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
Study of the Administrative Review and Training Grants in the USDA National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program

This report examines in-depth the accomplishments, challenges, and lessons learned from 20 states that received and completed Administrative Review and Training (ART) Grants by the end of FY 2017. ART Grants provide funding for diverse activities aimed at reducing administrative error, including training for administrative personnel and improving state-level technologies in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program.

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 the  Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) with information on current State Agency (SA) and school food authority (SFA) policies, practices, and needs related to school nutrition service operations, financial management, meal counting, training and professional standards, food service equipment, and technology. Results are used to inform Child Nutrition program management and policy development. Data was collected between May and October 2016 from all State Child Nutrition (CN) directors and a nationally representative stratified sample of SFA directors through on-line surveys. Most information refers to school year 2015-2016.

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 | 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 | Impacts/Evaluations
Successful Approaches to Reduce Sodium in School Meals Study

This study was designed to provide information on (1) the market availability of foods that meet the sodium standards for school meal programs set by regulation in 2012, (2) the strategies most often used by schools that have met the sodium targets, and (3) the technical assistance needs of schools and districts working to develop lower sodium menus.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study

This study is the first nationally representative, comprehensive assessment of the school meal programs since the updated nutrition standards for school meals were phased in beginning School Year 2012-2013. A study methodology report that describes the study design, sampling and data collection and a Summary Report that provides a brief overview of the study and key findings from the various reports are also available.

Resource | Research | Food Security
Evaluation of Demonstration Projects to End Childhood Hunger (EDECH): Final Interim Evaluation Report

This study—authorized by the 2010 Child Nutrition Act—tests innovative strategies to end childhood hunger and food insecurity. The interim evaluation report describes (1) the demonstration projects, (2) planning and early implementation activities, and (3) findings from the baseline data collection for four projects located within Chickasaw Nation, Kentucky, Nevada, and Virginia. A fifth demonstration project was implemented in Navajo Nation but not evaluated due to changes in program design. The demonstrations occurred during 2015-2017 and operated for 12 to 24 months