Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Farm to School Census and Comprehensive Review

The Farm to School Census and Comprehensive Review includes the 2019 Farm to School Census; a descriptive review of the USDA Farm to School Grant Program; a review of published research on farm to school since 2010; and a set of interviews with school food distributors. These reports will be released over the course of 2021.

Resource | Research | Impacts/Evaluations
The Evaluation of Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentives Interim Report

The Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grant program provided $100 million to fund and evaluate projects that were intended to increase fruit and vegetable purchases among Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants by providing incentives at the point of purchase. Grants were awarded in Fiscal Years (FYs) 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 to State and local governmental entities and nonprofit organizations. An independent evaluation measured the impact of FINI on two primary outcomes, increasing fruit and vegetable (1) expenditures and (2) consumption among SNAP households, and on several secondary outcomes. The pilot projects are not included in the evaluation. This report presents the results of the process evaluation and outcome evaluation through September 2017.

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 | Food/Nutrient Analysis
Nutrient and Food Group Analysis of USDA Foods in Five of its Food and Nutrition Programs - 2014

This study updates a 2009 analysis of the nutrient and food group content of the USDA Foods offered and delivered through Federal nutrition assistance programs. It examines the Child and Adult Care Feeding Program (CACFP), the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) in fiscal year (FY) 2014 and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) in school year (SY) 2013-2014. The study also estimated the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) scores under the HEI-2010 and the HEI-2005 scoring systems for each program’s benefits.

Resource | Research | Food/Nutrient Analysis
Diet Quality of American School Children by National School Lunch Program Participation Status: Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2005-2010

This report uses data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination survey to provide a comprehensive picture of the nutrient intakes, food choices, and diet quality of American school children, broken out by participation in the National School Lunch Program and income status.

Resource | Research | Food/Nutrient Analysis
Diet Quality of Americans by SNAP Participation Status: Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2007–2010

This report uses data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to provide a comprehensive picture of the nutrient intakes, food choices, and diet quality of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participants, compared with income-eligible nonparticipants and higher-income nonparticipants.

Resource | Research | Impacts/Evaluations
Healthy Incentives Pilot Final Evaluation Report

The Healthy Incentives Pilot (HIP) tested a way of making fruits and vegetables more affordable for participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assis­tance Program (SNAP). Under HIP, SNAP partici­pants received a financial incentive for purchasing fruits and vegetables. The HIP evaluation used a random assignment research design. Specifically, 7,500 Hampden County SNAP households were randomly selected to partic­ipate in HIP, while the remaining 47,595 households continued to receive SNAP benefits as usual. The final evaluation report presents findings on the impacts of HIP on fruit and vegetable consumption and spending, the processes involved in implementation and operating HIP, impacts on stakeholders, and the costs associated with the pilot.

Resource | Research | Promoting Healthy Eating
Approaches for Promoting Healthy Food Purchases by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Participants

This study developed innovative approaches to using nutrition labeling systems to incentivize healthy food choices by SNAP participants in retail settings. The approaches consider opportunities for using Front of Package and shelf labeling systems across all food categories and retail settings.

Resource | Research | Demonstrations
Healthy Incentives Pilot (HIP) Interim Report

The Healthy Incentive Pilot (HIP) is being evaluated using a rigorous research design. Of the SNAP households in Hampden County, 7,500 were randomly assigned to the HIP group and the remaining households to the non-HIP group. The overall goal of the evaluation is to assess the impact of HIP on participants’ intake of fruits and vegetables. The Interim report provides early estimates of fruit and vegetable consumption among participants and other early pilot impacts four to six months after implementation. This report is based on participant surveys conducted just before and 4 to 6 months after implementation. The surveys include 24-hour dietary recalls in addition to information about attitudes and preferences for fruits and vegetables and shopping patterns. Analyses of participant spending and incentive earnings are presented based on EBT transactions data for the first 6 months of the pilot.

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.