Special Meal Accommodations
MEAL SUBSTITUTIONS FOR MEDICAL OR SPECIAL DIETARY REASONS
USDA Regulation 7 CFR Part 15b requires substitutions or modifications in school meals for children whose disabilities restrict their diets. A child with a disability must be provided substitutions in foods when that need is supported by a signed statement from a licensed medical professional.
In Cases of Food Allergy
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 as amended (Public Law 101-336, 42 U.S.C. 12101, ADA) the term ‘disability’ means a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of the individual, a record of such an impairment or being regarded as having such an impairment.
The ADA lists several examples of “major life activities” that could be impacted by a disability. According to the statute, “major life activities” include (but are not limited to): caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working.
General health concerns, such as a preference that a child eat a specific diet because the parent or guardian believes it is healthier for the child, are not disabilities and do not require a modification. School food service may make food substitutions, at their discretion, for individual children who do not have a disability but have requests for diet changes. Such determinations are only made on a case-by-case basis.
Medical Statement for Children with Special Dietary Needs
Each special dietary request must be supported by a statement explaining the requested food substitution and must be signed by a recognized medical authority. The Medical Statement must include:
If we do not receive a medical statement from a recognized medical authority, your child will receive a regular lunch tray. Medical statements completed by parents or guardians will not be accepted.
USDA Non-Discrimination 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;
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
MSDE Non-Discrimination Statement
The Maryland State Department of Education does not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry/national origin, color, disability, gender identity/expression, marital status, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation in matters affecting employment or in providing access to programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.
For Inquiries related to Department policy, please contact:
Agency Equity Officer
Equity Assurance & Compliance Office
Office of the Deputy State Superintendent for Finance and Administration
Maryland State Department of Education
200 West Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-2595
410-767-0426 - Voice
410-767-0431 - Fax
410-333-6442 - TTY/TDD
USDA Civil Rights website: http://www.fns.usda.gov/civil-rights