During the 2009-10 school year, the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) and San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) experimented with the removal of a la carte foods in one middle school and two high schools as a way to reduce stigma and increase National School Lunch Program (NSLP) participation. Learning from this pilot, SFUSD decided to eliminate all a la carte meals from schools during the 2010-11 school year. This project proposes a quantitative evaluation of the outcomes from this intervention. The intervention and its evaluation have broad policy relevance to national school food and child nutrition policies, including those related to funding the NSLP, and USDA regulations including financial record keeping of competitive foods. The specific aims of this study are to: 1) assess quantitative changes in student NSLP participation by income level (free/reduced/paid) before and after the removal of competitive foods, utilizing NSLP program participation data, and 2) assess quantitative changes in NSLP operating costs and revenues before and after the intervention, evaluating whether the elimination of competitive foods resulted in a positive effect on school finances. The study will take place in a large, multi-ethnic, urban school district of over 53,000 students, 61% of whom are qualified for free and reduced-price meals.
Evaluating the Impact on Student Nutrition and National Food Programs of Eliminating Competitive Meals in Schools
The USDA Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides critical nutrition assistance to lower-income women, infants, and young children. During the coronavirus pandemic, unemployment has risen to levels greater than experienced during the Great Recession, and food insecurity has also increased, making WIC’s role more important … More
Stories of Success: A Qualitative Examination of Contributors to Excellence in School Drinking Water Access
Drinking water instead of beverages with added sugar can help prevent obesity and cavities and promote overall health. Children spend much of their day in school, where they have variable access to drinking water. In 2010, federal and state law required California public schools to provide free potable water to … More
The Impact of Increasing SNAP Benefits on Stabilizing the Economy, Reducing Poverty and Food Insecurity amid COVID-19 Pandemic
With unemployment currently at a record high as a result of COVID-19, participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is expected to increase significantly. Congress has already passed three COVID-19 aid bills, which include SNAP provisions such as funding for emergency benefits for SNAP households and program administrative flexibilities. … More