ERIC Number: ED410002
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-May
Reference Count: N/A
School Meal Programs: Sharing Information on Best Practices May Improve Programs' Operations. Report to the Secretary of Agriculture.
General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Resources, Community, and Economic Development Div.
At the request of the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, this investigation identified state and local school food authorities' (SFA) management and operating practices recognized as best practice by the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) or other officials. In addition, the study determined whether some of these practices could be replicated, and reviewed the training and technical assistance provided by the USDA. Information was obtained primarily through interviews with officials from the USDA, four of the Food and Consumer Services' regional offices, states and local areas, the American Commodity Distribution Program, and the American School Food Service Association. Findings indicated that states and SFAs have developed several best practices for managing and operating school meal programs, including: (1) a computerized system to improve commodity-ordering efficiency; and (2) cooperative purchasing programs to buy food and nonfood items at competitive prices. The USDA has implemented a pilot project using the Department of Defense's national infrastructure to purchase fresh produce and improve the nutrition of school meals. Not all best practices may be suitable for all states and SFAs because of such factors as the size and location of the state or SFA. The USDA's recent training and technical assistance has focused on providing information on new dietary guidelines to school food service personnel. It was recommended that best practices be identified and encouraged and that training and technical assistance be provided to successfully replicate best practices in other states and SFAs. (Project descriptions and comments from the food and consumer service are appended.) (KDFB)
Descriptors: Breakfast Programs, Children, Computers, Delivery Systems, Elementary Secondary Education, Food Service, Lunch Programs, Nutrition, Program Administration, Program Implementation, Purchasing
U.S. General Accounting Office, P.O. Box 6015, Gaithersburg, MD 20884-6015; phone: 202-512-6000; fax: 301-258-4066; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; world wide web: http://www.gao.gov (First copy, free; additional copies, $2 each).
Publication Type: Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Resources, Community, and Economic Development Div.