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This school year the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) will implement a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) pilot program at seven public schools, which will serve students free meals. This program is called the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) and it allows a school district, a group of schools or a single school to serve free meals to everyone even if they do not qualify for the free or reduced lunch reimbursement.

school meals

The CEP program has been adopted by schools around the country.

The Hawai’i schools participating in the pilot program are:
· Kaunakakai Elementary School
· Kilohana Elementary School
· Maunaloa Elementary School
· Molokai Middle School
· Molokai High School
· Linapuni Elementary School
· Mountain View Elementary School


To qualify for CEP, a district or school must have a minimum of 40% or more of its students eligible for free or reduced meals through the National School Lunch Program.

Currently HIDOE pays an average of $5.50 a meal inclusive of all related costs. The USDA reimburses the state $3.67 for students who qualify for a free meal and $0.40 for those that pay for a meal. Under the program, all students in a CEP school would qualify for the higher $3.67 reimbursement. The seven pilot schools will no longer be collecting meal monies. Families will be required to provide information for data collection.

For more details, visit the CEP Frequently Asked Questions page.

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