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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). In an effort to assist all SFAs with this annual requirement, CDE has created a customized PLE tool. 

The PLE tool compares the average weighted price for paid lunches to the determined targeted weighted average price. 

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. 


  • Increase the average price charged for paid meals; or, 
  • Add non-Federal funds (general fund transfer) to the nonprofit food service account to cover price gap; or, 
  • Both, increase student paid lunch prices and make a non-Federal fund transfer for remaining price gap 
  • Apply for an Exemption: SFA must submit the nonprofit food service account balance sheet as of 12/31/19 to along with a completed CDE PLE tool. 

SFAs only need to complete and submit the CDE PLE Tool. SFAs need to submit the CDE PLE tool to by June 30, 2020. Each SFA, even if the required amount is already being charged, must email a completed copy. 

Questions? E-mail or call 303-866-6670.