USDA Prohibits Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity

WASHINGTON, May 5, 2022 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service announced today that it will interpret the prohibition on discrimination based on sex found in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and in the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (encompassing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), to include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

As a result, state and local agencies, program operators and sponsors that receive funds from the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service must investigate allegations of discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. Those organizations must also update their non-discrimination policies and signage to include prohibitions against discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

“Whether you are grocery shopping, standing in line at the school cafeteria, or picking up food from a food bank, you should be able to do so without fear of discrimination,” said Deputy Under-Secretary Stacy Dean. Today’s notice further affirms USDA’s efforts to dismantle barriers that historically underserved communities have faced in accessing its programs and services. Nutrition disparities negatively impact health, productivity and overall well-being for too many in the U.S.

Local complaints about discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity may be reported to the Ohio Bureau of Civil Rights, or locally by contacting the Hamilton County Job & Family Services, Office of Client Rights, Monday through Friday, 8am through 4:40pm, at 513-946-1313.

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