Julie Kelly's Blog
As Congress considers changes to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA), one little-known section of the law is expected to sharply increase the number of students receiving free lunch (and breakfast) over the next several years. This includes taxpayer-funded meals for students who would not have previously qualified under the old rules.
The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) allows entire school districts, rather than individual families, to qualify for subsidized meals. This is a stark departure from how the program has been administered over the last 70 years, when families needed to prove financial need. Now, all students in a school district are eligible if more than 40 percent are low-income. So even if only half of the students actually qualify, every single student will receive a free breakfast and lunch each day.