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A rotten deal for schools? An assessment of states' success with the National School Lunch Program's in-kind food benefit

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  • Peterson, Cora

Abstract

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is one of the United States' largest domestic food aid programs. The NSLP provides states with both cash and commodity foods for school meals. This research assessed the success of the school commodity program by comparing states' available annual funding to the value of foods that states actually received from 2001 to 2009. Results indicate that an in-kind food funding system is not desirable for schools; states failed to receive entitled commodity food value in most years, resulting in annual funding losses for schools of $35-87 million. Inconsistent funding inhibits schools' ability to improve meals and, ultimately, child nutrition outcomes. In light of these results, it is recommended that a cash benefit should replace the National School Lunch Program's commodity food program.

Suggested Citation

  • Peterson, Cora, 2011. "A rotten deal for schools? An assessment of states' success with the National School Lunch Program's in-kind food benefit," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 588-596, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:36:y:2011:i:5:p:588-596
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Beghin, John C. & Jensen, Helen H., 2008. "Farm policies and added sugars in US diets," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 480-488, December.
    2. Alston, Julian M. & Sumner, Daniel A. & Vosti, Stephen A., 2008. "Farm subsidies and obesity in the United States: National evidence and international comparisons," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 470-479, December.
    3. Cora Peterson, 2009. "A comparative cost analysis of commodity foods from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the National School Lunch Program," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(4), pages 626-654.
    4. Ghosh, Koel & Senauer, Benjamin, 2009. "Adequacy of Federal School Lunch Reimbursement Adjustments," Choices: The Magazine of Food, Farm, and Resource Issues, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1-6.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maietta, Ornella Wanda & Gorgitano, Maria Teresa, 2016. "School meals and pupil satisfaction. Evidence from Italian primary schools," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 41-55.

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