Civil Rights

Civil rights are the non-political rights and freedoms that protect individuals from unwarranted action by government and private organizations and individuals and ensure one’s ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without discrimination or repression. 

Current federal civil rights laws are composed of rules and laws from a wide variety of sources including but not limited to Title VI - Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.   Under federal law, any agency or organization receiving federal financial assistance is prohibited from discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age and disability.  USDA products are considered to be federal financial assistance.

Every partner agency receiving USDA products must post the “And Justice for All” poster to show clients they conform to all current federal civil rights laws and must provide information on how to file a discrimination complaint.

Filing A Discrimination Complaint

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, the Foodbank and its partner agencies receiving USDA and State products are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.

Any client or volunteer that believes they have been discriminated against can file a complaint.  To file a complaint or report of discrimination:

USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410

(800) 795-3272 or
(202) 720-6382 (TTY)

Any complaint alleging discrimination must contain the following information:

  • The full name and address of the person making the complaint
  • The full name and address of the entity against whom the complaint is made
  • The basis of the alleged discrimination: race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age or gender
  • A concise statement of the facts that indicate the alleged discrimination
  • The date or dates of the occurrences of the alleged discrimination

No particular form is required to file a complaint; however discrimination complaint forms are available and can be obtained from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Bureau of Civil Rights.

Civil Rights Training

It is required to attend a Foodbank Civil Rights training prior to obtaining partnership with the Foodbank.  Civil rights training is conducted as part of the partnership orientation. 

Upon completion of this class, you must have every staff member and volunteer associated with your food program trained in civil rights.  Your staff members and volunteers must read and sign a civil rights checklist after their training.  These checklists will document that your agency is providing necessary training in civil rights and may help to diffuse discrimination complaints from clients. 

Checklists must be maintained at your agency for 5 years.  Every year, your staff members and volunteers will need to complete a new civil rights checklist.  During your agency’s annual site visit, the Foodbank staff member will need to see your completed civil rights checklists for your staff and volunteers. 

Any changes in civil rights regulations will be communicated to our partner agencies.  

The U.S Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination  against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department.  (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at http://www.ascr.usdagov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at

Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.