In 2010, the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) initiated a number of major changes in child nutrition programs, including the establishment of the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) for the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. Implemented nationwide in SY 2014/15 to increase school meal participation and improve food security among at-risk children, the CEP allowed the provision of universal free meals in high poverty schools. Recent data suggest that more than half of eligible schools chose to participate in the CEP. It is yet unknown whether the CEP implementation has translated into measurable nutrition gains for children and how these gains are distributed across sub-populations. It is also unclear if there are any co-benefits. Evaluations of the CEP’s impact are just beginning to emerge, and no national data on the CEP effects is currently available. The proposed study aims to fill in this gap to provide a timely, nationwide assessment of the multiple impacts that the CEP has brought to low-resource communities. As nutrition is one potential mechanism to explain well-known socio-economic disparities in both health and education, better dietary intake due to the CEP has the potential to improve both health and academic outcomes in vulnerable children.
Studying the Community Eligibility Provision’s Broad Impact–On Child Nutrition, Health, Academics, School Attendance, and Family Food Security
Promoting Responsive Bottle-Feeding Practices Among Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Mothers to Reduce Infants’ Rapid Weight Gain and Obesity
Bottle-fed infants are at significantly greater risk for overfeeding and rapid weight gain (RWG), yet few studies focus on promoting healthy feeding practices for bottle-feeding caregivers. Bottle-feeding caregivers receive little support related to learning appropriate bottle-feeding practices, and this problem is pronounced in low-income, minority populations at higher risk for … More
CSPI developed a case study that provides insights into policy strategy and advocacy best practices that resulted in passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA). The case study outlines key lessons to help inform nutrition and public health policy initiatives, as well as continued implementation and defense of … More
Studying the Impact on Children’s Nutrition and Health of Participation in, and How to Increase Access to, Multiple Safety-Net Programs
One in five U.S. children are eligible to participate in federal income, food, and housing support programs. These programs reduce the prevalence and intensity of poverty, but their combined effects on nutrition and health are not well understood, and participation is not maximized. The proposed research examines the incremental and … More