Resource | Infographics | Cost Study
USDA Foods in Schools Infographics

USDA Foods data collected via the Web-Based Supply Chain Management (WBSCM) system and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Order Receipt System (FFAVORS) were analyzed to conduct analyses on food purchases and spending at the national and state levels for four school years. These infographics display national data for school years 2016-2017 and 2017-2018.  

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
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
Assessment of the Administrative Review Process in School Meal Programs

The Administrative Review (AR) is the process state agencies use to assess compliance with federal requirements of SFAs participating in the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program. This study assesses the AR process by examining the results from a purposive sample of ARs. The study also describes in-depth how nine selected state agencies conduct their ARs, and ways the process could be further improved.

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
Child Nutrition Program Operations Study II, School Year 2015-2016

The Child Nutrition Program Operations Study II (CN-OPS II) is a multiyear study that provides 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, training and professional standards, food service equipment, and technology. 

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Evaluation of the Direct Certification with Medicaid for Free and Reduced-Price Meals Demonstration - Year 1

The demonstration of Direct Certification with Medicaid for Free and Reduced-Price Meals (DCM-F/RP) allows authorized States and school districts to use information from Medicaid data files to identify students eligible to receive free or reduced-price (F/RP) National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) meals. The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) contracted with Mathematica Policy Research to conduct a study of the first two years of this demonstration to describe the implementation process and explore the effects on certification, participation, Federal reimbursements, and State administrative costs. This report presents the findings from the first year of the demonstration evaluation, school year (SY) 2016–2017.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Evaluation of the School Meal Data Collection Process

The Evaluation of the School Meal Data Collection Process study describes and evaluates the methodologies and processes used by schools, school food authorities (SFAs), and state agencies to collect and report data on three Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) forms used for the federal school meal programs: the Report of School Program Operations (FNS-10), the SFA Verification Collection Report (FNS-742), and the State Agency Direct Certification Rate Data Element Report (FNS-834). In addition to describing the processes, the study identifies potential sources of error when completing the three forms and provides useful practices and recommendations for improving data collection processes.

Resource | Research | Participation Characteristics
SFSP Characteristics Study

This study collected data on SFSP operations and characteristics at the state, sponsor, and site levels. Survey data was collected in the summer of 2015 from a census of the 53 state agencies (all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico) and nationally representative samples of SFSP sponsors and sites. In lieu of a technical research report, study findings are included in a four-page infographic.