Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Paid Lunch Equity for Child Nutrition Programs

Memo Information

Memo Number
Memo Date
Memo Type
Child Nutrition
Regulatory Authority
Section 752, of Division A of the Appropriations Act for SY 2022-2023, SP 08-2022; 7 CFR 210.14(e)
Response Required
Superintendents; Principals; General Business Managers; Bookkeepers; Child Nutrition Directors/Managers

Primary Contact Information

Memo Text

The purpose of this memo is to provide guidance for paid lunch pricing in Child Nutrition Programs for the 2022-23 school year. The Paid Lunch Equity (PLE) tool is used to determine the weighted average price of a paid lunch prices for student meals or the amount of non- federal funds that must be put into the non-profit food service account. Under Section 752, of Division A of the Appropriations Act for SY 2022-2023, only a School Food Authority (SFA) having a negative balance in the nonprofit school food service account as of December 31, 2021, will be required to complete the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) PLE Tool. School districts with a zero or positive balance are exempt from this requirement but need to retain the APSCN Board Report for period 6 of 21 (December 2021) showing the balance.

All SFAs are encouraged to complete the PLE tool and establish a paid lunch price for student meals as a future reference.

All SFAs are required to complete the attached form and those districts who had a negative balance as of December 31, 2021 must also complete and send in a copy of the completed PLE tool to by July 15, 2022.

When completing the PLE tool, the number of paid lunches and the paid lunch price from October 2021 shall be used. SFAs that did not record paid lunch numbers in October 2021 may use October 2019 meal data to complete the PLE tool.

A step-by-step video detailing how to complete the PLE tool may be found here:

If you have any questions, please contact your Area Specialist at 501-324-9502

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