The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 includes the first increase in the reimbursement rate for school meals in over 30 years and will likely become effective in 2012-2013. The rationale for increasing this rate is to induce schools to offer more nutritious meals. However, there is almost no previous research about whether schools will effectively use the additional funds to provide more nutritious meals to students. This project aims to provide evidence of how the federal reimbursement rate influences the nutritional content of breakfasts offered through the School Breakfast Program (SBP). To achieve this aim, the nutritional quality of breakfasts in schools with different reimbursement rates (based on the percent of students in the school who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals) will be compared. For the SBP, schools receive an additional $0.28 per meal if they are categorized as severe need. Data from the School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study-III and 2006 School Health Policies and Practices Study will provide nationally representative samples of schools to compare those just above and below the threshold for receiving the additional reimbursement in the SBP using a regression discontinuity design.
Examining the Impact of the Federal Reimbursement Rate on the Nutritional Content of School Meals
Strong nutrition standards for school meals, consistent with evidence-based recommendations, position children for optimal health and wellbeing. Strong science supports the link between lowering sodium intake and better health. This new issue brief from Healthy Eating Research examines the recent history of sodium standards for school meals. It highlights current sodium intake … More
Drinking water access in California schools: Room for improvement following implementation of school water policies
This study aimed to investigate how access to free drinking water in California public schools changed after implementation of 2010 federal and state school water policies. Repeated cross-sectional surveys were conducted with administrators in a random sample of California public schools, stratified by school type and urban-centric geography, from 2010 … More
In the next year, an estimated 1 in 4 children will experience food insecurity (up from 1 in 6, pre-pandemic), disproportionately impacting children in low-income households and racial/ethnic minorities. To mediate loss of school meals during closures and reduce COVID-19 exposure, Congress authorized the USDA to permit local education authorities … More