Resource | Research | Benefit Content/Cost
Exploring the Causes of State Variation in SNAP Administrative Costs

The Federal Government fully funds SNAP benefits, but FNS and state agencies share administrative expenses, with each paying about 50 percent. State administrative costs per case varies widely by state. This study explores a number of factors, including state economic conditions, SNAP caseload characteristics, state SNAP policies, to try to explain the variation by state.

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 | Benefit Content/Cost
WIC Participant and Program Characteristics 2016 Food Package Report

The biennial WIC Participant and Program Characteristics Report describes a census of all participants in WIC. The most recent report (PC 2016) reflects State management information systems data from April 2016, and this Food Package Report is a supplemental analysis of that data. While PC 2016 summarizes participant characteristics, this report summarizes the food packages, or prescriptions, that State agencies (SAs) issued to these participants.

Resource | Research | Benefit Content/Cost
WIC Food Package Cost Report, Fiscal Year 2014

This report supplements FNS administrative data on food package costs by estimating the average monthly food costs for each WIC participant category and food package type. It also estimates total pre- and post-rebate dollars spent on 17 major categories of WIC-eligible foods in FY 2014. This report is an update to the previous WIC Food Package Cost Report for FY 2010.

Resource | Research | Benefit Content/Cost
WIC Nutrition Services and Administration (NSA) Cost Study

The WIC Nutrition Services and Administration (NSA) Cost Study examines how program funds are expended by State and local agencies to support the management and operation of WIC. The study analyzed data from a national survey of State and local agencies, cases studies, and FY 2013 WIC administrative data (FNS-798 and FNS-798A).

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Approaches to Measuring Erroneous Payments in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program At The State Level

The second Access, Participation, Eligibility and Certification Study (APEC II) included a follow-on report that provided statistically-derived State-level estimates of school meals erroneous payments. However, while APEC II provided a rough indicator of relative risk for groups of States (e.g., higher than average, about average, lower than average), it was not a State-representative direct measure, and creating actual annual measures of such erroneous payments at the State level using APEC methodology is cost-prohibitive. This report explores alternative approaches to developing measurement-based State-specific estimates that are responsive to year-to-year changes in the actual underlying rate in each State. It also provides cost and burden estimates for the implementation of each of these methods.

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
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 | Cost Study
School Lunch and Breakfast Cost Study - II

This study examines the cost of producing National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) meals during School Year (SY) 2005-06. It measures both reported costs – costs charged
directly to school food service accounts – and unreported costs – those costs paid by school districts in support of School Food Authority (SFA) operations – to estimate the full cost of meal production.

Resource | Research | Cost Study
School Lunch and Breakfast Cost Study

The study examined the costs charged to SFAs (reported costs), as well as those costs incurred by the school district in support of SFA operations, but not charged to the SFA (unreported costs). Together, the reported costs and the unreported costs are the full cost of meal production.