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
White Paper on the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) is a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program that for three decades has helped supplement the diets of low-income Americans, including seniors, by providing them with emergency food and nutrition assistance at no cost. This white paper explains the program and describes some of its key results.

Resource | Research | Food/Nutrient Analysis
Nutrient and Food Group Analysis of USDA Foods in Five of its Food and Nutrition Programs - 2014

This study updates a 2009 analysis of the nutrient and food group content of the USDA Foods offered and delivered through Federal nutrition assistance programs. It examines the Child and Adult Care Feeding Program (CACFP), the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) in fiscal year (FY) 2014 and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) in school year (SY) 2013-2014. The study also estimated the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) scores under the HEI-2010 and the HEI-2005 scoring systems for each program’s benefits.

Resource | Research | Food/Nutrient Analysis
Nutrient and MyPyramid Analysis of USDA Foods in Five of Its Food and Nutrition Programs

Through its food distribution programs, USDA purchases a variety of food including fruits, vegetables, meat, grains, and dairy products for distribution directly to needy households or for use in congregate feeding programs that help Americans obtain access to nutritious food and support American agriculture. These USDA Foods are distributed to help supplement the diets of: children participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), women, infants, children, and elderly participating in the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), low-income Native Americans participating in the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), and needy individuals seeking assistance from food pantries and soup kitchens and participating in The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). This report contains nutrient and food group analyses of the USDA Foods distributed through the NSLP, CACFP, CSFP, FDPIR, and TEFAP in Fiscal Year (FY) 2009.

Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
Regional Office Review of Application (RORA) For School Meals 2011

This is the seventh in a series of annual reports that examines the administrative accuracy of eligibility determinations and benefit issuance for free or reduced-price meals in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). In School Year (SY) 2010/11, about 96 percent of students submitting applications for meal benefits were certified for the correct level of meal benefits, based on information in the application files. This was slightly lower than the 98-percent accuracy rate found in the 2 previous school years.

Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
Regional Office Review of Applications (RORA) for School Meals 2012

This is the eighth in a series of annual reports that examines the administrative accuracy of eligibility determinations and benefit issuance for free or reduced-price meals in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). In School Year (SY) 2011/12, about 97 percent of students submitting applications for meal benefits were certified for the correct level of meal benefits, based on information in the application files. This was slightly higher than the 96-percent accuracy rate found in the previous school year.

Resource | Research | Food/Nutrient Analysis
School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study IV

This report summarizes findings from the fourth School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study (SNDA-IV), which collected data from nationally representative samples of school districts and schools in school year (SY) 2009-10. As in prior studies, the nutrient content of the average meals offered and served in the Nation’s schools was compared with regulatory standards in effect at the time—the School Meal Initiative (SMI) nutrition standards—as well as selected recommendations included in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. In January 2012, USDA issued new standards for school meals to be phased in over 3 years beginning in SY 2012-13. The data reported here thus serve as a marker of progress in achieving the SMI standards, and a baseline for measuring future improvements under the new standards. The study also collected information about the availability of competitive foods—foods sold in competition to USDA school meals through a la carte sales in cafeterias, vending machines, school stores, and other venues. Finally, the study collected data from a sample of elementary schools participating in the HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) and compared them to elementary schools nationwide.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Using American Community Survey Data to Expand Access to 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. This is the final version of the report. An earlier, prepublication version was made available in May 2012, but should no longer be used. This final version includes some important corrections.

Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
Direct Certification in the National School Lunch Program: State Implementation Progress School Year 2011-2012: Report to Congress

Student eligibility for free meals is determined by application or by direct certification. Although direct certification systems vary by State and LEA, all such systems are designed to eliminate the need for paper applications. Effective in SY 2011-2012, LEAs must conduct direct certification three times per year: once at or around the start of the school year, and again three and six months after that initial effort. All direct certification systems now match student enrollment lists against SNAP agency records and the records of other assistance agencies whose participants are categorically eligible for free meals. The matching process, whether automated or manual, requires no action by the children’s parents or guardians.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Child Nutrition Program Operations Study: Second Year Report

To manage the Child Nutrition programs effectively, FNS collects and analyzes information from annual State-level management reports. However, because these State-level reports vary considerably in both format and content, FNS is unable to rely on this source for all of its ongoing information needs.