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ERIC Number: EJ1119921
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1559-5676
School Nutrition Employees' Perceptions of Farm to School (FTS) Activities Differ Based on Management Type and FTS Participation Length
Kang, Sangwook; Arendt, Susan W.; Stokes, Nathan M.
Journal of Child Nutrition & Management, v40 n2 Fall 2016
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore school nutrition employees' perceptions of FTS activities and whether the numbers of activities differ based on management type of school foodservice operation and length of FTS participation. Methods: The state with the most FTS programs from each of the eight national FTS regions was selected. A total of 369 questionnaires were distributed to school nutrition employees through school nutrition directors at 12 individual schools in each of the eight states (96 schools total). Employees self-reported FTS activities by selecting from a list of 13 FTS activities provided. Length of participation (three years or less, more than three years) and management type were also self-reported by employees. Paired sample t-tests were used to analyze differences between management type and number of FTS activities, as well as between different lengths of FTS participation and number of FTS activities. Results: A total of 239 questionnaires were returned (64.8% response rate) representing 75 different schools. Out of 239 questionnaires returned, 214 participants responded to the question about management type with 78.9% (n = 169) of participants indicating self-operated management and 21.1% (n = 45) reporting contract management. When comparing the number of FTS activities between types of management, a statistically significant difference (p = 0.028; p<0.05) was found with self-operated school nutrition employees reporting about one more FTS (M = 3.82) activity than contract managed (M = 2.95). In terms of length of FTS participation, 141 answered the question and of those, 57.4% (n = 81) reported three years or less participation while 42.6% (n = 60) reported more than three years participation. When comparing the number of FTS activities and length of FTS participation, a significant difference was found (p<0.001; (p<0.05); those with more than three years participation (M = 5.25) reported about one more FTS activity than those with three years or less (M = 3.83). Applications to Child Nutrition Professionals: More established FTS programs or those that were self-operated engaged in more FTS activities, thereby providing opportunities for students' increased interest in fresh local products. Schools looking to implement and/or enhance FTS efforts may look to programs in existence for more than three years to glean ideas.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A