The 2015-2016 school year marked the second year of nationwide availability of Community Eligibility, an option allowing qualifying schools to offer breakfast and lunch at no charge to all students without collecting and processing individual school meal applications. More than 18,000 schools in 3,000 school districts across the country have now adopted Community Eligibility, an increase of 4,000 schools compared to last year.
These 18,000 schools represent over just over half of eligible of all eligible schools and serve about 8.5 millions children. The popularity of Community Eligibility in the first two years of implementation speaks to the desire of schools to meet the needs of their most vulnerable students by providing a healthy breakfast and lunch, which in turn better prepares students to learn.
The chart below shows the percentage of eligible school district that have adopted Community Eligibility for the 2015-2016 school year. Hempstead School District is currently the only district on Long Island that has adopted Community Eligibility.
More information about Community Eligibility can be found in this report by Center on Budget and Policy Priorities