In 2015, Center researchers set out to discover whether students were actually eating the new healthier meals. For this, they developed a pilot plate-waste study to determine the feasibility of executing a full study at some point in the future.
In 2017, the Center will be measuring the program’s effect on the ability of a school district to incorporate fresh/whole ingredients into their menu cycle after 18 months in the program. Center research staff are also assisting in the development of tools for gathering student feedback and satisfaction, as well as meal consistency across sites. Measurement components that can be used in a guide for recipe development and production are also being developed. In addition, baseline data is being captured for the quantitative menu analysis (QMA), food procurement and student participation rates.