Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Developing and Evaluating Methods for Using American Community Survey Data to Support the School Meals Programs

This is a report of the National Academies' National Research Council, Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT), which was commissioned by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service. It is available here by permission. It may also be obtained through the National Research Council's website. An earlier, prepublication version was made available in May 2010, but should no longer be used.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Selecting Policy Indicators And Developing Simulation Models for the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs

The third School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study provides the most comprehensive measurement available of: (a) the nutritional quality of reimbursable meals served in the National School Lunch
and Breakfast programs, (b) the nutritional quality of the breakfasts and lunches consumed by children who participate in these programs, and (c) student participation rates. The study data enable analyses of
school meal policies that were not previously possible. This report describes exploratory work to develop a simulation model to predict the potential implications of changes that may be coming in policies and practices related to school meals and school food environments.

Resource | Research | Demonstrations
Evaluation of the School Breakfast Program Pilot Project: Findings from the First Year of Implementation

Participation in the School Breakfast Program (SBP) by children from low-income households continues to be less than their participation in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). There is concern that children might be coming to school without eating breakfast and still not be participating in the SBP for a variety of reasons, including a perceived stigma associating school breakfast participation with poverty. The aim of this pilot is to study the impact of the availability of universal-free school breakfast on breakfast participation and measures related to students’ nutritional status and academic performance. This pilot is not intended to evaluate the current SBP or the value of consuming breakfast.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
School Meals Initiative Implementation Study: Third Year Report

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP) are key components of a national policy designed to safeguard and promote the nutritional well-being of the Nation’s children. The programs are administered by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), operating through state agencies (SAs) that have agreements with the local school systems in their States. Despite the progress that has been achieved over the years in enhancing the quality of school meals, results of research conducted in the early 1990s indicated that school meals, on balance, were failing to meet certain key nutritional goals. In light of these findings, the USDA launched a far-reaching reform of the school meals programs, a reform aimed at upgrading the nutritional content of school meals. The reform began in late 1993 with public hearings followed by a proposed rule in 1994 and a final rule in 1995. The several elements of this reform are collectively referred to as the School Meals Initiative for Healthy Children (SMI). The status of this initiative, together with an examination of selected operational issues of these programs, are the principal subjects of this report.

Resource | Research | Food/Nutrient Analysis
Availability of Fresh Produce In Nutrition Assistance Programs

Fruit and vegetable consumption is an important component of a balanced diet consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Food Guide Pyramid. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) promotes the increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, in all forms – fresh, frozen, canned, dried and juices, through its nutrition assistance programs.