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USDA Q&A—Collection of Racial and Ethnic Data

On June 13, 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued Memorandum CACFP 09-2022, SFSP 05-2022: Questions and Answers (Q&A) Related to CACFP 11-2021, SFSP 07-2021 Collection of Race and Ethnicity Data by Visual Observation and Identification in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). You can view this policy memo on the USDA School Meals Policy web page at Questions and Answers Related to Collection of Race and Ethnicity Data by Visual Observation and Identification in CACFP and SFSP – Policy Rescission | Food and Nutrition Service ( link opens in new window or tab..

The Q&A provides clarification for program operators about methods for collecting racial and ethnic data for the communities served. The Q&A addresses the following:

  • The purpose of collecting racial and ethnic data

  • The immediate removal of visual identification as an option of collecting data, and using methods based on parent/guardian self-reporting

  • Clarification of programs affected, applicable grace period, and how often data must be collected

  • Parameters for collecting data for parents and guardians, how to ease discomfort when asking for information, and what to do if unable to collect

  • The use of school data and other data sources

Contact Information

For questions related to SFSP, please contact your respective program’s County Specialist. The County Specialist for each program can be found in the Download Forms section of each respective program’s module in the Child Nutrition Information and Payment SystemExternal link opens in new window or tab., Download Forms section:

  • SFSP: Form ID SFSP 01

For questions related to CACFP, please reach out to the California Department of Social Services at

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Thursday, June 23, 2022
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