Food insecurity among households with children under 18 has increased dramatically during the COVID pandemic; from 15% in 2018 to 28% in June 2020. Governments and school districts have rapidly adopted policies to help children facing food insecurity as a result of the pandemic. Two leading policies include the Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) and school-based Meals-to-Go (MTG). The relative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of these two strategies remains unknown. The purpose of these analyses is to compare the P-EBT and Meals-To-Go (MTG) policies and conduct a cost-effectiveness analysis of their effects on food access and security for school-age children in the United States to inform efforts to increase food security for children when school is out – in the summer or during future crises. This study will include three objectives: 1) Compile secondary data about implementation and outcomes of the two policies, 2) Qualitatively summarize and compare implementation processes and outcomes, and 3) Conduct a comparative quantitative analysis of population reach and average cost-per-meal provided (cost-effectiveness) and estimate effects on food insecurity.
Feeding Our Children: Comparing Pandemic EBT and School Meals‑to‑Go
SNAP Waivers and Adaptations During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Survey of State Agency Perspectives in 2020
This research seeks to understand perspectives from state SNAP administrators on the successes, challenges, and lessons learned from waivers and flexibilities used to preserve equitable access to SNAP during the COVID-19 pandemic. This report synthesizes results from an online survey of state SNAP administrators conducted between December 14, 2020, and … 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