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Policy Memorandum on Modifications to Accommodate Disabilities in the CACFP and Summer Food Service

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PDF Icon Policy Memo (107.58 KB)
DATE: June 22, 2017
SUBJECT: Policy Memorandum on Modifications to Accommodate Disabilities in the Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program
TO: Regional Directors
Special Nutrition Programs
All Regions
State Directors
Child Nutrition Programs
All States

The attached policy memorandum, CACFP 14-2017, SFSP 10-2017 “Modifications to Accommodate Disabilities in the Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program,” includes important updates to the requirements related to accommodating children and adults (participants) with disabilities receiving meals through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). This memorandum is the companion piece to SP 59-2016 “Modifications to Accommodate Disabilities in the School Meal Programs” published on Sept. 27, 2016.

Previous Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) guidance on this issue was included in FNS Instruction 783-2, Rev. 2, “Meal Substitutions for Medical or other Special Dietary Reasons.” The attached memorandum and SP 59-2016 supersede that Instruction. With the release of this memorandum, FNS Instruction 783-2, Rev. 2 has been rescinded.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendments Act of 2008 made important changes to the meaning and interpretation of the term “disability.” The changes restored the broad scope of the ADA by making it easier for an individual to establish that he or she has a disability. After the passage of the ADA Amendments Act, most physical and mental impairments constitute a disability. Therefore, rather than focusing on whether or not a participant has a disability, CACFP institutions and facilities and SFSP sponsors (Program operators) should focus on working collaboratively with parents, guardians, participating adults, or a person acting on behalf of an adult participant to ensure an equal opportunity to participate in the CACFP and SFSP and receive Program benefits. The attached memorandum clarifies changes made by the ADA Amendments Act and reflects the position FNS will take in compliance reviews and enforcement actions.

State agencies are reminded to distribute this information to Program operators immediately. Program operators should direct any questions concerning this guidance to their state agency. State agencies with questions should contact the appropriate FNS regional office.

Angela Kline
Policy and Program Development Division
Child Nutrition Programs
Roberto Contreras
Civil Rights Division
Page updated: January 09, 2023

The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.