Research by Topic

SNA Research on the issues and trends impacting school nutrition.

Participation in Federal Child Nutrition Programs

SNA Sources:
NSLP and SBP Participation Tracking: Tracking of national participation rates for the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program using USDA data.

External Sources:
USDA FNS Program Data and Statistics: Yearly and monthly program data on the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.

National School Lunch Program

SNA Sources: 
School Nutrition Operations Report: Research report that benchmarks school nutrition operational practices including information on meal prices, participation rates, menu offerings, lunch periods and procurement.

External Sources:

  • USDA’s School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study IV (2012): Report includes information on the nutrient content of NSLP meals, a comparison of HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) schools, and compared them to elementary schools nationwide.
  • USDA FNS Research Report Finder Publications available on topics related to direct certification, application verification, school meal costs, and purchasing.
  • USDA ERS Publications: Publications on topics related to fruit and vegetable consumption in NSLP, impact of economic conditions on program participation, and NSLP costs by region.
  • NFSMI Resource Search Page:  Research resources available on topics including recess placement, marketing, human resources, factors impacting participation, time required to eat, emergency preparedness, financial management, environmental conservation, food safety, special diets and plate waste.
  • CDC’s School Health Profiles and Practices Study (2012): Report includes information on menu planning, food ordering, and food preparation; food safety, food allergies, and food insecurity.

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School Trends & Demographics

External Sources:
National Center for Education Statistics: Publications and data on number and characteristics of public and private school districts.

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School Foodservice Market

SNA Sources:

  • School Nutrition Operations Report: Research report that benchmarks school nutrition operational practices including information on average foodservice budgets, participation by grade level, and meal prices.
  • trendSETS Resources: Includes a resource that analyzed bid information for 2012-13 school year.

External Sources:

 

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Childhood Wellness & Nutrition

External Sources:

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School Breakfast Program

SNA Sources:

  • Growing School Breakfast Participation: New Ways to Deliver Breakfast to Students On-the-Go (2011):  A SNA report on the ways school nutrition programs are delivering on-the-go breakfast to middle and high school students.
  • 2013 Back to School Trends Report:
    (SNA non-members click here to purchase)
    Report includes information from school nutrition directors on breakfast participation, expanded breakfast venues, popular breakfast items with students and implementation of breakfast meal pattern for the 2013-14 school year.
  • School Nutrition Operations Report: Research report that benchmarks school nutrition operational practices including information on breakfast prices, participation rates, and prevalence of different breakfast venues.
  • trendSETS Resources: Includes a resource that compares breakfast menu items from 2009 to 2013 and feedback from school nutrition directors on initial implementation of new meal pattern for breakfast.
  • Breakfast in the Classroom: A joint initiative of Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom (Food Research and Action Center, National Association of Elementary School Principals Foundation, National Education Association Health Information Network, and School Nutrition Foundation) and funded by the Walmart Foundation to increase breakfast consumption among school children and spark the academic and nutritional gains associated with the morning meal.

External Sources:

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Equipment & Production Methods

SNA Sources:

External Sources:
NFSMI Resource Search Page: Research resources available on involvement in equipment purchases and facility design.

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Purchasing

SNA Sources:
School Nutrition Operations Report: Research report that benchmarks school nutrition operational practices including information on the prevalence of purchasing cooperatives, average number of vendors and USDA Foods purchases.

External Sources:
USDA’s School Food Purchasing Study III (2012):  Study provides national estimates of the type, quantity, dollar value and unit price of food acquisitions by public school districts participating in NSLP and SBP.

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Competitive Foods

SNA Sources:
School Nutrition Operations Report: Research report that benchmarks school nutrition operational practices including access to a la carte purchases by grade level and percent of school nutrition revenue from competitive food sales. 

External Sources:

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Costs/Funding

SNA Sources:

  • School Nutrition Trends Survey 2014: Report includes information from school nutrition directors on changes in revenue (overall and a la carte) and costs (food, non-food supply, and labor) as well as the anticipated financial impact of implementation of 2014-15 meal pattern requirements.
  • School Nutrition Operations Report: Research report that benchmarks school nutrition operational practices including annual foodservice program budgets, student meal prices, participation rates and percent of revenue from competitive food sales.

External Sources:

  • USDA’s  School Lunch and Breakfast Cost Study (2008): Study examines the cost of producing NSLP and SBP meals during School Year (SY) 2005-06.
  • USDA’s School Food Purchasing Study III (2012):  Study provides national estimates of the type, quantity, dollar value and unit price of food acquisitions by public school districts participating in NSLP and SBP.
  • USDA ERS Research Report Search Page: Publications on topics related to the impact of competitive food regulations on revenue and school foodservice cost by location. 
  • NFSMI Resource Search Page:  Research resources available on financial management benchmarks, issues and practices in school foodservice.

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Fruit and Vegetables

SNA Sources:

  • School Nutrition Operations Report: Research report that benchmarks school nutrition operational practices including participation in Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program and the prevalence of locally sourced fruits and vegetables.
  • trendSETS Resources: Includes a resource with information on implementation of fruit and vegetables requirements in the new meal pattern for NSLP and SBP.

External Sources:

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Food Allergies/Special Diets

SNA Sources:
School Nutrition Operations Report: Research report that benchmarks school nutrition operational practices including the prevalence of food bans due to food allergies and availability of gluten-free menu items.

External Sources:

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New Meal Pattern

SNA Sources:

  • School Nutrition Trends Survey 2014: Report includes information from school nutrition directors on anticipated challenges associated with implementation of meal pattern requirements for 2014-15 school year.
  • trendSETS Resources: Includes resources with information on various aspects of the implementation of the new meal patterns for NSLP and SBP.

External Sources:
USDA ERS Publications:  Publications on topics related to the implications of new regulations.

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120 Waterfront Street, Suite 300
National Harbor, MD 20745
servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org

Tel (301) 686-3100
Fax (301) 686-3115

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