New Releases

Feeding Children When School Is Out

Through the Summer Food Service Program, USDA funds meals for children in low-income areas when school is not in session. In July 2001, 2.1 million children participated in this program, about 14 percent of the number who received free or reduced-price school meals during the previous school year. The ERS report Feeding Low-Income Children When School Is Out: The Summer Food Service Program (FANRR-30) presents findings from the first comprehensive study of this program in more than a decade. The report describes how the program operates at all levels of administration, examines factors that affect participation by sponsors and children, and measures the nutritional quality of meals served and the extent of plate waste.

Fruit and Vegetable Snacks in Schools

The 2002 Farm Bill provided $6 million for the Fruit and Vegetable Pilot Program, which offered free fruit and vegetable snacks to children in 107 elementary and secondary schools in Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Mexico, and Ohio during the 2002-03 school year. A new ERS report, Evaluation of the USDA Fruit and Vegetable Pilot Program—Report to Congress (E-FAN-03-006), shows that the pilot was popular among most students, parents, State representatives, teachers, principals, and foodservice staff. The report also includes types of fruits and vegetables offered to children and strategies for delivery. Jean Buzby

Organic Farming Expands

The rapid expansion of U.S. farmland managed under organic systems in the 1990s is documented in U.S. Organic Farming in 2000-2001: Adoption of Certified Systems (AIB-780). The uniform standards for organic production and processing adopted by USDA in October 2002 are expected to facilitate further growth in the organic farm sector. This report updates USDA estimates of land farmed with organic practices for 2000 and 2001 and provides new estimates on the number of certified organic operations in each State. Catherine Greene

Commodity Markets and Trade

ERS Outlook reports provide timely analysis of major commodity markets and trade, including special reports on hot topics. All reports are available on the ERS website, and include a calendar of future releases.