Food Security and School Meal Programs

Sara Chaney, Dr. Stephen Baldridge, School of Social Work, Abilene Christian University 1600 Campus Court Abilene, TX 79601

This research study examined the impact of different school meal programs in Texas and how this affects different social outcomes and possible attendance, graduation, and academic performance rates. Childhood hunger in Texas is due to the continued prevalence of poverty and a lack of implementation of adequate initiatives to address this issue. One effective program though, in helping alleviate childhood hunger, is the federal Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. This is a non-pricing meal service option for schools and school districts in low-income areas that allows the nation’s highest poverty schools and districts to serve breakfast and lunch at no cost to all enrolled students without collecting household applications. Despite this federal program's easy availability for qualifying schools and school districts, there are only 2066 CEP adopting schools of 5984 eligible and near-eligible schools in Texas--less than 40%. While some large, urban school districts like Dallas and Houston use the CEP, the majority of school districts in Texas are missing out on what could benefit their schools in numerous ways. Results of this study indicated that if more qualifying schools and school districts took advantage of the CEP meal program, social outcomes such as food security and school success measures would increase. 

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Sara Chaney

Institution: Abilene Christian University

Type: Poster

Subject: Social Work & Human Services

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 11
Date/Time: Wed 3:00pm-4:00pm
Session Number: 7128