Every student who attends a Philadelphia District school is entitled to a free breakfast and lunch as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s school feeding program – because for a high-poverty district, it’s simply more economical and efficient to feed everyone.
Under the “community eligibility provision," or CEP, students are automatically eligible for free school meals if their family qualifies for other federal assistance programs such as SNAP (food stamps). The School District of Philadelphia has certified through state records that enough of its students fall into this category to warrant a universal feeding program.
But participation rates vary widely across the District, especially for breakfast. The table below shows the breakfast and lunch participation rates for all District schools from last school year. These data are provided by the School District and the participation rates compare the number of meals served to the school enrollment.
The rates for students at most Philadelphia charter schools can be found here. The charter rates are for October 2014 and are from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, so they are not directly comparable to the District data.