Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Evaluation of the School Meal Data Collection Process

The Evaluation of the School Meal Data Collection Process study describes and evaluates the methodologies and processes used by schools, school food authorities (SFAs), and state agencies to collect and report data on three Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) forms used for the federal school meal programs: the Report of School Program Operations (FNS-10), the SFA Verification Collection Report (FNS-742), and the State Agency Direct Certification Rate Data Element Report (FNS-834). In addition to describing the processes, the study identifies potential sources of error when completing the three forms and provides useful practices and recommendations for improving data collection processes.

Resource | Data
Child Nutrition Tables
Resource | Research | Report to Congress
Child Nutrition Reporting Burden Analysis Study

The Child Nutrition Reporting Burden Analysis Study was commissioned by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service in response to a legislative requirement of House Report 114-531. The study examined challenges faced by state agencies (SAs) and School Food Authorities (SFAs) related to child nutrition (CN) program administrative and reporting requirements and identifying those that contribute most to the workload for SAs and SFAs that operate CN programs.

Resource | Research | Impacts/Evaluations
Successful Approaches to Reduce Sodium in School Meals Study

This study was designed to provide information on (1) the market availability of foods that meet the sodium standards for school meal programs set by regulation in 2012, (2) the strategies most often used by schools that have met the sodium targets, and (3) the technical assistance needs of schools and districts working to develop lower sodium menus.

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 | History
School Milk Programs

Fluid whole milk is an important component in an adequate diet, being one of the most important sources of calcium, and contributing substantially to the protein and vitamin A content of a meal. It is an important part of the Type A school lunch. In the 1965 survey on dietary levels of U.S. households, it was found that calcium and iron intakes were substantially below the recommended amounts in one fifth of the households. This was due principally to the low consumption of milk and milk products, vegetables, and fruits.

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 | 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 | Food Security
Evaluation of Demonstration Projects to End Childhood Hunger (EDECH): Final Interim Evaluation Report

This study—authorized by the 2010 Child Nutrition Act—tests innovative strategies to end childhood hunger and food insecurity. The interim evaluation report describes (1) the demonstration projects, (2) planning and early implementation activities, and (3) findings from the baseline data collection for four projects located within Chickasaw Nation, Kentucky, Nevada, and Virginia. A fifth demonstration project was implemented in Navajo Nation but not evaluated due to changes in program design. The demonstrations occurred during 2015-2017 and operated for 12 to 24 months

Resource | Research | Demonstrations
Evaluation of Demonstration Projects to End Childhood Hunger

The 2010 Child Nutrition reauthorization provided funding to test innovative strategies to end childhood hunger and food insecurity. Demonstration projects were funded and implemented in Chickasaw Nation, Kentucky, Navajo Nation, Nevada, and Virginia. The reauthorization also required an independent and rigorous evaluation, which occurred in all of the sites besides Navajo Nation. The Navajo Nation project, which focused on capacity building and community outreach, was difficult to evaluate because an appropriate control group could not be identified. Therefore, the Navajo Nation demonstration was not evaluated and a final evaluation report is not available.