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Ephrata School District

Students in Ephrata will eat for free next year thanks to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), which offers funding to qualifying school districts.

CEP is a provision of the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010, which allows schools and school districts in low-income areas to serve breakfast and lunch at no charge to all enrolled students. Under CEP, when 40 percent or more of the student body is eligible for free school meals via other poverty programs, the entire school becomes eligible for free breakfasts and lunches. 

“Ephrata began offering free meals during the pandemic,” said Ephrata School District Superintendent, Tim Payne. “We’re pleased that this program allows us to continue offering all students access to nutritious food so they can come to class well-nourished and ready to learn.”

Ephrata Schools strongly encourages those families that would have qualified for free meals under the old program to continue to complete the annual income survey form. These forms will be mailed to families later this summer.

“The annual income survey is extremely important and helps to fund many different programs at Ephrata Schools,” said Payne. "Data from this survey allows us to offer Associated Student Body cards at no cost to students that qualify, increases funding for technology and offers learning assistance programs to students in need.”  

Families that utilized the meal program in Ephrata Schools prior to the pandemic may have dollars remaining on their student accounts or may still owe for meals consumed during the 2019-2020 school year. Approximately $3,200 remains outstanding on student meal accounts. 

To check the status of student accounts, families should contact the office of their child’s school. Families with a credit balance can ask for a refund or may transfer remaining funds to another student account with a balance due. 


About Ephrata Schools:
Since 1909, Ephrata Schools have provided a quality public education to all students, regardless of ability, race, wealth, language, religion or country of origin. At Ephrata Schools, we exist for kids and learning. We are deeply committed to every child's journey and work hard to ensure that every student graduates ready for career and life. For more information about the Ephrata School District, please visit

Media Contact:
Sarah Morford, Communications Officer | Office: (509) 754-7235 |