Latest News for School Nutrition Programs

Paid Lunch Equity Flexibilities for School Year 2022-2023 – Request Form is LIVE

" July 1, 2022 - USDA announced new PLE flexibilities for SY 2022-2023. Any NSLP 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 for SY 2022-2023. Additionally, USDA is exempting CEs with a negative nonprofit food service account balance as of December 31, 2021, from raising meal prices in accordance with PLE requirements. CEs with a negative balance planning to use this flexibility must notify TDA via request form available on the Intake Forms page of SquareMeals.org.
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July 1, 2022 - The 2022-2023 Paid Lunch Equity (PLE) tool was posted to SquareMeals on May 24. When completing the PLE tool, CEs should use the price they last charged students as the basis for their SY 2022-2023 PLE calculation. For many CEs, this may be SY 2019-2020 prices. In addition, the latest PLE tool indicates that CEs should enter claims data from October 2021. CEs that do not have October 2021 data because they were operating SSO may enter the most recent claims data they have into this field.

Per the Consolidated Appropriations Act, any NSLP 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 for SY 2022-2023. CEs must document use of this flexibility but are not required to notify TDA.

To assist CEs and families in transitioning from universal free meal service to paid meals, USDA is exempting CEs with a negative nonprofit food service account balance as of December 31, 2021, from raising meal prices in accordance with PLE requirements. CEs with a negative balance planning to use this flexibility must notify TDA by completing the Notification of Paid Lunch Equity (PLE) Requirement Exemption Form, available on the Intake Forms page of SquareMeals.org here.

Note that schools should carefully review their budgets before adjusting their paid lunch prices in SY 2022-2023. Some considerations include:
      • Reimbursement will return to NSLP rates
      • Reimbursement will still be based on the eligibility of a child
      • Increased food costs
      • Fluctuation in participation
      • Meal quality should not decrease if a school lowers their paid lunch prices

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In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at: https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/USDA-OASCR%20P-Complaint-Form-0508-0002-508-11-28-17Fax2Mail.pdf, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:

1. Mail:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
2. Fax: (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
 
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
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