The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination in all federal meal programs on the basis of race, color, age, national origin, sex, or disability.
- Collection and use of data
- Program applicants/participants may not be required to furnish information on their race or ethnicity on the application for free and reduced meals.
- Racial and Ethnic data form must be completed annually.
- Effective public notification systems
- Place the nondiscrimination “Justice For All” poster in a prominent area where participants and potential participants have ready access
- The public notification system contains the following basic elements
- Program Availability
- Complaint information
- Nondiscrimination Statement
- Complaint procedures
- The person alleging the complaint must be provided with the nondiscrimination statement and procedure
- The nondiscrimination statement has the complaint process (the statement is on the “Justice For All” poster)
- A complaint alleging discrimination must be made within 180 days of the event
- Complaints should be forwarded to NDDPI or directly to USDA using the address in the nondiscrimination statement
- Compliance review techniques
- The State Agency reviews civil rights as part of the compliance monitoring
- The Sponsor must check for civil rights compliance when performing annual on-site reviews
- Resolution of non-compliance
- Resolve all civil rights issues (examples- special dietary needs, language asst.)
- Be responsive to corrective action regarding civil rights
- Requirements for reasonable accommodation of persons with disabilities – such as:
- Special dietary needs
- Special eating utensils
- Equal access and service
- Requirements for language assistance
- Forms are available in different languages, please contact the State Agency
- Local Agencies must take reasonable steps to assure “meaningful” access to the information and services they provide…especially for people with Limited English Proficiency (LEP): individuals who do not speak English as their primary language and who have a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English.
- Conflict resolution
- Assess the nature of the problem
- Take appropriate steps to notify all pertinent parties that there is a problem and work together to make a solution
- Customer service
- When a parent approaches you regarding a special dietary or any civil rights issue, treat them with respect and be helpful
- All participants must be treated in the same manner
- Be proactive and accommodating
Examples of Discrimination:
- Refuse a child’s participation based on disability
- Serving meals at a time, place, or manner that is discriminatory
- Selectively distributing applications
- Segregating kids
- Deliberately separating girls and boys
- Not offering the CACFP/SFSP program to infants
Civil Rights/Meal Access
Denying Meals as a Disciplinary Action
The denial of meals or snacks as a disciplinary action, regardless of free, reduced-price or paid eligibility, is prohibited.
Forcing Students to Eat is Not Allowed
It can be very frustrating for some adults to see students throwing food away especially if you have the mindset that children need to belong to the clean plate club. Forcing children to eat can make them feel their own physical instincts aren't important and keep them from listening to their bodies. If allowed to follow their own instincts, children will stop eating when they are full. Forcing children to clean their plates has no place in the child nutrition programs. Using food as a reward is prohibited.
Document Annual Civil Rights Training –
I certify that I have read and understand the above information regarding Civil Rights in all federal meal programs.
Signature: ______________________________ Print Name: __________________________ Date:___________
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.
Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027), and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form.
To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter 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;
(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or
(3) email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.