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ERIC Number: EJ1082489
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 19
ISSN: EISSN-1559-5676
Satisfaction of Middle School Lunch Program Participants and Non-Participants with the School Lunch Experience
Smith, Stephanie; Cunningham-Sabo, Leslie; Auld, Garry
Journal of Child Nutrition & Management, v39 n2 Fall 2015
Purpose/Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine middle school students' satisfaction with the school lunch experience, using two validated surveys; the Middle/Junior High School Student Participation Survey and the Middle/Junior High School Student Non-Participation Survey, both developed by the National Food Service Management Institute (NFSMI). Methods: A convenience sample of students from three Northern Colorado middle schools participated in a cross-sectional survey administered during the lunch period. Those who ate lunch three or more days per week were asked to take the Participation Survey and those eating school lunch fewer than three days per week were asked to take the Non-Participation Survey. Descriptive statistics and Cronbach's alpha reliability coefficients were calculated. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to determine differences in survey factor means by participants' gender, grade level, and school. Results: Two hundred eighty-eight Participation Surveys and 185 Non-Participation Surveys were used for analyses. Participation Survey results demonstrated that students perceived aspects of the foods served such as visual appeal, aroma, and taste as needing improvement Sixth graders were more likely to agree than 8th graders that statements relating to food preference were reasons for eating school lunch (3.47 vs. 2.51, p<0.0001). Similarly, more than 50% of Non-Participation Survey respondents agreed or strongly agreed with 6 of 10 food quality statements. Applications to Child Nutrition Professionals: Responses from both surveys indicated there are opportunities to gain and retain more students in the lunch program by improving factors related to food quality such as flavor, aroma, visual appeal, and freshness of foods served. By using these two surveys, school nutrition professionals will have an opportunity to learn about their students' attitudes toward and satisfaction with the school lunch program. This will aid them in providing the best possible school lunch environment for their student customers with the most effective use of resources.
School Nutrition Association. 120 Waterfront Street Suite 300, National Harbor, MD 20745. Tel: 301-686-3100; Fax: 301-686-3115; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; Grade 6; Intermediate Grades; Elementary Education; Grade 8
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado