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National School Lunch Program

Signage for Cafeterias

There are several companies that have relatively inexpensive signage available for purchase to illustrate USDA's MyPlate icon and/or ways to communicate the new meal pattern. We (the New York State Education Department) do not endorse or advocate specific companies or products. I just want to let you know of available options. Some districts are laminating the USDA posters.

If you decide to order your own signage using USDA's MyPlate materials, I have provided USDA's guide and conditions for using their icon.

Application and Other Household Materials for Limited English Proficient Households-REMINDER

This memorandum is a reminder to Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) of their responsibilities to Limited English Proficient (LEP) households in the upcoming 2012-2013 school year.  It reflects the guidance issued by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) in December of 2011, which may be referenced under

Verification for Cause in the Child Nutrition Programs

Recently, concerns have been raised about school employees allegedly misrepresenting their incomes on applications to receive free or reduced price school meals for their children.  As a result, USDA has been asked if a local education agency (LEA) may use the salary information of their own employees, maintained for business purposes, as a tool to implement verification for cause and help ensure the integrity of free and reduced price certifications.  This memorandum clarifies the use of verification for cause by LEAs in this manner..

Preventing Overt Identification of Children Certified for Free or Reduced Price School Meals

This memorandum serves as guidance on the requirements for preventing overt identification of children certified for free or reduced price school meals, and provides suggestions about methods school food authorities (SFAs) could use to avoid overt identification as much as possible.

Defining Overt Identification

Food Access for homeless and Highly Mobile Students

Many of you often ask questions regarding the direct certification process for homeless, runaway and migrant children and youth as defined by the McKinney-Vento Act. I have enclosed a summary which explains the law and the responsibilities of public schools to accommodate these students with access to free meals if the school participates in the federal Child Nutrition Programs.

We strongly recommend you contact your homeless liaison so you can partner with them to provide eligible homeless children with free meals as quickly as possible.


USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at:, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted 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; or
  2. fax:
    (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
  3. email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Click here for Nondiscrimination Statement translations.