Publications

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  • Households with Children in CACFP Child Care Homes - Effects of Meal Reimbursement Tiering: A Report to Congress on the Family Child Care Homes Legislative Changes Study

    EFAN-02005, April 01, 2002

    Within the family child care home portion of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), low-income children increased from 21 to 39 percent of all participating children between 1995 and 1999. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act of 1996 mandated a tiered reimbursement structure for CACFP child care homes--designed to target benefits more narrowly to low-income children--and called for a study of its effects on program participants and on meals offered to children. The study finds that the proportion of dollars allocated to low-income children's meals more than doubled, from 21 percent to 45 percent.

  • Meals Offered by Tier 2 CACFP Family Child Care Providers - Effects of Lower Meal Reimbursements: A Report to Congress on the Family Child Care Homes Legislative Changes Study

    EFAN-02006, April 01, 2002

    The introduction of tiered reimbursement rates in 1997 did not substantially affect the food and nutrient composition of meals offered by Tier 2 providers in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996 mandated a tiered reimbursement structure designed to target benefits more narrowly to low-income children and called for a study of its effects on program participation and child nutrition. PRWORA reduced reimbursement rates for Tier 2 providers (providers who are not low-income themselves and do not live in low-income areas). According to our 1999 study, Tier 2 providers neither cut back on meals and snacks served nor offered less nutritious foods, despite initial concerns about how Tier 2 providers would react to the reduced rates. Tier 2 meals have not compromised the overall goal of the CACFP meal component requirements: to provide a mix of foods that make an important contribution to a child's major nutritional needs.

  • Issues in Food Assistance-Program Targeting: Effects of Meal Reimbursement Tiering on the Child and Adult Care Food Program

    FANRR-26-1, April 01, 2002

    A 1995 study of the family child care homes portion of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) found that nearly 80 percent of children served came from middle and higher income families. To refocus the program on low-income children, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act of 1996 mandated an income-targeted meal reimbursement structure and called for a study of its effects. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) contracted with Abt Associates Inc., for a study of the effects of tiered meal reimbursement on the family child care homes portion of the CACFP. A key study finding was that the family child care homes component of the CACFP became substantially more focused on low-income children after tiering was introduced.

  • Sponsoring Organizations in the CACFP - Administrative Effects of Reimbursement Tiering: A Report to Congress on the Family Child Care Homes Legislative Changes Study

    EFAN-02003, April 01, 2002

    Sponsors of family child care homes in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) took on additional responsibilities as a result of the tiered reimbursement structure introduced in 1997. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 mandated a tiered reimbursement structure designed to target benefits more narrowly to low-income children and called for a study of its effects on program participants and on meals offered to children. Tiering has created a requirement for sponsors to classify family child care homes (providers) and some participating children according to income status. Sponsors surveyed in 1999 also reported that they had increased training and monitoring, expanded services to providers, and heightened recruitment efforts.

  • Plate Waste in School Nutrition Programs: Final Report to Congress

    EFAN-02009, March 14, 2002

    This report examines the level of plate waste in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and information on strategies to reduce it. Strategies examined include using the offer vs. serve provision for meal service, rescheduling lunch hours, improving the quality of food, tailoring serving sizes to student appetites, and providing nutrition education.

  • Family Child Care Home Participation in the CACFP - Effects of Reimbursement Tiering: A Report to Congress on the Family Child Care Homes Legislative Changes Study

    EFAN-02002, March 13, 2002

    The introduction of tiered reimbursement rates in 1997 reduced the number of family child care homes participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) in 1998 and 1999. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 mandated a tiered reimbursement structure designed to target benefits more narrowly to low-income children and called for a study of its effects on program participation and on meals offered to children. This report presents analyses focusing on how the revised reimbursement structure affected the number of family child care homes participating in the CACFP. By reducing participation incentives for child care homes that were not considered to be low-income ('Tier 2' homes), tiering reduced the total number of participating CACFP homes. Tiering had little or no discernible effect on the number of children participating in the program, the number of CACFP sponsors, or the nationwide number of licensed providers of child care.

  • Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program, Fiscal 2002, Competitive Grants and Cooperative Agreements Program: Description and Application Process

    AP-010, March 08, 2002

    ERS's Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program accepted proposals for grants and cooperative agreements for fiscal 2002. The five priority research areas were (1) Program Design and Operations, (2) Food Assistance as a Safety Net, (3) Obesity, (4) Eating Patterns, Diet Quality, and Health Outcomes, and (5) Behavioral Nutrition. This publication describes the research areas and application requirements. Funding for competitive awards in fiscal 2002 was approximately $2 million. The deadline for proposal submission was May 17, 2002.

  • Reimbursement Tiering in the CACFP: Summary Report to Congress on the Family Child Care Homes Legislative Changes Study

    FANRR-22, March 01, 2002

    The introduction of tiered reimbursement rates in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) concentrated program benefits more intensely on low-income children, as intended. Tiering reduced the number of family child care homes participating in the program, but did not alter the number or nutritional quality of meals offered by participating providers. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 mandated the tiered reimbursement structure and called for a study of its effects on program participation and on meals offered to children. Data were collected during the spring and summer of 1999 from nationally representative samples of participating family child care homes, their sponsors, and the parents of the children they served. This report summarizes the results of the study.

  • Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program, Final Report: Fiscal 2001 Activities

    AP-009, January 03, 2002

    ERS's Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program (FANRP) supports intramural and extramural research on a wide range of policy-relevant food assistance and nutrition topics. The three perennial program themes are (1) diet and nutritional outcomes, (2) food program targeting and delivery, and (3) program dynamics and administration. The core food and nutrition assistance programs include the Food Stamp Program, the child nutrition programs, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). This report summarizes FANRP's activities and accomplishments in fiscal 2001.

  • Methods To Prevent Fraud and Abuse Among Staff and Participants in the WIC Program: Volume I, Final Report

    EFAN-01011, December 01, 2001

    This report identifies and assesses methods used to detect and prevent fraud and abuse among staff and participants of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The report summarizes the relevant WIC regulations; describes basic controls or practices widely used by State and local agencies to detect and prevent fraud and abuse; and highlights enhanced controls that can further improve the program's integrity.

    In addition to this report, see Methods to Prevent Fraud and Abuse Among Staff and Participants in the WIC Program: Volume II, Site Visits.

  • Designs for Measuring How the School Breakfast Program Affects Learning

    EFAN-01013, December 01, 2001

    This report describes a study design permitting a scientifically defensible evaluation of the impact of the School Breakfast Program (SBP) on learning and cognitive development among children. Following presentation of a literature review and conceptual framework of the SBP-learning relationship, four alternative designs for measuring this relationship were proposed and assessed. Of the four, the design based on Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS) data (with supplemental analysis of 1988-1994 NHANES III data) was chosen as the report's subject.

  • Data Development Initiatives for Research on Food Assistance and Nutrition Programs, Phase I: Ten Potential Data Initiatives

    EFAN-01010, December 01, 2001

    This report describes 10 potential data development initiatives, each of which holds promise for improving the quality or reducing the cost of data resources in USDA's three major food assistance programs. The initiatives reflect the research needs of all three of the largest Federal food assistance programs: the Food Stamp Program (FSP), the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and the National School Lunch Program (NLSP). The initiatives also were chosen to provide information for several types of research, especially the measurement of program impacts and the dynamics of program participation.

  • Infant Formula Prices and Availability: Final Report to Congress

    EFAN-02001, October 01, 2001

    This final report responds to Congress's request for a study on the number of suppliers of infant formula in each State or major marketing area and comparison of the costs of formula that is included in USDA's WIC program versus that of other formula.

  • Infant Formula Prices and Availability: An Interim Report to Congress

    EFAN-01006, April 26, 2001

    This interim report responds to Congress's request for a study on the number of suppliers of infant formula in each State or major marketing area and comparison of the costs of formula that is included in the USDA's Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) versus that of other formula. Infant formula from the three major manufacturers, which accounts for 99 percent of all sales, was available in supermarkets in each of 64 market areas examined. Additionally, products in powder form from a fourth manufacturer were available in supermarkets in 83 percent of the market areas. Preliminary results indicate that within the market areas, there is not a clear relationship between a formula's being the WIC contract brand and its having the highest average retail price.

  • Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program, Fiscal 2001, Competitive Grants and Cooperative Agreements Program: Description and Application Process

    AP-008, April 06, 2001

    ERS's Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program accepted proposals for grants and cooperative agreements for fiscal 2001. The five priority research areas were (1) Workforce Attachment, Income Volatility, and Administrative Costs, (2) Food Assistance as a Safety Net, (3) Targeting High Needs Subgroups, (4) Eating Patterns, Food Choices, and Health Outcomes, and (5) Nutrition Education: Public and Private Returns to Information. This publication describes the research areas and application requirements. Funding for competitive awards in fiscal 2001 was approximately $2 million. The deadline for proposal submission was May 18, 2001.

  • Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program, Final Report: Fiscal 2000 Activities

    AP-007, March 07, 2001

    ERS's Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program (FANRP) supports intramural and extramural research on a wide range of policy-relevant food assistance and nutrition topics. The three perennial program themes are (1) diet and nutritional outcomes, (2) food program targeting and delivery, and (3) program dynamics and administration. The core food and nutrition assistance programs include the Food Stamp Program, the child nutrition programs, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). This report summarizes FANRP's activities and accomplishments in fiscal 2000.

  • The Economic Benefits of Breastfeeding: A Review and Analysis

    FANRR-13, March 01, 2001

    A minimum of $3.6 billion would be saved if breastfeeding were increased from current levels (64 percent in-hospital, 29 percent at 6 months) to those recommended by the U.S. Surgeon General (75 and 50 percent). This figure is likely an underestimation of the total savings because it represents cost savings from the treatment of only three childhood illnesses: otitis media, gastroenteritis, and necrotizing enterocolitis. This report reviews breastfeeding trends and previous studies that assessed the economic benefits of breastfeeding.

  • Summer Feeding Design Study: Final Report

    EFAN-01004, October 01, 2000

    The executive summary and three accompanying volumes of this report describe the design of a national study of USDA's Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). The SFSP was created in 1975 to provide children from low-income families with nutritious meals when school is not in session. On a typical summer day, the program provides meals to more than 2 million children. Since 1975, eligibility criteria, administrative procedures, and funding levels have changed. The study, which is currently underway, will describe program operations and assess how they contribute to participation levels and the nutritional benefits of SFSP participation. USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) contracted with Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. (MPR), to design the study to help ERS determine the appropriate sample and data collection methodologies, analytic methods, and study costs.

  • WIC and the Nutrient Intake of Children

    FANRR-5, April 01, 2000

    After controlling for self-selection bias, participation in the WIC program (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) has a significant positive effect on children's intakes of iron, folate, and vitamin B-6. Iron is one of five nutrients targeted by the program, the others being protein, calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Folate and vitamin B-6, along with zinc, were recommended by a 1991 USDA study as nutrients that the program should also target. The data set used, the 1994-96 Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals, reflects the dramatic increase during the 1990's in the number of children in the program. ERS AutoFAX summary document # 01805. Contact: victoro@ers.usda.gov.

  • Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program, Fiscal 2000, Competitive Grants and Cooperative Agreements Program: Description and Application Process

    AP-006, March 01, 2000

    ERS's Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program accepted proposals for grants and cooperative agreements for fiscal 2000. The four priority research areas were (1) Reaching Underserved Populations, (2) Food Programs as a Safety Net and Client Well-Being, (3) Child Nutrition, and (4) Behavioral Nutrition. This publication describes the research areas and application requirements. Funding for competitive awards in fiscal 2000 was between $2 million and $3 million. The deadline for proposal submission was May 26, 2000.