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Resource | Research | Impacts/Evaluations

Evaluation of the Independent Review of Applications in USDA Child Nutrition Programs

This study examined the processes, procedures, and effectiveness of a second, independent review of applications for certain local education agencies under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act. The requirement, which was first implemented in School Year 2014-15, is intended to reduce administrative certification error in LEA processing of household applications.

Resource | Research | Report to Congress

Reviewing the Evidence for Maternal Health and WIC

This report addresses actions taken by the Food and Nutrition Service to comply with the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021 (PL 116-260, HR 116-446), which directs USDA to conduct a review of existing evidence and develop a plan to explore how participation in WIC is associated with maternal mortality, with emphasis on the needs of disadvantaged communities of color.

Resource | Research | General/Other

Evaluation of the Implementation of Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentives (FINI): Final Report

This study represents the final findings of the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Grant (FINI) Evaluation. The study Includes information about the amount of incentives issued and redeemed at FINI retailers and characteristics of the retailers involved in the grant program. Overall, over 71 percent of benefits issued were redeemed. Redemption rates were highest at retailers that specialized in selling fruits and vegetables. 

Resource | Research | Nutrition Education

WIC Report - Indicators of Diet Quality, Nutrition and Health for Americans by Program Participation Status, 2011–16

This study primarily uses 2011–2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data to examine bivariate relationships between reported WIC participation and outcomes including diet quality, indicators of nutrition and health, food consumption patterns, and nutrient intakes among 1- to 4-year-old children. Most results presented in this report are unadjusted and descriptive only, and do not infer causality. They are intended to contribute to the evidence base needed to inform future research and, subsequently, WIC policy and practice.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations

Study of Nutrition and Activity in Childcare Settings in USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (SNACS)

Centers and family daycare homes participating in CACFP play an important role in supporting the health and wellness of the children they serve. The Study of Nutrition and Activity in Childcare Settings  is the first nationally representative, comprehensive assessment of the CACFP. Data were collected in program year 2016–17 from CACFP providers and participating children on nutritional quality of meals served, nutrient intake of participating children, meal costs and revenues, and more. Findings serve as an important baseline for the subsequent updates to the meal pattern and nutrition standards, which were implemented in October 2017. 

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations

USDA Summer Meals Study

The USDA Summer Meals Study provides a comprehensive, nationally representative assessment of the two summer meal programs operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture : the Summer Food Service Program and the National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option. It is the first national study to simultaneously examine the facilitators and barriers to program participation among participating and nonparticipating families, sponsors, and sites. This study examines the characteristics of participating and nonparticipating children, including sociodemographic characteristics, household food security status, reasons for participation or nonparticipation, and satisfaction with the meals served to children in the summer of 2018. 

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations

School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study

This study is the first nationally representative, comprehensive assessment of the school meal programs since the updated nutrition standards for school meals were phased in beginning School Year 2012-2013. A study methodology report that describes the study design, sampling and data collection and a summary report that provides a brief overview of the study and key findings from the various reports are also available.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations

Study of School Food Authority Procurement Practices

The Study of School Food Authority (SFA) Procurement Practices is the first study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service to comprehensively describe and assess the decision-making process regarding school food procurement practices at the SFA level. The sample for this study was a subset of the 1,679 SFAs that participated in the Child Nutrition Operations Study II (CN-OPS-II), which included a module on SFA procurement practices in school year (SY) 2016–17. Findings are based on the perceptions and experiences of the SFA and they may not reflect actual regulations and policies; this study was not an audit.