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USDA Civil Rights and Complaints

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food & Nutrition Service (FNS) policies and procedures about nondiscrimination in the administration of the child nutrition and food distribution programs.

Materials | Complaints | Resources

Federal Nondiscrimination Statement

Agencies must include the most current version of the federal nondiscrimination statement in a prominent location in all public information releases, publications, and on posters concerning nutrition program activities, except menus. The current nondiscrimination statement, including translations of the statement, can be found on the USDA Nondiscrimination Statement web page External link opens in new window or tab..

Short Statement

The short statement reads, "This institution is an equal opportunity provider." The short statement may be used on flyers, posters, or documents that are one page by nature, in a font no smaller than the text.

Section 504

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities.

Civil Rights Materials

Civil Rights and Program Complaints

Effective July 1, 2020, Title 5, California Code of Regulations (5 CCR) has been updated to add sections
15580–15584. These new sections include state regulations on how the California Department of Education NSD will process Child Nutrition Program complaints.

The NSD will investigate local educational agency (LEA) complaints regarding meal counting and claiming, reimbursable meals, eligibility of child or adult, or use of cafeteria funds and allowable expenses. All other program complaints will be referred back to LEA for investigation through their Uniform Complaint Procedures process. The NSD will continue to investigate all non-LEA program complaints.

Sections 15580–15584 of 5 CCR can be found on the California Office of Administrative Law web page External link opens in new window or tab..

Please Note: Any complaints alleging discrimination will be forwarded to the USDA for investigation.

Complaints may be submitted to the NSD by contacting the Civil Rights and Complaints Coordinator by phone at 916-323-5264 or by email at cnpcomplaints@cde.ca.gov.

Civil Rights Resources

CDE Resources

  • Quality Assurance Process
    Resources to improve educational outcomes for students with disabilities while ensuring compliance with state and federal laws and regulations.

  • Available Translations of Program Materials
    Management Bulletin SNP-09-2016 detailing available translations from the USDA for Limited English Proficient (LEP) households.

  • SNP Eligibility Materials
    This page contains links to available translations of the applications for LEP households for free and reduced-price meals, the approval/denial notification, and pricing/non-pricing letters to households.

Outside Resources

Follow @CDENutrition on Twitter.

Questions: Kaley Wassall | kwassall@cde.ca.gov | 916-323-5264 
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Related Content
  • Child and Adult Care Food Program
    This web page includes background information, steps on how to apply, the Administrative Manual, meal pattern requirements, claiming information, policy guidance, compliance, trainings, resources, and contacts for program operators.
  • Modifications to Accommodate Disabilities
    Management Bulletin SNP-02-2017: Modifications to Accommodate Disabilities in the School Meal Programs.
  • School Nutrition
    Meal and milk programs offered at public and private non-profit schools and residential child care institutions.
  • Summer Meal Programs
    Federal meal programs for children from low-income areas during vacation and off-track periods.
  • USDA Nondiscrimination Statement
    U.S. Department of Agriculture nondiscrimination statement for child nutrition program participants.
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