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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

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

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 | Nutrition Education

Evaluation of the FY 2016 Team Nutrition Training Grants

In September 2016, FNS awarded Team Nutrition Training Grants to 14 state agencies that administer the USDA’s NSLP, SBP, and CACFP. This TNTG cohort was different than previous cohorts because, for the first time, grantees were asked to outline a plan to evaluate some or all of the interventions they would implement with grant funding. In order to support this evaluation, they were asked to partner with a social scientist, and FNS provided technical assistance for evaluation. This report summarizes the evaluations of interventions funded by the FY 2016 Team Nutrition Training Grants and the evaluation findings, and provides lessons learned from the experience and recommendations for improving the quality of evaluations under future grants.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations

Evaluation of the Direct Certification with Medicaid for Free and Reduced-Price Meals (DCM-F/RP) Demonstrations, Year 2

This report examines the impact of using Medicaid data to directly certify students for free and reduced-price school meals in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs in fifteen states in School Year 2017-18. Certification, participation, and reimbursement outcomes for Cohort 1 states in their second year of implementation and Cohort 2 states in their first year of implementation are discussed.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations

Study of the Administrative Review and Training Grants in the USDA National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program

This report examines in-depth the accomplishments, challenges, and lessons learned from 20 states that received and completed Administrative Review and Training (ART) Grants by the end of FY 2017. ART Grants provide funding for diverse activities aimed at reducing administrative error, including training for administrative personnel and improving state-level technologies in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program.