Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
Regional Office Review of Application (RORA) For School Meals 2011

This is the seventh in a series of annual reports that examines the administrative accuracy of eligibility determinations and benefit issuance for free or reduced-price meals in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). In School Year (SY) 2010/11, about 96 percent of students submitting applications for meal benefits were certified for the correct level of meal benefits, based on information in the application files. This was slightly lower than the 98-percent accuracy rate found in the 2 previous school years.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Using American Community Survey Data to Expand Access to School Meals Programs

This is a report of the National Academies' National Research Council, Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT), which was commissioned by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service. It is available here by permission. It may also be obtained through the National Research Council's website. This is the final version of the report. An earlier, prepublication version was made available in May 2012, but should no longer be used. This final version includes some important corrections.

Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
CACFP Assessment of Sponsor Tiering Determinations 2011

The Improper Payments Information Act of 2002 (IPIA) (Public Law 107-300) requires all Federal agencies to calculate the amount of erroneous payments in Federal programs and to periodically conduct detailed assessments of vulnerable program components. This is the seventh wave (2011) of a program assessment of the family daycare homes in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The assessment provides a national estimate of the share of CACFP-participating family daycare homes that are approved for an incorrect level of per meal reimbursement, or reimbursement "tier," for their circumstances. Tiering errors result in improper payments because misclassified family day care homes do not receive the appropriate level of reimbursement for the meals and snacks provided to the children. The assessment also estimates the dollar amount of improper payments attributable to family daycare home tiering errors.

Resource | Research | Food/Nutrient Analysis
School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study IV

This report summarizes findings from the fourth School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study (SNDA-IV), which collected data from nationally representative samples of school districts and schools in school year (SY) 2009-10. As in prior studies, the nutrient content of the average meals offered and served in the Nation’s schools was compared with regulatory standards in effect at the time—the School Meal Initiative (SMI) nutrition standards—as well as selected recommendations included in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. In January 2012, USDA issued new standards for school meals to be phased in over 3 years beginning in SY 2012-13. The data reported here thus serve as a marker of progress in achieving the SMI standards, and a baseline for measuring future improvements under the new standards. The study also collected information about the availability of competitive foods—foods sold in competition to USDA school meals through a la carte sales in cafeterias, vending machines, school stores, and other venues. Finally, the study collected data from a sample of elementary schools participating in the HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) and compared them to elementary schools nationwide.

Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
WIC Erroneous Payments to Vendors: Annual Estimates for FY 2011

This report provides improper payment estimates for fiscal year 2011 using a methodology for “aging” the 2005 bookend study. The methodology yields nationally representative estimates of the number of vendors that over- and undercharged and the amount of over- and undercharges across all WIC vendors.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Performance Measurement for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Modernization Initiatives

This report is an exploratory study intended to add to the growing body of knowledge about how states are modernizing their programs by focusing specifically on how they monitor and measure the success of discrete aspects of their initiatives.

Resource | Research | Participation Rates
Reaching Those in Need: State Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Participation Rates in 2010

This report – the latest in an annual series – presents estimates of the percentage of eligible persons, by State, who participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) during an average month in fiscal year 2010 and in the 2 previous fiscal years. This report also presents estimates of State participation rates for eligible “working poor” individuals (persons in households with earnings) over the same period. Although SNAP provides an important support for working families, the working poor has participated at rates that are substantially below those for all eligible persons.

Resource | Research | Participation Rates
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Participation Rates: Fiscal Year 2010

This report is the latest in a series on SNAP participation rates. Estimates are based on the March 2011 Current Population Survey and program administrative data for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010. The findings represent participation rates for FY 2010.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Evaluation of the 14 State Summer Food Service Program Pilot Project

In December 2000, the Secretary of Agriculture was authorized, through the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), to conduct a Pilot to increase SFSP participation in a number of States with low rates of feeding low-income children in the summer. States were eligible to participate in the Pilot if the proportion of low-income children they served in July 1999 through SFSP and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) relative to March 1999 NSLP participation was below 50 percent of the national average. Fourteen States, including Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Texas, and Wyoming, met the criteria and are participating in the Pilot. For the purpose of this Pilot, Puerto Rico is defined as a State. This 3-year Pilot began in fiscal year 2001 and has been extended until June 30, 2004. Under the Pilot, meals served by eligible sponsors in the 14 States are reimbursed at the maximum allowable rate. In addition, administrative record keeping for the Pilot sponsors was reduced since they were no longer required to record administrative and operating costs separately and they did not have to report costs to State Agencies.

Resource | Research | Participation Characteristics
Characteristics of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Households: Fiscal Year 2011

This report describes the characteristics of SNAP households and participants nationwide in fiscal year 2011 (October 2010 through September 2011). It also presents an overview of SNAP eligibility requirements and benefit levels in fiscal year 2011.