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THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234

Office of P-20 Education Policy
Child Nutrition Program Administration
89 Washington Avenue, Room 375 EBA, Albany, NY 12234
Phone: (518) 473-8781 Fax: (518) 473-0018

To: 
School Food Service Directors/Managers
From: 
Paula Tyner-Doyle, Coordinator
Date: 
Monday, October 17, 2016
Subject: 
Disclosure Information

The Healthy Meals for Healthy Americans Act of 1994, P.L. 103-448 amended Section 9(b)(2)(c) of the National School Lunch Act (NSLA) to allow limited disclosure of information about free and reduced price meals and/or free milk eligibility without parent/guardian consent. SFAs are not required to disclose eligibility information. Providing aggregate information that does not identify individuals continues to be permitted without parental consent.

Disclosure of Eligibility Information Without Parent/Guardian Consent

You may disclose, without parent/guardian consent, participants' names and eligibility status (whether they are eligible for free or reduced price meals or free milk) to persons directly connected with the administration or enforcement of the following programs:

  1. Federal education programs such as Title I and National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP). The term “persons directly connected” for the purpose of disclosure to NAEP includes Federal, State and local program operators responsible for NAEP program administration or program compliance and their contractors. This does not imply that these persons have routine access to participants’ eligibility status. There must be a “need to know” for legitimate NAEP purposes. We recommend that SFAs inform households if they plan to disclose or use eligibility information outside the originating program. We also recommend that the SFA enter into a written agreement with NAEP officials, as appropriate, that the agreement identify the entity receiving the information, describe the information to be disclosed and how it will be used, describe how the information will be protected from unauthorized uses and disclosures, and describe penalties for unauthorized disclosure.
  2. Certain State health or State education programs provided the State agency or local education agency administers the program. Representatives of State or local education agencies evaluating the results and compliance with student assessment programs would be covered only to the extent that the assessment program was established at the State, not local level. This includes the System for Tracking Education Performance (STEP) and the Statewide Student Data Repository (Data you Warehousing) which are State electronic reporting systems. This information is needed to meet the requirements of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), which involves the tracking of educational progress of economically disadvantaged children.
  3. Federal, State or local means-tested nutrition programs with eligibility standards comparable to the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), such as the Food Stamp Program.

In addition to names and eligibility status, you may disclose, without parent/guardian consent, all eligibility information obtained through the free and reduced price meal or free milk eligibility process, including all information on the application or obtained through direct certification or verification, to the following:

  1. Persons directly connected with the administration or enforcement of the programs authorized under the NSLA or Child Nutrition Act (CNA) of 1966. This includes the NSLP, the School Breakfast Program, Special Milk Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, Summer Food Service Program and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). Program eligibility information collected for any one of the Child Nutrition Programs (CNPs) may be shared with another CNP, even if the programs are sponsored by different entities. For example, a school may disclose eligibility information from applications without parental consent to a Summer Food Service Program administered by Parks and Recreation.
  2. The Comptroller General of the United States.
  3.  Federal, State or local law enforcement officials investigating alleged violations of any of the programs under the NSLA or CNA or investigating violations of programs authorized to have access to names and eligibility status of participants. *

*For specific programs authorized to receive free and reduced information, please see the Eligibility Manual for School Meals

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

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: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Los demás programas de asistencia nutricional del FNS, las agencias estatales y locales, y sus beneficiarios secundarios, deben publicar el siguiente Aviso de No Discriminación:

De conformidad con la Ley Federal de Derechos Civiles y los reglamentos y políticas de derechos civiles del Departamento de Agricultura de los EE. UU. (USDA, por sus siglas en ingles), se prohíbe que el USDA, sus agencias, oficinas, empleados e instituciones que participan o administran programas del USDA discriminen sobre la base de raza, color, nacionalidad, sexo, discapacidad, edad, o en represalia o venganza por actividades previas de derechos civiles en algún programa o actividad realizados o financiados por el USDA.

Las personas con discapacidades que necesiten medios alternativos para la comunicación de la información del programa (por ejemplo, sistema Braille, letras grandes, cintas de audio, lenguaje de seas americano, etc.), deben ponerse en contacto con la agencia (estatal o local) en la que solicitaron los beneficios. Las personas sordas, con dificultades de audición o discapacidades del habla pueden comunicarse con el USDA por medio del Federal Relay Service [Servicio Federal de Retransmisión] al (800) 877-8339. Además, la información del programa se puede proporcionar en otros idiomas.

Para presentar una denuncia de discriminación, complete el Formulario de Denuncia de Discriminación del Programa del USDA, (AD-3027) que está disponible en linea en:http://www.ocio.usda.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2012/Spanish_Form_508_Compliant_6_8_12_0.pdf. y en cualquier oficina del USDA, o bien escriba una carta dirigida al USDA e incluya en la carta toda la información solicitada en el formulario. Para solicitar una copia del formulario de denuncia, llame al (866) 632-9992. Haga llegar su formulario lleno o carta al USDA por:

(1)     correo: 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; o

(3)     correo electrónicoprogram.intake@usda.gov.

Esta institución es un proveedor que ofrece igualdad de oportunidades.

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