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Paid Lunch Equity (PLE)


The Paid Lunch Equity (PLE) Tool was created to assist School Food Authorities (SFAs) calculate their paid lunch price increase requirements and/or non-Federal source contributions to meet the requirements specified in 7 CFR 210.14(e).

The PLE tool compares the weighted price for paid lunches to the determined targeted weighted average price. The targeted weighted average price is the difference between the per meal Federal reimbursement for free meals and paid lunches. 

If a SFA's average weighted price for lunches is less than the targeted weighted average price, the SFA must take action to address the difference. 

  • Please note:

    For School Year 2022-23, sponsors are not required to submit the Paid Lunch Equity tool to our office or increase paid student prices. This allows schools to price their paid lunches at a level that best addresses local needs. This flexibility does not apply to adult lunch prices. Sponsors are still encouraged to review their budget and assess paid lunch prices using the PLE tool to ensure costs are covered and the paid lunch prices this school year don’t adversely affect the nonprofit food service account in future years. For questions, email

EDAC approval stamp for paid lunch equity

Questions? E-mail or call 303-854-4915.