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1 Civil Rights Compliance in The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) Food and Nutrition Service.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Civil Rights Compliance in The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) Food and Nutrition Service."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Civil Rights Compliance in The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) Food and Nutrition Service Office of Civil Rights

2 2 This document was developed from: 7 CFR Part 250 7 CFR Part 251 7 CFR Part 247 FNS Instruction 113-1 (revised 9/05)

3 3 What is Discrimination? Discrimination is defined as the act of distinguishing one person or group of persons from others, either intentionally, by neglect, or by the effect of actions or lack of actions based on the protected classes.

4 4 Protected Classes There are six protected classes for TEFAP and CSFP: Race Color National Origin Age Sex Disability

5 5 What is Civil Rights? The nonpolitical rights of a citizen; the rights of personal liberty guaranteed to U.S. citizens by the 13 th and 14 th amendments to the U.S. Constitution and by acts of Congress.

6 6 Civil Rights Laws Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – Covers Race, Color & National Origin Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 - Sex Section 504 of Rehabilitation Act of 1973 – Disability Age Discrimination Act of 1975 – Age Executive Order 13166 – Limited English Proficiency

7 7 Seven Areas of Civil Rights Compliance Public Notification System Data Collection Training Compliance Reviews Civil Rights Complaints Assurances Limited English Proficiency

8 8 Public Notification System The purpose of a public notification system is to inform applicants, participants and potentially eligible persons of the program availability, program rights and responsibil- ities, the nondiscrimination policy, and the procedures for filing a complaint.

9 9 Public Notification System Three Elements of Public Notification: 1. Program Availability 2. Complaint Information (And Justice For All Poster) 3. Nondiscrimination Statement (And Justice For All Poster)

10 10 Public Notification System Requirements Publicize TEFAP & CSFP to all, including underserved populations and the entities that service them; Provide information in alternative formats, including web-based information for persons with disabilities; Use the nondiscrimination statement on all applicable publications; Convey the message of equal opportunity in all graphics on all materials; and Display the “And Justice For All” poster in a prominent location.

11 11 And Justice For All…

12 12 Pre-Award Compliance Reviews Pre-Approval/Pre-Award Compliance Reviews are a desk or on-site review of specific civil rights information submitted to a program applicant in the application for Federal financial assistance. No Federal financial assistance shall be made available until a Pre-Award Compliance Review has been conducted and the applicant is determined to be in compliance with civil rights requirements.

13 13 Data To Be Analyzed During The Pre-Award Review Documentation of efforts that have been, or will be made to inform minority and grassroots organizations about TEFAP. Documentation may include copies of letters, lists of organizations or persons contacted; or media, if used. An estimate of the racial/ethnic makeup of the applicant agency’s service delivery area. Nondiscrimination statement on applicant agency’s admissions requirements. The names of other Federal agencies providing assistance to the applicant organization and whether the applicant has ever been found to be in non-compliance by those Federal agencies.

14 14 Routine (Post Award) Compliance Reviews This is a desk or on-site civil rights review conducted after an organization has been authorized to receive Federal financial assistance. SRS shall conduct routine civil rights reviews during regular on-site reviews. Targeted civil rights reviews should be conducted by the SRS when there are indications of possible civil rights violations.

15 15 Routine Compliance Review Questions Do potentially eligible persons have an equal opportunity to participate? Is USDA’s “And Justice For All” poster prominently displayed where it can be seen by applicants, participants and visitors? Have civil rights training and complaint procedures been provided to persons dispensing commodities? Does the facility publicize that it provides services to all persons without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex or disability?

16 16 Routine Compliance Review Questions (continued) Is the nondiscrimination statement included on all materials that describe TEFAP & CSFP? Has the agency established a public notification system to inform minorities and grassroots organizations of TEFAP, their admissions policy and civil rights complaint procedures? Is the facility accessible to the disabled? Is assistance available for persons that have limited English proficiency? Has the organization received any civil rights complaints? If yes, were they handled properly? Are the organization’s procedures adequate?

17 17 Nondiscrimination Statement (Revised September 2005) Full Statement “In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Rm 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or call or (202) 720-5964 (voice & TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.”

18 18 Nondiscrimination Statement Include the nondiscrimination statement on all materials that describe TEFAP & CSFP benefits; including web sites. For radio or television public service announcements, the nondiscrimination does not have to be read in its entirety. A short statement is sufficient.

19 19 Minimum (Short) Nondiscrimination Statement If written material is too small to permit the full statement to be included, the material will at a minimum include one of the following statements in print no smaller than the text: “This institution is an equal opportunity provider”

20 20 Nondiscrimination Statement Exception A nondiscrimination statement is not required to be imprinted on items such as cups, buttons, magnets, pens, etc. when the size or configuration makes it impractical.

21 21 Civil Rights Training The SRS Food Distribution Unit will explain and/or train eligible recipient agencies during monitoring reviews. Site staff/volunteers should be able to identify a civil rights complaint if received. They should know what to do if they receive a complaint. They should understand that it is the basic right of the individual to file a complaint.

22 22 Civil Rights Complaint Handling Right to File a Complaint: Any person alleging discrimination based on race, color, national origin, age, sex, or disability has a right to file a complaint within 180 days of the alleged discriminatory action.

23 23 Civil Rights Complaint Handling Acceptance: All civil rights complaints, written or verbal, shall be accepted and forwarded to the SRS Food Distribution Unit. SRS FDU will forward the complaint to the FNS Regional Office and DSS Office of Civil Rights.

24 24 Contents Of A Civil Rights Complaint Name, address and telephone number, or other means of contacting of the complainant; Specific location and name of the agency delivering the service or benefit; Nature of the incident or action that led the complainant to feel discrimination was a factor, and an example of the method of administration which is having a disparate effect on the public, potential eligible persons, applicants, or participants;

25 25 Contents Of A Civil Rights Complaint (continued) The basis on which the complainant believes discrimination exists; The names, telephone numbers, titles, and business or personal addresses of persons who may have knowledge of the alleged discriminatory action; and The date(s) during which the alleged discriminatory actions occurred. Note: Sample complaint processing form letters can be found in FNS Instruction 113-1, Appendix E

26 26 Assurances To qualify for Federal financial assistance, written assurance that the program will be operated in a nondiscriminatory manner must be included in all agreements between agencies.

27 27 Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Definition of LEP Persons: Individuals who do not speak English as their primary language and who have a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English.

28 28 Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Where a significant number or proportion of the population eligible to be served needs service or information in a language other than English in order to be informed of, or to participate in the commodity programs, the recipient agency shall take reasonable steps to provide information in appropriate languages to such persons.

29 29 Reasonable Steps to Ensure LEP Persons Access to Programs Are Contingent On: The number or percentage of LEP persons eligible to be served; The frequency with which LEP persons come in contact with the program; The nature and importance of TEFAP & CSFP to peoples lives; and The resources available to the recipient agency and costs.

30 30 Limited English Proficiency (continued) Agencies that fail to provide services to LEP persons and applicants, or deny them access to TEFAP & CSFP may be discriminating on the basis of national origin in violation of Title VI.

31 31 Food For Thought Staff and volunteers involved in the distribution of TEFAP and/or CSFP commodities should ask themselves the following: Am I treating this person in the same manner I treat others? Have I given this person the opportunity to clarify all relevant factors or inconsistencies? Have I told this person exactly what information I need to make a determination on the application? Have I provided the person with the information he or she needs to make necessary decisions?

32 32 THE END Questions?


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