SNP Provisional Feeding

The outlined provisions may help school nutrition programs reduce their administrative burden and simplify their meal counting and claiming system.

Community Eligibility Provision

This provision allows schools and local educational agencies (LEAs) with high poverty rates to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students. CEP eliminates the burden of collecting household applications to determine eligibility for school meals, relying instead on information from other means-tested programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

In an effort to reduce paperwork, congress has incorporated three alternative provisions to the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). They are Provision 1, Provision 2, and Provision 3.

Provision 1

This provision reduces the application burden by allowing free eligibility to be certified for a two-year period. Schools are qualified for Provision 1 if they have at least 80 percent of the children enrolled eligible for free or reduced price meals. Provision 1 allows schools to reduce annual notification of program availability and certification of children eligible for free meals to once every two consecutive school years. All other households must be provided with a meal application and are allowed to apply for meal benefits each school year. Schools must continue to record daily meal counts served to children by type as the basis for calculating reimbursement claims.

Provision 2

This provision reduces the application burden and simplifies the meal counting and claiming procedures. Provision 2 allows schools to establish claiming percentages and to serve all meals at no charge for a four-year period. The schools must serve meals to all participating children at no charge throughout the four-year period. During the first year (base year) the school makes eligibility determinations and takes meal counts by type. During the next three years, the school makes no new eligibility determinations and counts only the total number of reimbursable meals served each day. Reimbursement during the four-year period is determined by applying the percentages of free, reduced price, and paid meals served during the corresponding month of the base year to the total meal count for the claiming month. The base year is included as part of the four years.

At the end of each four-year period, the State agency may approve four-year extensions if the income level of the school’s population remains stable. Schools electing this alternative must pay the difference between federal reimbursements and the cost of providing all meals at no charge. The money to pay for this difference must be from non-federal funds.

Provision 3

This provision reduces the application burden and meal counting and claiming procedures by allowing schools to simply receive the same level of federal cash and commodity assistance each year, with some adjustments, for a four-year period. Schools must serve meals to all participating children at no charge for the four-year period. These schools do not make additional eligibility determinations and instead receive the level of federal cash and commodity support paid to them for the last year in which they made eligibility determinations and meal counts by type (base year). For each year in the four-year period, the level of federal cash and commodity support is adjusted to reflect changes in enrollment and inflation. The base year is not included as part of the four years. At the end of the four-year period, the State agency may approve a four-year extension if the income level of the school’s population remains stable. Schools that elect this provision must pay the difference between federal reimbursement and the cost of providing all meals at no charge with non-federal funds.

More information on Provision 1, 2, or 3