Start Date: July 2022

ID #: 283-5106

Principal Investigator: Juliana Cohen, ScD, ScM

Co-Principal Investigator: Wendi Gosliner, DrPH, MPH

Organization: Merrimack College

Funding Round: 2021 Special Solicitation on COVID-19 and Socioeconomic Recovery Efforts

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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 food security among lower-income households. Secondary aims are to examine the impact of continuing (or discontinuing) UFSM on: (1) foodservice programs, including documentation of challenges (e.g., school meal debt) and supportive strategies (e.g., effective messaging to promote school meal participation); and (2) barriers and motivators to participating in school meals and completing school meal application forms among households at risk for food insecurity.

Start Date: 8/1/2022

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