Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
National School Lunch Program Application/Verification Pilot Project: Report on First Year Experience

Twenty-two School Food Authorities (SFAs) across 16 States began testing pilot procedures in 2000-01 to determine and verify the eligibility of children for Free and Reduced Price (F/RP) school meals. Three pilot F/RP eligibility determination models are being tested over a three-year period. The three models are: Up-Front Documentation; Graduated Verification; Verify Direct Certification. This project responds to a growing concern on the part of the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) about program integrity issues associated with the current system by which SFAs determine eligibility for F/RP school meals. This report provides a description of these SFAs' experience during their first year under the pilot procedures (2000-01), drawing comparisons with the same SFAs' NSLP operations over a two-year pre-pilot baseline. Results are presented for each pilot group.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
School Meals Initiative Implementation Study: Third Year Report

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP) are key components of a national policy designed to safeguard and promote the nutritional well-being of the Nation’s children. The programs are administered by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), operating through state agencies (SAs) that have agreements with the local school systems in their States. Despite the progress that has been achieved over the years in enhancing the quality of school meals, results of research conducted in the early 1990s indicated that school meals, on balance, were failing to meet certain key nutritional goals. In light of these findings, the USDA launched a far-reaching reform of the school meals programs, a reform aimed at upgrading the nutritional content of school meals. The reform began in late 1993 with public hearings followed by a proposed rule in 1994 and a final rule in 1995. The several elements of this reform are collectively referred to as the School Meals Initiative for Healthy Children (SMI). The status of this initiative, together with an examination of selected operational issues of these programs, are the principal subjects of this report.