CEP.
We could go on, but you get the idea—CEP is being implemented in schools across the country, and to great success. Earlier in September the School Nutrition Association released its annual Operations Report, which is based on survey responses from nearly 1000 school nutrition directors nationwide. Among other things, the survey tracked the expansion of CEP; 24 percent of respondents reported using CEP, which became available to schools nationwide in SY 2014-15.
Given the enthusiasm and success of the Community Eligibility Provision, and its dominance in recent headlines, we’re especially excited to sit in on the Thursday, October 13 webinar on CEP from our friends at Food Research & Action Center. This one hour webinar is from their Breakfast Matters series, and will focus on tips and best practices for rolling out CEP during the school year. Are you an SNA member? You can also find CEP webinars in the new SNA Webinars OnDemand library.
To learn more about CEP, check out the USDA Community Eligibility Provision Resource Center, which includes webinars, fact sheets, sample letters, and more.
Are you interesting in learning more about how pairing breakfast-in-the-classroom with CEP can help both programs succeed? Check out some of our past interviews with Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom-funded schools that are also using CEP to maximize access for all students:
- Butts County School District Leveraging Partners for BIC Grant to Make Community Eligibility a Success (September 8, 2015)
- Partners for BIC Chat: Lisa Leggett, Director of Crisp County Schools, Georgia (January 20, 2016)
- Partners for BIC Chat, #NSBW16 Edition: Meredith Potter & Lauren Koff, Houston County Schools, Georgia (March 11, 2016)
- Partners for BIC Chat: Craig Hodge, CNP Director, Clarke County School District, Alabama (May 16, 2016)