ERIC Number: EJ1061792
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Professional Networks among Rural School Food Service Directors Implementing the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act
Lubker Cornish, Disa; Askelson, Natoshia M.; Golembiewski, Elizabeth H.
Journal of Child Nutrition & Management, v39 n1 Spr 2015
Purpose/Objectives: This study was designed to explore the professional networks of rural school food service directors (FSD), the resources they use for implementing the Healthy, Hunger-free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA), and their needs for information and support to continue to implement successfully. Methods: Rural FSD participated in an in-depth telephone interview (n = 67) and an online survey (n = 57). The interview asked respondents about the resources and support they used and still needed to assist with implementing the HHFKA changes, while the online survey focused on professional networks and communication among FSD. The interviews were analyzed by thematic coding, while descriptive statistics were used to summarize survey data. Results: Respondents reported making extensive use of professional networks by communicating with FSD in other districts. They both sought and gave advice during this communication, and the topic discussed most frequently was implementation of HHFKA requirements. Mapping of network nodes showed that networks of communication were often geographically bound. Respondents reported using a variety of resources to implement the HHFKA and disclosed that they often relied on their colleagues in other districts for support. Self-identified needs included staffing support, additional networking opportunities, and technology support. Perceived support varied and several responses indicated that rural FSD feel isolated when implementing the HHFKA requirements. Applications to Child Nutrition Professionals: Rural FSD would benefit from enhanced professional networks that are tailored to their needs and constraints. It may be the case that rural schools need more support overall because existing challenges make HHFKA implementation more difficult than in larger, urban, or better-funded school districts.
Descriptors: Administrators, Food Service, Rural Schools, Social Networks, Federal Legislation, Child Health, Program Implementation, Interviews, Online Surveys, Nutrition, Elementary Secondary Education
School Nutrition Association. 120 Waterfront Street Suite 300, National Harbor, MD 20745. Tel: 301-686-3100; Fax: 301-686-3115; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://schoolnutrition.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Sponsor: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (DHHS/PHS)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: U48DP001902-01