New Release
An Opportunity to Improve School Nutrition Standards
Healthy Eating Research recently released a Rapid Health Impact Assessment to understand what kind of impact stronger school meal nutrition standards could have on schools and kids. The report demonstrates that full alignment of school meals with the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans would have positive health impacts for children, improving their nutrition and health, food security, and academic performance.
USDA has proposed updates to the school meal nutrition standards that would, among other changes, emphasize whole grain products and limit added sugars. This proposed rule is a step in the right direction, with room for improvement. USDA is accepting public comment on the proposed rule until May 10, 2023.
New Healthy Drinks, Healthy Kids Resources
Now available! New healthy beverage resources for parents and providers, including decision guides for choosing nutritionally appropriate non-dairy milk alternatives and a toolkit for nutrition professionals developed in partnership with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The toolkit provides 4.0 FREE CPEUs and includes webinars, educational resources, and tools for nutrition professionals.
HER Hosted Annual Grantee Meeting in March
Last month the HER team was happy to host our annual grantee meeting in Durham, North Carolina. It was wonderful to see many of our grantees and colleagues in-person for the first time since 2020. Thanks to all who presented and attended!
HER Grantee to Lead USDA Health Equity Efforts
Dr. Caree Cotwright has been named director of nutrition security and health equity for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Join us in congratulating Dr. Cotwright! Learn more about her commitment to health equity and what this new role entails.
Our Latest Research
The Charitable Food System as a Change Agent
This paper highlights ways the charitable food system can play a role in addressing social determinants of health because of its expansive reach and community connections. Learn more.

Reducing Student Exposure to Digital Food and Beverage Marketing
Digital marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children and adolescents is pervasive, and there is little federal guidance for schools to limit digital food marketing. This report presents several policy and practice recommendations, including model policy language. Learn more.
Nutritional Quality of USDA Foods Programs for Households
This study evaluated the nutritional quality of the foods available from 3 USDA Foods programs for households (The Emergency Food Assistance Program, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, and Commodity Supplemental Food Program) according to the Healthy Eating Research Guidelines for the Charitable Food System. A majority of foods were consistent with national dietary guidelines, with some room for improvement. Learn more.
A Review of Evidence on Proposed Revisions in the WIC Food Packages
In response to USDA’s proposed WIC food package revisions, literature was reviewed to examine how the changes might impact participants’ consumption behaviors. In general, the evidence supports the proposed WIC food package changes for juice, milk, and cereal. Learn more.
WIC Online Ordering during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Oklahoma
Retailers began piloting WIC online ordering during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study examines how WIC participants responded to the online food benefit ordering option. Learn more.
Addressing Obesity and Diet-related Outcomes in Early Childhood Education Settings
This systematic review specifically sought to identify policy, systems, and environmental interventions in ECE settings that effectively improved children’s diet or reduced obesity. Learn more.
Integration and Coordination across Public Benefit Programs
Identifying opportunities for program linkages and coordinating service delivery is critical to increasing program access and improving the experience of participating families. Focusing on SNAP, this study identifies facilitators and barriers to integrated program enrollment. Learn more.
Funding Opportunities
Yield Giving
This Open Call is focused on elevating community-led, community-focused organizations working with people and in places experiencing the greatest need in the United States. Interested organizations must register to apply before 4 p.m. CT on Friday, May 5, 2023. Learn more.
Evidence for Action: Innovative Research to Advance Racial Equity
This funding is geared toward studies about “upstream” causes of health inequities, such as the systems, structures, laws, policies, norms, and practices that determine the distribution of resources and opportunities, which in turn influence individuals’ options and behaviors. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Learn more.
Upcoming from RWJF: Data Visualization of Structural Racism and Place
This funding will provide grants to teams and organizations to show the utility of data resources that can be disaggregated down to smaller geographies as a tool to create visualizations of structural racism’s impact on place, health, and wellbeing. Release date: April 27, 2023.