FNS is conducting a study, the Evaluation of the School Meal Data Collection Process, to provide a description and evaluation of the methodologies and processes used to collect and report program data for the school meal programs via the FNS-10, FNS-742, and FNS-834 forms. The key research objectives relate to assessing how schools/sites, SFAs, and state agencies handle the following three functions: Collect/aggregate data, process or validate data, and transmit data about the school meal programs. The ultimate objective is to understand the likely sources of error within each of these functions at each reporting level.
The study approach includes analysis of administrative data and site visits to conduct case studies. Using on-site interviews and observations in 4 states, 40 SFAs and 120 schools that are selected purposively, the study will describe and assess the data collection/aggregation, validation, and transmittal processes used to complete the FNS-10, FNS-742, and FNS-834, and to describe the likely sources of error for each of these processes—from schools/sites, to SFAs, to states, and ultimately delivery to FNS regional offices via the FNS Food Program Reporting System (FPRS).