Applying Racial Equity to U.S. Federal Nutrition Assistance Programs - Flipbook - Page 52
is for agencies to request comments. This has no formal means of ensuring that the experiences of communities of color are
captured and is not a proactive way of equitably involving participants of color in all three stages.
• USDA should develop additional ways for recipients to participate in the design, implementation and evaluation
of Child Nutrition programs. This requires USDA to literally meet recipients where they are, gathering feedback from
children, parents, and school staff to better gauge (1) the effectiveness of the program(s), (2) to what extent the program
is improving nutrition outcomes for students, (3) areas for improvement, (4) suggestions on how to eliminate the racial
nutrition divide, and (5) recommendations as to how to equitably empower children, parents, and staff in decision making
processes. Listening tours and focus groups can yield important feedback.
USDA should have a formal way of tracking the racial demographics of schools to ensure that feedback is received from
all racial and ethnic groups in a wide range of geographic settings. Whether everyone is represented should be assessed at
all three stages: design, implementation, and evaluation. USDA might consider establishing a working group of students,
parents, and school administrators of color to help manage the collection and incorporation of feedback, and/or holding
group sessions at school for people to offer comments. Participants should be compensated for their time at a living wage rate.
Strengthen data collection and disaggregation within Child Nutrition Programs
Currently, there is little publicly available disaggregated data on nutrition levels among children who participate in CNPs.
While data is available on indicators such as anemia, vitamin D, and iron, it is not broken down by whether or not children
benefit from CNPs. Improving program policies requires accurate information on trends among the recipients—particularly
baseline indicators. Without this information, researchers cannot assess the impact of CNPs on nutrition among children of
different races, incomes, ease of access to fully funded programs, or other distinctions. There are no conclusions as to how
programs are performing, either on nutrition in general or the racial nutrition divide.
• Collect and report race and ethnicity data. Child Nutrition programs should collect and publish disaggregated data on
race and ethnicity in each program.
• Collect and report nutritional data for children who participate in Child Nutrition Programs. Researchers for this
report were unable to find data on
Iron and Vitamin D deficiencies among African American and Indigenous children benefiting from CNPs
Other deficiencies among children benefitting from CNPs, by race and ethnicity
Average consumption of iron, vitamin D, and other nutrients for child by race and ethnicity
Variations in the quantities of iron, vitamin D, and other nutrients in school meals, by school racial and ethnic
demographics and location
• Conduct research to understand the impact of various Child Nutrition programs on the nutritional status of
children of color. Top priority topics include:
The impact of receiving school meals on rates of micronutrient deficiency, primarily iron and vitamin D deficits, but
others as well, by race and ethnicity
The impact of increased funding for school kitchen equipment on food preparation and nutrition
The impact of several factors on participation rates in different Child Nutrition programs, disaggregated at a minimum
by race, ethnicity, and grade in school
The impact on program participation of applying a cultural sensitivity lens to the promotion of Child Nutrition
programs, disaggregated at a minimum by race, ethnicity, and grade
APPLYING RACIAL EQUITY TO U.S. FEDERAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS: SNAP, WIC AND CHILD NUTRITION