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Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations

Study of Nutrition and Activity in Childcare Settings in USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (SNACS)

Centers and family daycare homes participating in CACFP play an important role in supporting the health and wellness of the children they serve. The Study of Nutrition and Activity in Childcare Settings  is the first nationally representative, comprehensive assessment of the CACFP. Data were collected in program year 2016–17 from CACFP providers and participating children on nutritional quality of meals served, nutrient intake of participating children, meal costs and revenues, and more. Findings serve as an important baseline for the subsequent updates to the meal pattern and nutrition standards, which were implemented in October 2017. 

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

CACFP Family Day Care Homes Meal Claims Feasibility Study

The aim of this IPERA compliance reporting feasibility study is to develop a reliable method of assessment of erroneous meal claims in CACFP-Family Day Care Homes, test the method on a sample of FDCHs for the purpose of estimating the rate of improper payments and provide annual estimates of erroneous payments. Specifically, the study focuses on accurately estimating meals that are claimed but not served.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations

Assessing the Child Nutrition State Administrative Expense Formula

FNS provides state administrative expense (SAE) funds to state agencies to support administration and oversight of federal child nutrition programs in their state. This study examines the formula used for allocations of SAE funds, identifies factors that influence state agency spending, and presents a series of options for consideration to potentially improve SAE allocations and procedures.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations

Study of Food Safety Needs of Adult Day Care Centers in the Child and Adult Care Food Program

The Study of Food Safety Needs of Adult Day Care Centers in the Child and Adult Care Food Program report identified and evaluated food safety knowledge gaps and education needs of adult day care center program operators. Overall, this study provides information on knowledge gaps related to food safety practices in adult day care centers and illuminates the best way for center staff to receive future food safety training and information support.

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 | Assessing/Improving Operations

CACFP Sponsor Tiering Determination Aging Study, 2015 - 2020

This report describes the feasibility of a modeling approach to forecast tiering error rates based on prior data, in lieu of annual assessments of misclassified FDCHs. It presents estimates for forecasted rates and associated improper payments for FDCHs for each fiscal year (FY) from 2016 to 2020. Due to data limitations, the report concludes that building a reliable model is not possible with the currently available data and estimates produced by the models cannot be used for IPERIA reporting.

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.