Economic Information Bulletin No. (EIB-17) 29 pp

August 2006

Profiles of Participants in the National School Lunch Program: Data From Two National Surveys

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) serves more than 29 million children each day, but there is little information on the characteristics of those children. This study reports new estimates of NSLP participant characteristics using two national surveys: the 2001 Panel of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) and the 1999-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Study results also show that these two surveys are suitable sources of data on NSLP participants since they are consistent with more aggregated administrative data of the Food and Nutrition Service. The surveys supplement periodic characteristics data available from the School Nutrition and Dietary Assessment (SNDA) surveys.

Keywords: National School Lunch Program, participant characteristics, Survey of Income and Program Participation, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program, FANRP

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