Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Resource | Research | Impacts/Evaluations

Evaluation of the Independent Review of Applications in USDA Child Nutrition Programs

This study examined the processes, procedures, and effectiveness of a second, independent review of applications for certain local education agencies under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act. The requirement, which was first implemented in School Year 2014-15, is intended to reduce administrative certification error in LEA processing of household applications.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations

USDA Summer Meals Study

The USDA Summer Meals Study provides a comprehensive, nationally representative assessment of the two summer meal programs operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture : the Summer Food Service Program and the National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option. It is the first national study to simultaneously examine the facilitators and barriers to program participation among participating and nonparticipating families, sponsors, and sites. This study examines the characteristics of participating and nonparticipating children, including sociodemographic characteristics, household food security status, reasons for participation or nonparticipation, and satisfaction with the meals served to children in the summer of 2018. 

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

Study of School Food Authority Procurement Practices

The Study of School Food Authority (SFA) Procurement Practices is the first study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service to comprehensively describe and assess the decision-making process regarding school food procurement practices at the SFA level. The sample for this study was a subset of the 1,679 SFAs that participated in the Child Nutrition Operations Study II (CN-OPS-II), which included a module on SFA procurement practices in school year (SY) 2016–17. Findings are based on the perceptions and experiences of the SFA and they may not reflect actual regulations and policies; this study was not an audit. 

Resource | Notices | Assessing/Improving Operations

Comment Request - School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study-II

This collection is a revision of a currently approved collection for the School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study-II. The purpose of SNMCS-II is to provide a comprehensive picture of school food service operations and the nutritional quality, cost, and acceptability of meals served in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations

Third Access, Participation, Eligibility, And Certification Study (APEC-III), School Year 2017-18

This is the third study in the Access, Participation, Eligibility, and Certification study series, conducted in School Year 2017-18. FNS relies upon the APEC series to provide reliable, national estimates improper payments made to school districts operating the NSLP and SBP. APEC studies also help identify sources of error and inform FNS policy and technical assistance for state agencies and school food authorities to reduce error. FNS conducted previous iterations of the study in School Years 2005-06 and 2012-13.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations

Study of Nonresponse to the School Meals Application Verification Process

FNS conducted the Study of Nonresponse to the School Meals Application Verification Process to examine (1) the accuracy of the current verification process, (2) district practices when verifying applications for cause, and (3) the ultimate results of the verification process, including the reasons why households do not respond to verification requests and how many households reapply. 

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations

Farm to School Census and Comprehensive Review

The Farm to School Census and Comprehensive Review includes the 2019 Farm to School Census; a descriptive review of the USDA Farm to School grant program; a review of published research on farm to school since 2010; and a set of interviews with school food distributors. 

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations

Child Nutrition Program Operations Study II (CN-OPS II) SY 2016-17 Report

The Child Nutrition Program Operations Study II is a multiyear study designed to provide FNS with information on current state agency and school food authority policies, practices, and needs related to school nutrition service operations, financial management, meal counting, eligibility, nutrition standards, and personnel. Results inform CN program management and policy development. 

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations

Direct Certification in the National School Lunch Program State Implementation Progress Report to Congress SY 2017-2018 and SY 2018-2019

This report presents information on direct certification with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for free school meals for SY 2017-2018 and SY 2018-2019.