School Lunch Bill & USDA Nondiscrimination Rules
The National School Lunch Program, as part of a larger Child Nutrition Reauthorization, was under discussion on Capitol Hill this week with the release of the House Education Committee's
. Some changes in the bill would be good for our schools and for Catholic nutrition services overall. Some changes are more of a mixed bag.
As the debate continues, please let me know your concerns, as the Secretariat for Catholic Education is one of the primary offices contacting Congress about the bill.
As a reminder, especially considering the current news cycle, I wanted to highlight what USDA's nondiscrimination policies are for school lunch and child care programs. Sometimes, states include extra provisions that may not be required by federal law but could compromise your school's religious beliefs. If you have concerns, please talk to your diocesan attorney.
According to the USDA
: "In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on
race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age
, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA."