In 2014, California became the first state to authorize an out-of-school-time (OST) health promotion program. The Distinguished After School Health (DASH) program awards a 2-year certificate to OST programs that implement its nutrition and physical activity standards. RTI is partnering with the California Department of Education (CDE) and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to evaluate DASH’s reach and impact. Specific aims of this study are to: 1) obtain quantitative survey data on reach and impact, comparing providers that applied for DASH certification with eligible non-applicants on measures of reach, benefits, and barriers to certification, implementation of DASH nutrition practices, and training and technical assistance needs; and 2) obtain qualitative data on applicant experiences with DASH on impact and to inform policy growth and maintenance. Quantitative data will be collected using an online survey. Qualitative data will be gathered through in-depth interviews with DASH applicants and document reviews to assess the validity of applicant claims. Four main outcome measures will be examined: 1) nutrition practices consistent with DASH standards; 2) perceived benefits to certification; 3) experience participating in nutrition capacity-building efforts; and 4) nutrition training and technical assistance needs.
Examining the Reach and Impact of California Legislation to Promote Healthy Eating in Out-of-School-Time Programs
Schools play a vital role in promoting children’s health and well-being. In the United States, schools contribute significantly to children’s overall diet quality and can provide up to half of their daily calories, especially among children from low-income families. Providing healthy school meals for all is a policy opportunity to … 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 … More
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 … More