Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Assessment of States' Use of Computer Matching Protocols in SNAP

As required by federal law, state SNAP agencies verify financial and non-financial information by matching SNAP applicant and participant information to various national and state data sources to ensure they meet the program’s eligibility criteria. Data matching is an important tool for ensuring program integrity and benefit accuracy. However,  information on states’ data matching practices and protocols is limited. This study was undertaken to address this knowledge gap.

Resource | Research | Food/Nutrient Analysis
Evaluation of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program

This report describes findings from the evaluation of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Pilot Program conducted during the 2010– 2011 school year. The evaluation had two components: (1) an impact study to estimate program impacts on participating elementary students and schools; and (2) an implementation study to examine how the FFVP operates in the selected elementary schools.

Resource | Research | Food/Nutrient Analysis
Evaluation of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program: Interim Report

The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) aims to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among students in the Nation’s poorest elementary schools by providing free fresh fruits and vegetables to students outside of regular school meals. FFVP began as a pilot program in 2002 and was converted into a nationwide program in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, also known as the Farm Bill (PL 110-234). The results presented in this interim report, for the 2010-2011 school year, focus on the total quantity of fruits and vegetables consumed and total energy intake (also referred to as total caloric intake), allowing the assessment of whether any additional fruit and vegetable consumption was in addition to or in place of other foods consumed.

Resource | Research | Impacts/Evaluations
Evaluation of the Elementary Schools Pilot Project for Canned, Frozen, or Dried Fruits and Vegetables in the FFVP

This report presents results from a pre/post study comparing the fall of 2014 with the spring of 2015, to evaluate the impacts of a Pilot project under which States had the option to serve canned, frozen, and dried fruits and vegetables.

Resource | Research | General/Other
Evaluation of Pilot Project for Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables

Authorized by Section 4202 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (P.L. 113-79, the 2014 Farm Bill), the USDA Pilot Project for Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables was designed to provide States with additional flexibility in the procurement of unprocessed fruits and vegetables. Participating States and school food authorities (SFAs) can purchase approved items with existing USDA Foods National School Lunch Program entitlement funds from any USDA Pilot-authorized vendor in support of the school meal standards.

Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
Direct Certification in the National School Lunch Program: State Implementation Progress

This report responds to a requirement of Public Law 110-246 to assess the effectiveness of State and local efforts to conduct direct certification of children for free school meals. Under direct certification, children are determined eligible for free meals without the need for household applications by using data from other means-tested programs. The 2004 Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act requires local educational agencies (LEAs) to establish, by School Year 2008-2009, a system of direct certification of children from households that receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly Food Stamp Program) benefits. The mandate is phased in over three years; the largest LEAs were required to establish direct certification systems for School Year 2006-2007. As of School Year 2007-2008, 67 percent of LEAs operated a direct certification system. Across all States, the 2007-2008 median direct certification rate of SNAP-participant children was 69 percent. This number is expected to increase sharply in School Year 2008-2009 as all LEAs become subject to the statutory mandate.

Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
Direct Certification in the National School Lunch Program: State Implementation Progress - Report to Congress

This report responds to the legislative requirement of Public Law 110-246 to assess the effectiveness of State and local efforts to directly certify children for free school meals. Under direct certification, children are determined eligible for free school meals without the need for household applications by using data from other means-tested programs. The 2004 Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act required local educational agencies (LEAs) to establish, by School Year 2008-2009, a system of direct certification of children from households that receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly Food Stamp Program) benefits. The mandate was phased in over three years; the largest LEAs were required to establish direct certification systems first, by School Year (SY) 2006-2007. As of SY 2008-2009, all LEAs are subject to the mandate. Seventy-eight percent of LEAs directly certified SNAP-participating students in SY 2008-2009. These LEAs enroll 96 percent of all students in NSLP-participating schools. The median direct certification rate was 72 percent in SY 2008-2009. This is up from 69 percent in SY 2007-2008.

Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
Direct Certification in the National School Lunch Program: State Progress in Implementation Report to Congress

This report responds to the legislative requirement of Public Law 110-246 to assess the effectiveness of State and local efforts to directly certify children for free school meals. Under direct certification, children are determined eligible for free school meals without the need for household applications by using data from other means-tested programs. The 2004 Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act required local educational agencies (LEAs) to establish a system of direct certification of children from households that receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits by School Year (SY) 2008-2009. In SY 2009-2010, 83 percent of LEAs directly certified participating SNAP students. These LEAs enroll 97 percent of all students in NSLP schools. States and LEAs directly certified 1.6 million more children at the start of SY 2009-2010 than they did a year earlier, a 24-percent increase. The percentage of SNAP participant children certified for free school meals without application increased slightly from 71 percent in SY 2008-2009 to 72 percent in SY 2009-2010.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Child Nutrition Program Operations Study: Third Year Report

The Child Nutrition Program Operations Study was designed to collect data from States and participating SF As through annual telephone surveys during School Years (SY) 1988-89, 1989-90, and 1990-91 and through on-site visits during SY 1989-90 and 1991-92, with specific information needs for each data collection effort defined by FNS staff.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Preliminary Report on the Feasibility of Computer Matching in the National School Lunch Program

The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 (PL 108-265) directed the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct a study of the feasibility of using computer technology (including data mining) to reduce over-certification, waste, fraud and abuse in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Prior to enactment of this legislation, USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) contracted with Abt Associates, Inc. to study the feasibility of expanding computer matching for certification of school meal benefits. This study draws on experts in data matching and privacy issues, and will survey state child nutrition directors, state education officials, and state Medicaid officials to learn about current computer matching capabilities and issues involved in expanding matching. A final report will be available in April 2006.