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Food Assistance Through the School System: Evaluation of the Food for Kids Backpack Program

Food Assistance Through the School System: Evaluation of the Food for Kids Backpack Program,Yana V. Rodgers,Marika Milewska

Food Assistance Through the School System: Evaluation of the Food for Kids Backpack Program  
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Abstract. Numerous,public and private initiatives in the United States work to mitiga te food insecuritya nd its unwelcome repercussions for children’s healtha ndwe ll-being. An increasingly popular program seeks to reducehung er among,school-aged children bydistributing ready-to-eat foodin backpacksfo r participatingstu dentsto takeho mefo r eveninga ndwe ekendme als.Th is studyuses unique school-level surveys made available by the Arkansas Rice Depot, the faith-based food bank that orig inated the idea of food assistance in backpacks, to examine the reasons for children’s statusa s food insecurea nd to assess the program’s impact. Resultsfr om ara ndom-effects estimation of school-level test scores indicatea positive program impact on some but not all tests, while sample,statistics from the school surveys y ield strong evidenc e of multiple benefits for participating students’ self-esteem and behavior at school. Key words. Food insecurity, hunger,fo odba nk, nutrition, test scores. 1
Published in 2005.
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