USDA Civil Rights and ComplaintsU.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 .
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 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities.
Civil Rights Materials
- Nutrition Services Division (NSD) Civil Rights and Complaints Online Training Course
This training fulfills the mandatory annual civil rights training for sponsors, as designated by USDA Food and Nutrition Service Instruction 113-1.
- USDA Nondiscrimination Statement
This contains the federal nondiscrimination statement.
- NSD Civil Rights and Complaints Handbook (DOCX)
This handbook outlines the civil rights requirements for all agencies participating in the Child Nutrition Programs (CNP).
- And Justice for All Poster
- Medical Statement to Request Special Meals and/or Accommodations for Child Nutrition Programs
CNP 925 - This form is used by parents/guardians to have a medical authority prescribe special meals or accommodations during meals. The CNP-925 is located in the Download Forms Section of the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System.
- Available translations of the Medical Statement to Request Special Meals and/or Accommodations for Child Nutrition Programs (Dated Aug-2017)
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 .
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 email@example.com.
Civil Rights 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.
- USDA Web Site
- USDA, Office of Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
- USDA, Food Nutrition Services, Office of Civil Rights
- USDA - How to File a Program Discrimination Complaint
- United States Department of Justice - A Guide to Disability Rights Laws
- United States Department of Justice - Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- USDA Food and Nutrition Service Instruction 113-1