The Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a report late last week on the factors that lead to school nutrition program participation. The study looked in particular at economic factors and found that students who qualified for reduced price meals were more likely to participate if they received those meals for free, suggesting that the 40 cent co-pay is a barrier for some families. SNA is advocating for an elimination of the reduced price category as part of Reauthorization.
The study results found that elementary aged children are more likely to participate than students who are in middle or high school. The taste of the food also plays an important role, as students that enjoy the meals are more likely to participate than those who do not. More information on this report can be found at Factors Associated with Meal Participation.
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