Published: January 2022

Publisher: Healthy Eating Research

Authors: Kenney EL, Fleischhacker S, Dai J, Mozaffarian RS, Wilson K, West J, Shen Y, Dunn CG, Bleich SN

See more related research

Share


School closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic significantly disrupted children’s access to school meals in 2020 and 2021. School food service authorities (SFAs), which are responsible for planning, sourcing, preparing, and serving school meals, had to rapidly convert their usual on-site meal service operations to more flexible and mobile strategies to distribute meals to students directly in the community. Understanding the strategies SFAs used to implement community distribution programs for school meals and identifying what kinds of support are needed for success can inform better planning for future crises that may cause disruptions to school meals. This brief summarizes the results from a study that investigated how food service directors from 12 of the largest SFAs in the United States tackled the challenge of providing school meals when school was out and how this “stress test” on the school meal system revealed ways to potentially strengthen the financial model for SFAs in the future.

Related Research

April 2022

A click too far from fresh foods: A mixed methods comparison of online and in-store grocery behaviors among low-income households

A recent policy in the U.S. authorized monthly benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to be used online to increase grocery access and promote healthy eating. This study examined online grocery attitudes and purchasing behaviors among low-income SNAP-eligible households with young children with and without online grocery experience. An explanatory sequential mixed methods More

January 2022

A Systematic Scoping Review of the Literacy Literature to Develop a Digital Food and Nutrition Literacy Model for Low-income Adults to Make Healthy Choices in the Online Food Retail Ecosystem to Reduce Obesity Risk

Adults with lower incomes are disproportionately affected by poverty, food insecurity, obesity, and diet-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs). In 2020–2021 amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) expanded the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Online Purchasing Pilot program to enable eligible participants to purchase groceries online in 47 states. More

January 2022

Federal Nutrition Programs During the COVID-19 Pandemic: SNAP

The COVID-19 pandemic presented new challenges and exacerbated existing barriers faced by SNAP participants and administrators, such as inequitable access to SNAP online purchasing, overburdened administrative staff and agency systems, and low digital literacy and technology deficits. In response, SNAP online purchasing increased rapidly by March 2021, and program flexibilities and waivers allowed states to More