The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) is required to comply with the regulations of the United States Office of Civil Rights. Local Education Agencies (LEAs) that receive federal funds from USDA such as Child Nutrition Program lunch, breakfast, snack, or milk reimbursements must collect data specific to their operations regarding non-discrimination and civil rights. Most school districts and many nonpublic schools already collect this data as part of the No Child Left Behind Act. Therefore most schools, including all public school districts, no longer need to complete the Civil Rights Data Collection form that was required annually in the past because it is duplicative. The data collected must ensure that it includes all potential eligible participants by race and ethnic category, and that it is accessible for review with regard to participation in the child nutrition programs. The ethnic category data must identify/specify Hispanic or Latino and Not Hispanic or Latino. The categories for race must include American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and White. Since this information is collected on the Basic Educational Data System (BEDS) report that is submitted to the State Education Department each fall, it is not necessary to duplicate efforts with regard to data collection.
For those schools or facilities participating in the Child Nutrition Programs that do not collect this specific data in another department, the Civil Rights Compliance Report must be completed and kept on file in your district, school or residential childcare institution.
Regardless, Annual Civil Rights training must be provided by the LEA for all staff, including front line cafeteria staff who deal directly with program applicants and participants. A PowerPoint Presentation is available for your use in training staff. It is located under workshops/meetings/training. A record of the annual training provided, which include a sign-in sheet, the date, location, and who provided the training, must be kept for three years plus the current year as required for all program documents.
In addition, a non-discrimination poster (e.g., “Justice for All”) must be on display in all buildings where Child Nutrition Programs are in operation. Federal and State reviewers are required to observe the poster and check for Civil Rights data collection. All materials associated with the Child Nutrition Programs must include the correct non-discrimination statement as shown below.
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) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, 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.