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
Farm to School Census and Comprehensive Review

The Farm to School Census and Comprehensive Review includes the 2019 Farm to School Census; a descriptive review of the USDA Farm to School Grant Program; a review of published research on farm to school since 2010; and a set of interviews with school food distributors. These reports will be released over the course of 2021.

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 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 | 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.