Meaningful Access for Persons with Limited English Proficiency in the School Meal Programs: Guidance and Q&As

Last Published: 06/13/2016

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), and Special Milk Program (SMP) were established to provide nutritious and appealing meals that support the growth and development of children during the school day. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires State agencies, local educational agencies (LEAs), and schools that receive Federal funding to ensure that language is not a barrier to receiving school meal benefits. State agencies, LEAs, and schools are required to take reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access for individuals with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) to the information and services they provide. This includes providing accurate translations of the application and other household materials and providing oral interpretations when necessary.

This memorandum consolidates and supersedes previous LEP guidance and incorporates previously released USDA and Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) guidance. FNS is issuing this guidance in a Question and Answer (Q&A) format to provide responses to questions that FNS has received regarding communications with LEP individuals.

Document #: 
SP37-2016