Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

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 800-952-5609 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: Bart Lyszkiewicz | BLyszkiewicz@cde.ca.gov | 916-327-5404 
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, July 26, 2022
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 (USDA) nondiscrimination statement for child nutrition program participants.
Recently Posted in Nutrition
  • 2022 KIT Deadline Reminder (added 05-Dec-2022)
    The CDE is reminding the local educational agencies to apply for the 2022 KIT Funds by the December 9, 2022 deadline.
  • State Reimbursement for Nonpublic School Sites (added 05-Dec-2022)
    Flexibilities for eligible school nutrition program sponsors to receive state reimbursement for meals served at approved nonpublic school sites.
  • Prop 12 Final Rule, Farm Animal Confinement (added 02-Dec-2022)
    This management bulletin clarifies the final rule of the Farm Animal Confinement Initiative as it relates to USDA Foods and commercial purchases made by Child Nutrition Program Operators.
  • CNAC Minutes for the May 9, 2022 Meeting (added 29-Nov-2022)
    Meeting minutes for the State Superintendent of Public Instruction Child Nutrition Advisory Council (CNAC) on May 9, 2022.
  • November 15, 2022 Tuesday at 2 Town Hall Resources (added 29-Nov-2022)
    The California Department of Education (CDE) Nutrition Services Division (NSD) hosted the monthly Tuesday @ 2 School Nutrition Town Hall webinar October 25, 2022 for school food service operators, chief business officials, and community partners.

  • P-EBT Benefits and Resources for Households (added 21-Nov-2022)
    This message provides resources to school food authorities on the upcoming California Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) for School Year (SY) 2021-22 and Summer 2022.
  • 2022 KIT Guidance and Deadline Extension (added 21-Nov-2022)
    The CDE/NSD is extending the deadline to submit the 2022 KIT Funds online registration form to December 9, 2022 and providing additional guidance regarding the definition of “freshly prepared onsite meals” and regarding vended meals.
  • Pandemic EBT Local Administrative Grant (added 17-Nov-2022)
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture provided the California Department of Education $2.8 million grant for Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) allowable administrative costs reimbursement.
  • USDA Foods Strawberry & Apricot Cup Natural Defect (added 15-Nov-2022)
    Out of an abundance of caution the CDE FDP would like inform recipient agencies about a small number of complaints we received regarding larva found in the popular USDA Foods Frozen Strawberry Cup and the USDA Foods Frozen Apricot Cup.
  • Annual Sponsor Verification Report for 2022–23 (added 15-Nov-2022)
    The information provides guidance to school food authorities on how to complete the 2022-23 Verification Report, which must be completed by January 17, 2023.