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Civil Rights


All School Food Authorities (SFAs) participating in the USDA Child Nutrition Programs must comply with Federal civil rights requirements and regulations. These regulations are intended to ensure that the benefits of the Child Nutrition Programs are made available to all eligible people in a nondiscriminatory manner.
Please reference the civil rights topics below:

Civil Rights Training

USDA requires civil rights training on an annual basis for all who interact with the Child Nutrition Programs participants. The training outlines specific civil rights regulations that govern these programs. The training informs administrators of these programs receiving Federal financial assistance of their rights and responsibilities.

Each SFA must maintain documentation of the training and an attendance record of participants that attended. 

Civil Rights Self-Monitoring

To assist in ensuring compliance with civil rights requirements, the Civil Rights Compliance Self-Evaluation Form is required to be completed by SFAs annually by October 31.

And Justice For All Poster

Child Nutrition Program participants must be advised at the point of service of their right to file a complaint and the complaint procedures. To meet this requirement, the USDA And Justice for All poster must be placed in a prominent, visible location wherever meals or snacks are served. This location may include a cafeteria, food service area, or classroom.
The DPI School Nutrition Team is currently out of And Justice for All posters and has not yet received a supply of updated posters from USDA. As soon as we receive posters from USDA, we will mail a supply to each school food authority (SFA) that participates in the child nutrition programs. If additional posters are needed, they will need to be printed in color in the required 11x17 size and 14-point. We have received clarification from USDA that SFAs are in compliance if either the 2019 or 2022 version of the poster is displayed.

Non-discrimination Statement

All materials and resources, including websites, that are used to inform the public about the USDA Child Nutrition Programs must contain the current USDA non-discrimination statement. There are two non-discrimination statements: the full, official statement and the shortened statement.
The full statement:
The full version of the USDA Non-discrimination Statement (Spanish) (Hmong) must be included on USDA Child Nutrition Program materials including: parent handbooks, program websites, employee handbooks, free and reduced price meal applications, and letters to households. For all other languages visit the USDA FNS Non-discrimination webpage.
The shortened statement:
The full version of the non-discrimination statement should always be used, however the shortened version of the non-discrimination statement This institution is an equal opportunity provider may be used in limited circumstances only. This could include menus, flyers, brochures, buttons, etc.
For Spanish language materials use: Esta institución es un proveedor que ofrece igualdad de oportunidades.

USDA and Civil Rights Division (CRD) Guidance on updated Nondiscrimination Statement (2022) and Religious Exemptions:

    • Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”) is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination by educational institutions receiving financial assistance from the federal government, including USDA. Although this prohibition applies to a wide array of public and private schools at the K-12 and the college/university level, the law includes some exceptions, including one permitting an institution to be exemption religious grounds if there is a conflict between Title IX and a school’s governing religious tenets.
  • CRD 01-2022 Application of Bostock v. Clayton County to Program Discrimination Complaint Processing – Policy Update
  • CRD 02-2022 Questions and Answers Related to CRD 01-2022 Application of Bostock v. Clayton County to Program Discrimination Complaint Processing – Policy Update
  • Educational institutions that claim a Title IX religious exemption or seek USDA assurance of religious exemption from Title IX provisions may continue using the 2015 version of the USDA NDS and the 2019 version of the AJFA poster. 
    • The 2019 version of the AJFA poster (AD-475A) is located on the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights website at:  All “And Justice for All” posters must be printed at 11” width x 17” height.  The minimum text size to be used on the posters is 14-point. 
    • The 2015 version of the Nondiscrimination Statement must be included on all program materials.
Additionally, USDA and State agencies will continue monitoring proper use of the NDS and the appropriate AJFA poster in program management evaluations, civil rights reviews, and administrative reviews.  Please note that if program complaints of discrimination or any other compliance-related issues arise against these educational institutions they will have to demonstrate how using the 2022 version of the NDS and AJFA poster is against their religious tenet(s).

Public Release

SFAs participating the USDA Child Nutrition Programs are required to annually provide the Public Release to a variety of community organizations including; local news media, grassroots organizations, and the local unemployment office, at the beginning of the school year to inform potentially eligible persons that your school or agency participates in the Child Nutrition Programs and includes information pertaining to eligibility, benefits and services and the steps needed to participate. Maintain documentation of where the public release was sent.

Racial and Ethnic Data Collection

SFAs participating in the USDA Child Nutrition Programs are required to have a system for collecting racial and ethnic data for eligible populations, applicants, and participants in their program service area. This data is used to determine how effectively your program is reaching potentially eligible children and if outreach may be needed. Data must be recorded on an annual basis.
Household income applications that are completed each year and submitted to the school have a section for the household to identify their race and ethnic data, however, this is not required. If the race and ethnic data is not completed, visual identification by a school official, personal knowledge, records/registration database, or other documentation your SFA possesses that identifies household racial/ethnic data may be used.

Complaints of Discrimination

Any person or representative alleging discrimination based on a protected class has the right to file a complaint within 180 days of the alleged discriminatory action. Complaints may be written, verbal, or anonymous.
All SFAs must have procedures for receiving and processing complaints alleging civil rights discrimination within the USDA Child Nutrition Programs.
If a complaint of discrimination is received at your district, the following procedures should be followed:
1. Document the complaint.
2. Submit complaints within five days of receiving the complaint to:
Wisconsin Department of Public Instructions (DPI)
Mail: Director, School Nutrition Team
125 S. Webster Street
Madison, WI 53707-7841
Fax: (608) 267-0363
3. Maintain a separate Civil Rights complaint log at the SFA to record any discrimination complaints received. This log should be maintained in a confidential manner and only available to SFA staff members who have a legitimate need to know.

Limited English Proficiency (LEP)

Organizations participating in the USDA Child Nutrition Programs have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access to their programs and activities by those with Limited English Proficiency (LEP).
Persons with LEP are individuals who do not speak English as their primary language and who have a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English.