Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Evaluation of the Direct Certification with Medicaid for Free and Reduced-Price Meals Demonstration - Year 1

The demonstration of Direct Certification with Medicaid for Free and Reduced-Price Meals (DCM-F/RP) allows authorized States and school districts to use information from Medicaid data files to identify students eligible to receive free or reduced-price (F/RP) National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) meals. The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) contracted with Mathematica Policy Research to conduct a study of the first two years of this demonstration to describe the implementation process and explore the effects on certification, participation, Federal reimbursements, and State administrative costs. This report presents the findings from the first year of the demonstration evaluation, school year (SY) 2016–2017.

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 | Assessing/Improving Operations
SNAP Employment and Training (E&T) Best Practices Study: Final Report

This study — mandated by Section 4022 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (PL 113-79) — reviews research on employment and training (E&T) program components and practices that: (1) assist members of households participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to obtain regular employment; and (2) are best integrated with State workforce development systems. This review also included research on the effectiveness of E&T components offered to low-income individuals by other Federal and State agencies, and the private philanthropic sector.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Special Nutrition Program Operations Study, School Year 2013-14

The Special Nutrition Program Operations Study is a multiyear study designed to provide the Food and Nutrition Service with a snapshot of current State and School Food Authority policies and practices of the school meal programs, including information on school meal standards, competitive foods standards, professional standards, school lunch pricing and accounting, and Smarter Lunchrooms activities. The information in this third year study (School Year 2013-14), the year of the first implementation phase of new breakfast standards, will provide data for observing the improvements resulting from the implementation of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. Data was collected from a survey of all State Child Nutrition Directors and a nationally representative sample of School Food Authorities (SFAs).

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
School Nutrition Program Operations Study, School Year 2012-13

The Special Nutrition Program Operations Study is a multiyear study designed to provide the Food and Nutrition Service with a snapshot of current State and School Food Authority policies and practices of the school meal programs, including information on school meal standards, competitive foods standards, professional standards, school lunch pricing and accounting, and standards for school wellness policies. The information in this second year report (School Year 2012-13), the first year new lunch standards were implemented, will provide data for observing the improvements resulting from the implementation of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. Data was collected from a survey of all State Child Nutrition Directors and a nationally representative sample of School Food Authorities (SFAs).

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
HHFKA Implementation Research Brief Series

This series of research briefs examines best practices in School Food Authorities' implementation of key provisions and their impacts in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, including Fruits and Vegetables, Plate Waste, Sodium, Participation, Revenue, Whole Grains, Smart Snacks, and a special view of Obesity.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Program Error in the NSLP and SBP: Findings from the Second Access, Participation, Eligibility and Certification Study (APEC II)

FNS developed the Access, Participation, Eligibility and Certification (APEC) study series, which collects and analyzes data from a nationally representative sample of schools and school food authorities (SFAs) about every 5 years. APEC allows FNS to develop a national estimate of erroneous payment rates and amounts in three key areas: certification error, meal claiming error and aggregation error.  FNS recently completed APEC II, which collected data in School Year 2012-2013 and this report summarizes those findings.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
An Assessment of the Roles and Effectiveness of Community-Based Organizations in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

This study examined program outcomes such as procedural denials and application timeliness when applicant interviews were conducted by community-based organizations (CBOs) staff to outcomes when SNAP staff conducted applicant interviews in 4 states - Florida, Michigan, Nevada, and Texas.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
School Foodservice Indirect Cost Study

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) directed USDA to study the extent to which school food authorities (SFAs) participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) pay indirect costs to local education agencies (LEAs). It specifically requested an assessment of the methodologies used to establish indirect costs, the types and amounts of indirect costs that are charged and not charged to the school foodservice account, and the types and amounts of indirect costs recovered by LEAs. To address the research questions, information was collected from four perspectives: (1) the State education agency finance officer, (2) the State child nutrition director, (3) the LEA business manager, and (4) the SFA director. 

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.