Paid Lunch Equity: Guidance for SY 2021-22
On June 22, 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) released the Paid Lunch Equity (PLE) Tool for School Year (SY) 2021–22.
The USDA SY 2021–22 PLE Tool is available in the Download Forms section of the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS) Form ID—USDA 2021–22 PLE Tool.
Please note, in completing the PLE Tool for SY 2021–22, if school food authorities (SFA) do not have pricing and/or sales data from October 2020, they can use October 2019 pricing and/or sales data.
As a reminder, SFAs may qualify for an exemption from complying with PLE requirements if one of the following scenarios applies:
- The SFA is able to provide proof of a positive or zero balance in its nonprofit school food service account as of December 31, 2020. Please reference California Department of Education (CDE) Management Bulletin (MB) SNP-02-2021 for guidance on how to request a PLE exemption.MB SNP-02-2021 can be found on the CDE Paid Lunch Equity Exemption Guidance web page.
- The SFA is operating the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) only during SY 2021–22. This exemption is explained in more detail in USDA’s Child Nutrition Waiver #97 –Nationwide Waiver to Provide Flexibility for School Meal Programs Administrative Reviews of SFAs Operating Only the SSO in SY 2021–22 .
For more information on PLE requirements, training, or instructions for filing a PLE exemption for SY 2021–22, please refer to the CDE Cafeteria Fund Guidance web page.
If you have questions regarding this subject, please contact the Resource Management Unit within the CDE Nutrition Services Division by email at email@example.com.