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Civil Rights and School Meals Programs

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1 Civil Rights and School Meals Programs
Training for Child Nutrition Services Employees National School Lunch Program School Breakfast Program Special Milk Program Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program After School Snack Program Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction Child Nutrition Services August 2011 The purpose of this training is to provide information on civil rights and discrimination so that program staff have a better understanding of these terms and how they are related to the child nutrition programs in their workplace. Objectives: Program staff will understand how to recognize a civil rights complaint and what action to take if they receive one. Program staff will gain an awareness of the child nutrition programs non-discrimination materials such as the And Justice for All Poster and non-discrimination statement. Program staff will understand their organizations civil rights policies and procedures. Note to the presenter: The presenter must include information on their organization’s policy and procedures for civil rights and discrimination, the reporting process and forms unique to their organization.

2 Why Civil Rights? Federal Benefits Civil Rights If an agency operates programs that provide Federal benefits, civil rights requirements must be met. School districts, both public and private as well as residential child care institutions sponsor child nutrition programs such as the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, the Special Milk Program, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program and the After School Snack Program. These programs provide benefits to children in the way of free and reduced price lunches. In turn, the school or RCCI receives federal reimbursement. Civil Rights requirements must be met.

3 Civil Rights & Discrimination
Civil Rights The benefits of Child Nutrition Programs must be made available to all eligible people in a non-discriminatory manner. All sponsors must implement Civil Rights. Discrimination Different treatment of one person or a group of persons either intentionally, by neglect or by the effect of actions or lack of actions based on sex, gender, race, national origin, or disability. Complying with civil rights requirements means that all eligible students receive the benefits of school nutrition programs in a non discriminatory manner. Think about the procedures that you follow in your food service department. Procedures would include any of the following from processing free and reduced-price meal applications to serving students lunch. Do you carry out your procedures for all matters in a non-discriminatory manner? Is each student treated in the same way regardless of sex, gender, race, national origin, or disability? A non-discriminatory manner means eligible students receive benefits regardless of sex, gender, race, national origin or disability.

4 How do Food Service Operations Follow Civil Rights Requirements?
Be aware and knowledgeable. Display the “And Justice For All” wherever program meals are served. Use the correct & updated non-discrimination statement on program materials. Being aware and knowledgeable means that you know and understand the definition of discrimination and can recognize a civil rights complaint. Next, it means that if you receive a civil rights complaint, you know how to handle it. It also means that you are familiar with your organizations civil rights reporting policy and procedures. Do you know who is in charge of civil rights in your organization? Can you locate your organizations civil rights policy? Is a copy of this policy located in the food service department? If you were to receive a civil rights complaint, what steps would you follow? Is there paperwork to fill out? There are two other requirements specific to food service operations. Those are: Display the “And Justice for All Poster” and use the correct non-discrimination statement on all program materials.

5 Be Aware and Knowledgeable
Understand Civil Rights and Discrimination Definition of Discrimination (7 CFR ): No child can be denied benefits or otherwise be discriminated against because of race, color, national origin, age, sex or disability. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Title II & III of the Americans with Disabilities Act The Age Discrimination Act of 1975 Department of Agriculture Regulations on Discrimination 7 CFR15, 15a, 15b Food & Nutrition Service Instruction 113-1 This is the definition of discrimination in 7 CFR Listed are some of the laws, federal regulations, and resources that govern discrimination in Child Nutrition Programs Which one is referenced for regulations that discuss special meals for students with disabilities? -Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

6 Reasonable Accommodations for Special Diets
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act Title II & III of the Americans with Disabilities Act Department of Agriculture Regulations on Discrimination 7 CFR 15b Reasonable Accommodations for Special Diets Title II & III of the Americans with Disabilities Act broadens and extends civil rights protection for Americans with disabilities. Children with disabilities must have the same opportunities as other children to receive an education and education related benefits; includes school meals. 7 CFR 15 b makes it clear that substitutions to the regular meal, based on need, must be made as certified by a licensed physician. Reasonable Accommodation: A general term. Accommodate the request when certified by a licensed physician and substitute foods as prescribed. The definition of discrimination includes disabilities. Children with disabilities will, in some cases, need modifications to school meals. That brings up special diets. LEAs must have a policy in place that describes how they will accommodate students who need special diets. Having a policy in place helps when a request is made. The school district has the option to accommodate specials diets for students without disabilities but when the student has a disability, reasonable accommodations must be made. What is reasonable accommodations? It will be up to the LEA to decide on reasonable accommodation. How many choices to provide, what brands to use, etc.

7 Reasonable Accommodations for Students without Disabilities
Food intolerances and allergies = Not a Disability Food allergy, life-threatening (anaphylactic) reaction = Disability Policy Educate parent - menu and food offerings. Be Consistent – treat all requests for accommodations the same and according to the policy. Accommodating Children with Special Dietary Needs in the School Nutrition Programs Generally, students with food allergies and intolerances do not have a disability as defined under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. One exception is a student with a life-threatening allergy such as peanut allergy. The school food service may make food substitutions, at their discretion, for individual children who do not have a disability, but who are medically certified as having a special medical or dietary need. When a policy is in place that explains how the school food service accommodates students without disabilities, requests and inquiries can be handled efficiently. The school food service is encouraged to provide substitutions or modifications for children without disabilities with medically certified special dietary needs who are unable to eat regular meals as prepared. When a variety of nutritious foods are available on the menu and Offer vs. Serve is in place, students may be able to select a meal that meets their needs without much modification on a daily basis. Conversation with parents about your planned menu and food offerings which educates the parent is important. Parent may see that the planned menu will accommodate the student’s needs. Consistent and equal treatment is very important. USDA Guidance: Accommodating Children with Special Dietary needs in the School Nutrition Programs found on the OSPI Website. This publication will guide food service personnel through the process of determining what is a disability and the documentation required for students with disabilities and students without disabilities who have special dietary needs that require modifications.

8 Be Aware and Knowledgeable
Recognize a Civil Rights Complaint -A complaint of unequal treatment: delayed in receiving program benefits denied benefits or services that others received treated differently than others to their disadvantage received treatment that had a discriminatory impact -Discriminatory treatment could be : given verbally received in writing observed or an action -A complaint can be made against: Program Administration Child Nutrition Services Employment A person has 180 days in which to file a complaint. The complaint can be filed with the USDA directly or through the State agency. The person may also file a complaint with the school district or with you.

9 Be Aware & Knowledgeable
Know & Understand Your Organization’s Civil Rights Policy and Procedures Each organization will have it’s own policy and procedures for civil rights complaint reporting. You will need to know what you should do when you receive a complaint. You must be able to help a person who wants to file a complaint. You must follow through on reporting procedures. Obtain a copy of your organizations policy and procedures and give instructions here.

10 And Justice for All Poster
The “And Justice For All” poster must be posted any where program benefits are available. These areas include- A visible place in the cafeteria such as at the beginning of the serving line and/or near the cashier. In the food service office or reception area. These areas might also include- The school district office. The school office. The snack area if it is different from the area where students consume meals. Every classroom where meals are consumed. Think about the areas where students have access to program benefits and/or meals. Are the posters clearly visible to students? There may be areas other than the food service areas where people have access to program benefits. If parents visit the food service office to fill out an application, make a payment, ask a question about school meals, is a poster visible? If parents come to the school district office or school office to conduct business related to school meals, is a poster visible? Are after school snacks served or eaten in an area different from where lunches are served and eaten? Is a poster visible?

11 This is the most current And Justice For All poster
This is the most current And Justice For All poster. If you need to update your poster, please call your assigned program specialist.

12 Non-Discrimination Statement
All publications that mention USDA Child Nutrition Programs and all media announcements must include the following non-discrimination 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. If you feel you have been treated unfairly, you may file a complaint of discrimination by writing, USDA, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington D.C or call toll free (866) (Voice). Individuals who are hearing impaired or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) ; or (800) (Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. This is the long version of the non-discrimination statement. This is the most current version updated in Spring Check your program materials to ensure you are using the correct non-discrimination statement.

13 Non-Discrimination Statement Short Version
Federal regulations allow use of a shorter non-discrimination statement. “This institution is an equal opportunity provider.” Menus and Flyers What about the food service website? Federal Regulations allow for the use of the shorter statement on documents that are one page or less in length. The short statement must be in the same size print/font as the text in the document. The food service website must contain the long version of the non-discrimination statement or a link to it.

14 In conclusion, treat all households and students the same in every aspect of your program.

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