All RCCIs participating in the USDA Child Nutrition Programs (CNP) must comply with Federal civil rights requirements to ensure that benefits are provided in a nondiscriminatory manner.
Civil Rights Training
USDA requires civil rights training on an annual basis for all who interact with the CNP 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 RCCI must maintain documentation of the training and an attendance record of participants who attended. Either the Civil Rights PowerPoint Presentation or the Civil Rights Webcast can be used.
And Justice For All Poster
CNP 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 public location wherever meals or snacks are served.
If meals are delivered to participants in a room or cell, the poster can be attached to the cart delivering the meals, ensuring the poster can be observed by the participant. Alternatively, the poster could be posted in a common area or intake area if necessary for safety reasons.
The USDA updated the And Justice for All poster in 2022 but has not made the updated poster available. Currently, the 2019 version of the poster should be displayed. This poster is green with a picture of the USDA building.
All materials and resources, including websites, which are used to inform the public about the USDA CNP must contain the current USDA nondiscrimination statement (NDS). There are two non-discrimination statements: the full, official statement and the shortened statement.
The Full Statement of the USDA Non-discrimination Statement (Spanish) (Hmong) must be included on USDA CNP materials including: parent handbooks, websites, employee handbooks, and intake forms that contain information about the USDA CNP. For other languages visit the USDA FNS Non-discrimination webpage.
The shortened version of the non-discrimination statement “This institution is an equal opportunity provider” may be used in limited circumstances such as menus, flyers, brochures, etc.
For Spanish language materials use: “Esta institución es un proveedor que ofrece igualdad de oportunidades.”
RCCIs with Non-Day Students and RCCIs with Day Students that are not claiming by eligibility are exempt from the public release requirement.
RCCIs with day students that determine eligibility through free & reduced meal applications and/or Direct Certification (DC), must annually provide the Public Release. This must be sent to a variety of community organizations at the beginning of the school year to inform potentially eligible persons that your school or agency participates in the CNP. Maintain documentation of where the public release was sent.
RCCIs are not required to pay to have the public release published. Maintain documentation that shows there was a fee to publish. Please note, the Public Release cannot be posted to the RCCI's website, nor to other materials.
Complaints of Discrimination
- All RCCIs must have procedures for receiving, processing, and documenting complaints alleging civil rights discrimination within the USDA CNP.
- DPI has created a Template Civil Rights Complaint Procedures for RCCIs that should be used when developing the procedure/policy.
- RCCIs are required to maintain a separate Civil Rights Complaint Log to record any discrimination complaints received. This log should be maintained in a confidential manner and only available to RCCI staff members who have a legitimate need to know.
Limited English Proficiency (LEP)
- RCCIs have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to ensure access to the CNP 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.
- Eligibility materials and resources in Spanish and Hmong are available in the Free and Reduced Meal Eligibility section of the DPI School Nutrition website.
- Additionally, the USDA has Eligibility Resources available in many more languages.
Separation of Gender
- An RCCI may request an exemption for Prohibition of Separation by Gender during CNP meal service, if combining members of the opposite gender would present a safety risk.
- Exemption Request for Prohibition of Separation by Gender during Child Nutrition Program Meal Service.