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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), has awarded the Econometrica Team a second option year on the USDA Foods Trend Analysis project that will run through September 2019. This study examines the types and amounts of food ordered through USDA Foods and USDA U.S. Department of Defense Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (USDA DoD Fresh) under the National School Lunch Program.

During the first option year, the Econometrica Team conducted comprehensive descriptive analyses of the types of products ordered and order patterns through USDA Foods and USDA DoD Fresh at the national and State levels for school years (SYs) 2014–2015, 2015–2016, and 2016–2017. This work involved cleaning and assembling program administrative data, conducting analysis using SAS and Tableau, and producing a report on the findings. We developed infographics on ordering patterns for FNS program marketing and information dissemination purposes. In addition, the team developed an interactive Tableau-based dashboard for FNS and States to use in program monitoring. The dashboard contains detailed information on multiple data points that we analyzed over the course of this contract.

In the second option year, the project is expanding to include two additional years of order data (SYs 2013–2014 and 2017–2018). The project includes new analysis of USDA Foods processor inventory levels over the course of the school year to inform FNS about patterns in processor compliance with program inventory limits. We will also develop new infographics and update the Tableau dashboard with the new data. Congratulations to all on the win!

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