" June 1, 2022 - The 2022-2023 Paid Lunch Equity (PLE) tool was posted to SquareMeals on May 24. Additionally, USDA has announced new PLE flexibilities for SY 2022-2023.
June 1, 2022 - The 2022-2023 Paid Lunch Equity (PLE) tool was posted to SquareMeals on May 24. Contracting Entities (CEs) should use the price they last charged students (for many CEs, this will be SY 2019-20 prices) as the basis for their SY 2022-23 PLE calculation.
As a reminder, per the Consolidated Appropriations Act, any CE with a positive or zero balance in its nonprofit school food service account as of December 31, 2021, is exempt from PLE pricing requirements found at 7 CFR 210.14(e) for school year (SY) 2022-23.
In addition, CEs with a negative nonprofit food service account are provided the extra flexibility to not raise their paid lunch prices in SY 2022-23. CEs wishing to use this flexibility must notify TDA. TDA is developing a form that will be available on the Intake Forms page of SquareMeals: https://squaremeals.org/FandNResources/CoronavirusUpdateforContractingEntities/IntakeForms.aspx
Schools should carefully review their budgets before adjusting their paid lunch prices in SY 2022-23. Some considerations include:
- Reimbursement will return to NSLP rates
- Reimbursement still be based on eligibility of child
- Increased food costs
- Fluctuation in participation
- Meal quality should not decrease if a school decides to lower their paid lunch prices