Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Direct Certification in the National School Lunch Program Report to Congress: State Implementation Progress, School Year 2015-2016 and 2016-2017

This report responds to the requirement of Public Law 110-246 to assess the effectiveness of State and local efforts to directly certify children for free school meals. Direct certification is a process conducted by the States and by local educational agencies (LEAs) to certify eligible children for free meals without the need for household applications. The 2004 Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act required LEAs to establish systems to directly certify children from households that receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits by school year (SY) 2008-2009. This report presents information on the outcomes of direct certification for SY 2015-2016 and SY 2016-2017.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
State of Origin for USDA Foods in Fiscal Year 2016

This report analyzes state-of-origin data for fiscal year (FY) 2016, which captures information on states where USDA purchased foods in that year. Vegetable products including fresh, frozen, canned or dried options accounted for the largest proportion (nearly 30 percent) of USDA Foods by weight purchased in FY 2016. Fruits and proteins represented the second and third largest weight share of USDA Foods purchased (over 20 percent each).

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Examination of the Effect of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Benefit and Eligibility Parameters on Low-Income Households

This study examines how the policies that determine benefit levels for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) compare to current low-income spending patterns by analyzing the expenditures of low-income households across the United States in 2013 and 2014.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
State of Origin for USDA Foods in Fiscal Year 2015

This report analyzes State-of-origin data for fiscal year (FY) 2015, which captures the States where USDA purchased food. In FY 2015, USDA purchased over 2 billion pounds of food, at a cost of nearly $2 billion. This included both raw food products such as meats, vegetables, and fruits; products used as ingredients in further processed foods; as well as finished food products like cereal, crackers, and pasta. This report analyzes State-of-origin data for fiscal year (FY) 2015, which captures the States where USDA purchased food. In FY 2015, USDA purchased over 2 billion pounds of food, at a cost of nearly $2 billion. This included both raw food products such as meats, vegetables, and fruits; products used as ingredients in further processed foods; as well as finished food products like cereal, crackers, and pasta.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Direct Certification in the National School Lunch Program Report to Congress: State Implementation Progress, School Year 2014-2015

This report responds to the requirement of Public Law 110-246 to assess the effectiveness of State and local efforts to directly certify children for free school meals. Direct certification is a process conducted by the States and by local educational agencies (LEAs) to certify eligible children for free meals without the need for household applications. The 2004 Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act required LEAs to establish systems to directly certify children from households that receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits by school year (SY) 2008-2009. This report presents information on the outcomes of direct certification for SY 2014-2015.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Regional Office Review of Applications (RORA) for School Meals 2015

This is the 11th 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.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Regional Office Review of Applications (RORA) for School Meals 2014

This is the tenth in a series of annual reports to examine administrative errors incurred during the local educational agency’s (LEA) approval process of household applications for free and reduced-price meals in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). This report examines administrative error estimates in student certification for free and reduced-price NSLP meals.

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
Building a Healthy America: A Profile of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

As the time for reauthorization of SNAP again approaches, it is useful to take stock of its accomplishments, identify those features that have contributed to its success, and look for new opportunities to strengthen operations to achieve program goals more fully. To that end, this is a summary of past research on program operations and outcomes.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Implementing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in Puerto Rico: A Feasibility Study

In 1982, the U.S. Congress replaced the Food Stamp Program in Puerto Rico with a block grant. With this change, Puerto Rico acquired more authority to administer what became a different program, known as the Nutrition Assistance Program (NAP). Funds are provided through a block grant from the U.S. Federal Government and are subject to an annual cap. To maintain a nutrition assistance program under
more constrained funds, Puerto Rico has targeted eligibility and benefits to those households who are most financially needy. The Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-234) directed the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to examine the feasibility and effects of including Puerto Rico as a ‘State’ under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-246).
With such a shift, nutrition assistance in Puerto Rico would be subject to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) rules, options, and entitlement funding. This study assesses the potential impacts of establishing SNAP in Puerto Rico.