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
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
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
Strengthening the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) through State Waiver Flexibilities: Perspectives from the National Network of State SNAP Directors
The rapid rise in food insecurity among households with children during COVID-19 has reinforced the critical role SNAP plays in reducing food insecurity and poverty, particularly in low-income communities of color. Waivers and other state program modifications enacted during the pandemic could improve access to SNAP and reduce income and … More