Impact of the community eligibility provision of the healthy, hunger-free kids act on student nutrition, behavior, and academic outcomes: 2011-2019

Amelie A. Hecht, Keshia M. Pollack Porter, Lindsey Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) allows high-poverty schools participating in US Department of Agriculture meal programs to offer universal free breakfast and lunch. Authorized as part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, CEP became available to eligible schools nationwide in 2014. Emerging evidence suggests that schools that provide universal free meals experience positive impacts on student nutrition, behavior, and academic performance. In particular, schools benefit from increased meal participation rates. There is mixed evidence of impacts on test scores and attendance, and limited but promising results showing improvements in weight outcomes, on-time grade promotion rates, disciplinary referrals, and food security. In this article, we summarize the growing evidence base and suggest policy approaches to increase the use of CEP by eligible schools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1405-1410
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Volume110
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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