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Data-Driven, Laser-Focused on Kids

Child Nutrition Index

All our efforts are grounded in our proprietary Child Nutrition Index (CNI), a data tool that helps us isolate populations according to meal program and meal participation.

We calculate missing meals and work with communities to customize programs that will close the missing meal gap.

We measure new meals added, the increases in numbers of children fed and the additional markets reached through improved federal meal program access.

The chart below shows we are starting to return to 2019 pre-pandemic levels. We saw gains in school breakfast and lunch meals served.

The chart shows a lag in summer meals, childcare center meals and after school meals.

Minnesota’s children receive a fraction of the food available to them through federal meal programs.

Reason for hope

Ensuring our children have adequate food and nutrition already has a sustainable solution: Improve access to and participation in U.S. Department of Agriculture’s food and nutrition programs for children in low-income households.

This powerful CNI tool enables us to focus on addressing hunger among Minnesota children identified as at-risk of going hungry.

We can then customize strategies and increase their participation by addressing underutilization of the U.S. Department of Agriculture food and nutrition programs.

In an unprecedented undertaking, CNI’s master database combines data from the the Minnesota departments of Education, of Health, and of Human Services.

From this expansive database, we can pinpoint needs, their severity, and the corresponding federal reimbursement revenue potential, then make strategic and cost-effective changes.

These meals are served to eligible children in childcare centers, schools, community centers, libraries, parks and homes.

Our independent evaluation partner, EnSearch, Inc., is responsible for creating the Child Nutrition Index, for the ongoing synthesizing and analyzing of data, and for validating our progress.

See our Child Nutrition Index, By the Numbers

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