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Public Media Release

Community Eligibility Provision

Effective July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017

Lexington School District Four, Gaston-Swansea is participating in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) for the 2016-2017 school year.  Section 104(a) of the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 amended section 11(a)(1) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1759a(a)(1))(the law) to provide an alternative to household applications for free and reduced-price meals in local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools with increased levels of low-income students. This alternative is referred to as the Community Eligibility Provision.  All students enrolled in the school/district may participate in the breakfast and lunch program at no charge to them.  Families will not have to fill out meal applications.

Breakfast and lunch meals follow the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines for healthy school meals.  Please encourage students to participate in the school meal programs.

You may contact your School Food Service (SFS) Coordinator Debra Hoffman, 607 East 5th Street, Swansea SC 29160 @ (803)-490-7000 for additional information.

Parents or guardians that do not want their child/children to participate in CEP may wish to discuss this matter with Debra Hoffman, Coordinator of School Food Service on an informal basis. 

Parents wishing to make a formal appeal may make a request either orally or in writing to Linda G. Lavender, Ph.D., Superintendent whose address is: 607 East 5th Street, Swansea SC 29160 for a hearing to appeal the decision. 

This release was sent to the following newspapers:  The State Record Company and The Lexington County Chronicle & Dispatch News.

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, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at How to File a Program Discrimination Complaint and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

(Rev 2016)


USDA Nondiscrimination Statement 

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. 

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1)  mail:   U.S. Department of Agriculture

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

1400 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2)    fax:   (202) 690-7442; or

(3)   email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.



   USDA Proposes Standards to Provide Healthy Food Options in Schools

New "Smart Snacks in School" proposal to ensure vending machines, snack bars include healthy choices - (Release No. 0019.13)
 

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1, 2013 – USDA today announced the public comment period has opened on proposed new standards to ensure that children have access to healthy food options in school.

"Parents and teachers work hard to instill healthy eating habits in our kids, and these efforts should be supported when kids walk through the schoolhouse door," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "Good nutrition lays the groundwork for good health and academic success. Providing healthy options throughout school cafeterias, vending machines, and snack bars will complement the gains made with the new, healthy standards for school breakfast and lunch so the healthy choice is the easy choice for our kids."

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 requires USDA to establish nutrition standards for all foods sold in schools -- beyond the federally-supported school meals programs. The "Smart Snacks in School" proposed rule, to be published soon in the Federal Register, is the first step in the process to create national standards. The new proposed standards draw on recommendations from the Institute of Medicine, existing voluntary standards already implemented by thousands of schools around the country, and healthy food and beverage offerings already available in the marketplace.

Highlights of USDA's proposal include:

  • More of the foods we should encourage.Promoting availability of healthy snack foods with whole grains, low fat dairy, fruits, vegetables or protein foods as their main ingredients.
  • Less of the foods we should avoid. Ensuring that snack food items are lower in fat, sugar, and sodium and provide more of the nutrients kids need.
  • Targeted standards. Allowing variation by age group for factors such as beverage portion size and caffeine content.
  • Flexibility for important traditions. Preserving the ability for parents to send in bagged lunches of their choosing or treats for activities such as birthday parties, holidays, and other celebrations; and allowing schools to continue traditions like occasional fundraisers and bake sales.
  • Reasonable limitations on when and where the standards apply. Ensuring that standards only affect foods that are sold on school campus during the school day. Foods sold at an afterschool sporting event or other activity will not be subject to these requirements.
  • Flexibility for state and local communities.Allowing significant local and regional autonomy by only establishing minimum requirements for schools. States and schools that have stronger standards than what is being proposed will be able to maintain their own policies.
  • Significant transition period for schools and industry. The standards will not go into effect until at least one full school year after public comment is considered and an implementing rule is published to ensure that schools and vendors have adequate time to adapt.

The public is encouraged to review the proposal and to provide comments and information for consideration by USDA. The text of the proposed rule is available at http://www.fns.usda.gov/cga/020113-snacks.pdf. Once the rule is published in the Federal Register, which is expected next week, the public will be able to provide feedback throughwww.regulations.gov. USDA will seek public comment on the proposal for 60 days.

Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a report that analyzed state policies for food and beverages served outside the school lunch line which noted that 39 states already have a state law, regulation or policy in place related to the sale or availability of snack foods and beverages in schools. In many cases, local level (district and school) policies and practices exceeded state requirements or recommendations. USDA's proposal would establish a national baseline of these standards, with the overall goal of improving the health and nutrition of our kids.

These proposed standards are part of a bi-partisan package of changes passed by Congress in 2010 designed to ensure that students have healthy options in school. Other parts of that package include updated nutrition standards for federally-subsidized school meals that provide children more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; additional funding for schools to support improved meals; and guidance on stronger local wellness policies.

Collectively these policies will help combat child hunger and obesity and improve the health and nutrition of the nation's children; a top priority for the Obama Administration. The proposed rule announced today is an important component of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move!initiative to combat the challenge of childhood obesity.

USDA's Food and Nutrition Service administers America's nutrition assistance programs including the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs, the Summer Food Service Program, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Together these programs make up the federal nutrition safety net.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits Discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or if all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at program.intake@usda.gov.

Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (in Spanish).