Universal Free School Meals & The Community Eligibility Provision: Current Landscape of State Legislation

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A growing number of states have advanced legislation in recent years to support universal free school meals (UFSM). Many of these approaches leverage federal funding streams, like the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). The use of CEP has dramatically expanded since it became an option for schools in 2014, in part because of state legislation. As a result, many states are approaching UFSM and CEP in tandem, often including provisions related to both in legislation.

This resource summarizes the national landscape of state legislation related to UFSM and/or CEP, outlines a policy menu based on this landscape, and includes a list of UFSM/CEP legislation from January 2018 and August 2, 2022.