Research & Publications | Healthy Eating Research

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Validating a Nutrition Ranking System for Food Pantries Using the Healthy Eating Index-2015

In 2020, charitable food organizations began adopting Healthy Eating Research (HER) nutrition guidelines, which rank individual foods in tiers (e.g., green, yellow, or red) based on each food’s nutrient profile. This study aimed to validate this HER tier-ranked system against the Healthy Eating Index-2015 (HEI) and develop a formula to summarize the percentages of tier-ranked More

Date: September 2022

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Food Access

Costs, Reach, and Benefits of COVID-19 Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer and Grab-and-Go School Meals for Ensuring Youths’ Access to Food During School Closures

School meals are associated with improved nutrition and health for millions of US children, but school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted children’s access to school meals. Two policy approaches, the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program, which provided the cash value of missed meals directly to families on debit-like cards to use for More

Date: August 2022

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: School & After School

Pandemic-EBT and Grab-and-Go School Meals: Costs, reach, and benefits of two approaches to feeding children during school closures — Lessons from COVID-19 responses

COVID-related school closures across the United States in spring 2020 disrupted the school meal programs that provide critical access to healthy food for millions of children — including children in elementary and middle school and adolescents in high school — from households with low incomes, leading to increased food insecurity. The United States Department of More

Date: August 2022

Resource Type: Research Brief

Focus Areas: School & After School

The Effect of Pandemic EBT on Food Hardship and Family Well-being

Pandemic EBT is a new program, operating since March 2020, that provides children who receive free or reduced-price meals with a voucher to purchase groceries for an amount equal to the value of school meals missed due to pandemic-related school closures. This program is being considered as a model for future nutritional assistance programs. Although More

Date: July 2022

Resource Type: Grant Summary

Focus Areas: Nutrition Policy & Programs

COVID-19 relief measures and food insecurity among low-wage worker families

During the COVID-19 pandemic, record numbers of households, including nearly 14 million children, reported not having enough to eat. In response, the federal government enacted a set of far-reaching relief measures, expanding both USDA nutrition assistance programs as well as other economic safety net measures. Within a sample of low-wage workers with children, this research More

Longitudinal Study of Low-Income Families with Young Children: Assessing California Communities’ Experiences with Safety Net Supports Survey (ACCESS)

This is a unique opportunity to assess the longitudinal impact of COVID-19 related relief and recovery policies and existing safety net supports among economically disadvantaged California families raising young children. The goals of this study are to 1) characterize participant’s awareness and understanding of COVID-19 related relief supports such as Pandemic EBT, free school meals, More

Date: July 2022

Resource Type: Grant Summary

Focus Areas: Food Access Nutrition Policy & Programs School & After School

Evaluation of Universal Free School Meals

The purpose of this study is to compare the impact of continuing Universal Free School Meals (UFSM) in Maine and California with the impact of de-implementing UFSM in control states during the 2022-23 school year. Specific aims are to examine: (1) school meal participation rates using administrative claims data from 20 states; and (2) household More

Date: July 2022

Resource Type: Grant Summary

Focus Areas: School & After School

Food Insecurity and Childhood Obesity: A Systematic Review

Addressing food insecurity while promoting healthy body weights among children is a major public health challenge. Our objective is to examine longitudinal associations between food insecurity and obesity in U.S. children aged 1 to 19 years. Sources for this research include PubMed, CINAHL, and Scopus databases (January 2000 to February 2022). We included English language More

Keywords: Food insecurity

Date: June 2022

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Diet Quality & Healthy Weight Food Access

Nutrition standards for the charitable food system: challenges and opportunities

Food insecurity is associated with increased risk of chronic disease and poor dietary intake. The United States charitable food system, a complex network of food banks, pantries and congregate meal sites, provides food for millions of low-income households each year. Food banks and pantries play a critical role in supporting food security and are an More

Date: March 2022

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Diet Quality & Healthy Weight Food Access

An Equity-oriented Systematic Review of Online Grocery Shopping Among Low-income Populations: Implications for Policy and Research

Online grocery services are an emerging component of the food system with the potential to address disparities in access to healthy food. We assessed the barriers and facilitators of equitable access to healthy foods in the online grocery environment, and the psychosocial, purchasing, and dietary behaviors related to its use among low-income, diverse populations. Four More

Date: January 2022

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Food Retail