Child Nutrition Programs

USDA's child nutrition programs provide a nutritional safety net for children and account for a quarter of USDA's domestic food and nutrition assistance outlays. ERS conducts research and evaluation studies of child nutrition programs and applies behavioral economic theory to study efforts to promote child nutrition (see the report, The National School Lunch Program: Background, Trends, and Issues, in the link below). Information about program eligibility requirements, benefits, and the application process is available from the Food and Nutrition Service.

The National School Lunch Program Background, Trends, and Issues

ERS research focuses on domestic food assistance programs administered by USDA that exclusively or primarily serve the nutritional needs of children:

ERS has compiled a database of over 1,000 peer-reviewed research reports and articles covering a broad spectrum of food and nutrition assistance research based on both intramural and extramural research published at ERS and elsewhere. The database is searchable by title, lead author, topics such as school lunch and breakfast, year of publication, data set analyzed and exact word(s) or phrases contained in the publication’s bibliographic citation. See Food and Nutrition Assistance Research Reports Database.