The Future of the Community Eligibility Program

For the last four years, Metro Schools has participated in the Community Eligibility Program (CEP).

CEP is the federal reimbursement program that allows school districts to offer lunch at no cost to students. Eligibility is based on poverty as measured by the direct certification numbers used for participants of government assistance programs. 

Based on the requirements of this federal program, Nashville’s current poverty level is 47% and the threshold is 60%, making us ineligible to participate across the district.

We know we have children who rely on our nutrition services program as a reliable source for a healthy meal. We will continue to provide free breakfast to all students in all schools and we will offer CEP to those schools that are eligible.

Metro Schools will make every effort to continue to work with the state to communicate about the district’s needs and the fact that we believe the actual poverty within the district is much greater than what is being reported through direct certification.