Policy Rescission: Collection of Race and Ethnicity Data by Visual Observation and Identification
Why It Matters:
Collecting demographic data is an important part of assessing the adequacy of Child Nutrition Programs. Historically, visual observation and identification has been an allowed method for collecting race or ethnicity data. However, USDA received reports that program participants do not want to have their race or ethnicity determined for them. Therefore, out of respect for these concerns and to ensure accurate data, this policy is being rescinded.
USDA has reviewed this policy and concluded that the use of visual observation and identification by CACFP institutions and facilities and SFSP sponsors is not an appropriate method for collecting race or ethnicity data in CACFP and SFSP programs. Therefore, USDA has determined that visual observation and identification by CACFP institutions and facilities and SFSP sponsors is no longer an allowable practice for program operators to use during the collection of race or ethnicity data.
The preferred method of obtaining demographic data remains self-identification and self-reporting.
The CRD will update FNS Instruction 113-1 to remove references to the collection of racial and ethnic identity by visual identification in the CACFP and SFSP. To reflect this change in data collections, CNP will update CACFP and SFSP policy guidance.