School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study: Study Design, Sampling, and Data Collection

Publisher: Alexandria, VA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Office of Policy Support
Apr 23, 2019
Eric Zeidman, Nicholas Beyler, Elizabeth Gearan, Nikkilyn Morrison, Katherine Niland, Liana Washburn, Barbara Carlson, David Judkins, Lindsey LeClair, Michele Mendelson, Tara Wommack, Justin Carnagey, Maureen Murphy, and Andre Williamson

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service administers the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program to ensure that school-age children have access to nutritious meals and snacks to support their growth and development.

In school year 2012–2013, the school meal programs began to undergo widespread changes, including new requirements that affect the food and nutrient content of school meals; the types of foods students need to select in order for their meal to be eligible for Federal reimbursement; pricing for full-price meals; and the types of foods and beverages that can be sold in schools during the school day. The School Nutrition Meal Cost Study (SNMCS) is the first nationally representative, comprehensive assessment of these programs since these reforms were implemented.

This methodology report describes the design of the SNMCS, as well as sampling, recruitment, data collection, and data processing procedures.

Data Collection Instruments. This document includes all of the data collection instruments used for SNMCS. 


The School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study (SNMCS)


U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service

Time Frame


Senior Staff

Liz Gearan
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Barbara Carlson
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Eric Zeidman
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