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

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

Nutrition Evaluation of the Emergency Meals-to-You Program (eMTY)

Over the summer of 2020, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Emergency Meals-to-You (eMTY) program provided meals to rural children in households with lower incomes through home-delivered boxes of shelf-stable food. The program was run by the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty in partnership with Chartwells K12, PepsiCo Food for Good, and McLane More

Date: July 2022

Resource Type: Report

Focus Areas: Food Access Nutrition Policy & Programs

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

Rural Schools: Challenges and Opportunities for School Meal Programs

Children and adolescents living in rural communities are at increased risk of obesity and food insecurity. Schools can play an essential role in addressing diet-related disparities, but multiple factors can impact the cafeteria environment and student participation in school meal programs. School nutrition professionals face unique challenges in meal operations. To develop solutions to these More

Date: November 2021

Resource Type: Research Review

Focus Areas: School & After School

Policy Approaches to Healthier Food Banking

People who rely on the charitable food system both want and deserve nutritious food and beverages that support their health. Yet a 2018 report by MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger and the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity found that, on average, 25 percent of food bank distributions remain unhealthy. CSPI conducted research More

Date: November 2021

Resource Type: Report

Focus Areas: Food Access

Prevalence of Evidence-Based School Meal Practices and Associations with Reported Food Waste across a National Sample of U.S. Elementary Schools

Providing meals at school is an important part of the hunger safety net for children in the United States and worldwide; however, many children do not receive school meals even when they qualify for federally-subsidized free or reduced-priced meals. This study investigates the prevalence of several evidence-based practices that have previously been shown to increase More

Date: August 2021

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Nutrition Policy & Programs School & After School

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

The overall goal of this study is to develop a Healthy Charitable Foods Index that can be used by food banks to translate the pounds by category values into a value that corresponds meaningfully to the USDA’s Healthy Eating Index (HEI) scores. The subrecipient will compare a set of foods in the charitable food system More

Strengthening the Impact of USDA’s Child Nutrition Summer Feeding Programs During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic

To address food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic, utilization of the USDA child nutrition summer feeding programs has drastically increased. Given the unprecedented use of the summer feeding programs, this research brief will (1) explain the meal pattern requirements and select operational differences between the summer feeding programs and the federal meal programs typically utilized More

Date: May 2021

Resource Type: Research Brief

Focus Areas: Nutrition Policy & Programs School & After School

Special Issue on School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study-I: Findings Related to Improving Diet Quality, Weight, and Disparities in U.S. Children

School meals are important contributors to the healthy diets of our nation’s children, especially those in food insecure households, according to new papers published in a special issue of the journal Nutrients. The papers address urgent policy challenges related to food security, childhood obesity, sugar consumption, and racial and ethnic disparities when it comes to More

Date: March 2021

Resource Type: Special Journal Issue

Focus Areas: Nutrition Policy & Programs School & After School