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.
Start Date: September 2020
ID #: CAS071
Organization: University of Washington
Project Lead: James Krieger, MD, MPH
Resource Type: Commissioned Research Project Summary
Focus Area: Nutrition Policy & Programs