Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) Program to offer “No Cost Meals” at KCS Title Schools

Published July 21 at 8:46 a.m.
KINGSPORT, Tenn. – Starting Monday, August 1, 2016, Kingsport City Schools will participate in and implement the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) program, a provision that allows high-poverty schools to offer breakfast and lunch at no charge to all students while eliminating the traditional school meal application process. CEP is part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA).

The following six KCS title schools will participate during the 2016-17 school year: Jackson Elementary School, Johnson Elementary School, Kennedy Elementary School, Lincoln Elementary School, Roosevelt Elementary School and Sevier Middle School.  

Community eligibility enables schools to serve breakfast and lunch at no cost to all students and eliminates the need for schools to collect paper applications by basing reimbursement levels on “identified students.”  Identified students are either directly certified based on their household’s participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF, or cash assistance), the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), those considered homeless, migrant, runaway, Head Start, or foster children. Students enrolled in CEP schools will no longer be required to complete a free and reduced meal application. Every enrolled student will be able to eat both breakfast and lunch free of charge without filling out any forms.

“I am very excited about this opportunity for our families in Kingsport City Schools,” said Jennifer Walker, KCS Supervisor of School Nutrition Services. “This program will provide all students access to healthy meals at no cost and relieve the burden of paper work involved with free and reduced meal applications. Overall, it will benefit students because they will be better prepared to learn.”

Benefits of the CEP include more students eating healthy meals and being ready to learn without stigma; less administrative work due to processing applications and collecting unpaid meal fees from families; improved financial viability of the school nutrition program since USDA would reimburse 97% of meal participation at the highest rate for these schools in our district; and overall, CEP will benefit KCS families, especially those who do not qualify for free and reduced meals but still have financial need.

Students will continue to have the option to add money to their accounts in order to purchase food items outside the reimbursable meal, such as ala carte items or seconds. Parents can still upload money to student’s accounts via MyPaymentsPlus. Should a household have students enrolled in both CEP and Non-CEP schools, please complete a Free and Reduced online application via

All students who qualify for free or reduced lunch at the schools that are not part of the CEP program will still receive the benefit and are encouraged to apply. The Free and Reduced online application can be found online at

For more information, visit the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) Community Eligibility page at or call KCS School Nutrition Services at (423) 378.2113.

Kingsport City Schools (KCS) is a public school district located in Kingsport, Tenn., serving students in Sullivan and Hawkins county. The district is comprised of 13 schools, including a Pre-K, eight elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school and a non-traditional school; with total enrollment over 7,100 students. The vision of Kingsport City Schools is to be, Student Focused … World Class.

KCS as been named the top school district in Tennessee as winner of the 2014 SCORE Prize District Award by the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) and has earned the 2014 Achievement Award in the annual Excellence in Tennessee Recognition Program by the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence (TNPCE).

For more information on KCS, visit, listen live on WCSK 90.3 FMThe Voice of KCS, read our blog, We Are KCS, or call (423) 378.2100. We’re social too; follow us on Facebook (Kingsport City Schools), Twitter (@KCS_District) and check out our YouTube Channel (KPTSchools).