Community Eligibility Provision (CEP)
FPS participates in the USDA National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs. This federal program provides financial assistance, which enables schools to provide healthy breakfast and lunch meals to students at a low cost. The amount of financial assistance the school receives is determined by the number of meals served at a school. The program also provides payment assistance to households that qualify.
In 2014, the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) was developed as an option for schools in low-income areas to provide free breakfast and lunch meals to all students. The program uses an alternative calculation to determine the amount of financial assistance the school receives to provide meals.
Fargo Public Schools operates the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) at Madison Elementary School and Jefferson Elementary School. All students enrolled at Madison Elementary and Jefferson Elementary may participate in the School Breakfast Program and the National School Lunch Program at no charge. Household applications are not required to receive free meals, but applications will be distributed by the school to collect household income data for other school programs that require this information.
Additional information on CEP can be found on the USDA website.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) at Madison and Jefferson Elementary?
Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) was created as part of the USDA’s National School Lunch Program. It allows schools with high eligibility for free and reduced price lunches to opt in to provide free meals for all students in the school regardless of income.
If my child(ren) only attends either Madison or Jefferson, why should I complete a Free and Reduced Price Meal Application?
Your child receiving free breakfast and lunch meals at Madison or Jefferson does not depend on returning this application. However, information provided on the application has historically been used to determine, among other things, the amount of state aid for the school. Generally, a school with more eligible students will receive more state aid. This is why we encourage all families to provide information requested on the application.
Will my child(ren) at Madison and/or Jefferson Elementary receive free meals if even they don’t qualify based on the Free and Reduced Price Meal application?
All students at Madison and Jefferson Elementary receive free breakfast and lunch regardless of income or other information provided on the application.
Will all of my children receive free meals even if they don’t attend Madison Elementary?
Only Madison and Jefferson, with the CEP program, provides free meals to all students. If you have a child in a school that is not at Madison or Jefferson Elementary, that child will need to pay for meals. Children not at Madison or Jefferson Elementary may be eligible to receive free or reduced price meals at their schools if they qualify under the requirements of the free and reduced price lunch program. Families are encouraged to complete a Free and Reduced Price Meal Application to potentially qualify for meal payment assistance.
Why does one of my children get free lunch when another one doesn’t?
Students who are not eligible for free and reduced price lunches according to the criteria of the National School Lunch Program only receive free meals if they attend a CEP‐participating school.
Does a student leaving Madison and Jefferson Elementary and transferring to a different school receive free meals all year?
No. A student transferring out of Madison or Jefferson Elementary will receive free meals for 10 days. The student will then be charged full price for meals. Families with students transferring out of Madison are encouraged to complete an application for Free and Reduced Price Meals because they may be eligible for payment assistance for meals at their new school.
How do I come an application for Free and Reduced Price Meals?
Applications can be completed and submitted online at EZMealApp.com. Paper applications are available at the school office.
Who can I contact if I have more questions?
The Nutrition Services Department can be reached at 701-446-1152.