Date of Award

5-2013

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Nutrition and Food Systems

Committee Chair

Alicia Landry

Committee Chair Department

Nutrition and Food Systems

Committee Member 2

Carol Connell

Committee Member 2 Department

Nutrition and Food Systems

Committee Member 3

Kathy Yadrick

Committee Member 3 Department

Nutrition and Food Systems

Abstract

Mississippi has recently established the first week of October as statewide Farm to School (F2S) Week, providing Mississippi the opportunity to improve the health status of children while improving the local economy. The study aimed to measure Mississippi school districts' participation during F2S Week 2012 and identify perceived barriers and future interest of participation among child nutrition directors (CND). An electronic survey was sent to the 156 CNDs in the state of Mississippi participating in the National School Lunch Program. Data were analyzed in SPSS v.20 using descriptive and correlational statistics. Among the 75 CNDs who responded to the survey, 32% reported participating in F2S Week 2012. F2S Week 2012 participation tripled from previous rates. Seventy-five percent of CNDs that participated in F2S Week 2012 reported at least one of their schools will participate in 2013, whereas 33.3% that did not participate in F2S 2012 reported at least one of their schools will participate in 2013. Among the CNDs that did not participate, 74% reported they would be more likely to participate if local farmers sold to the distributors from whom they normally purchase. Local food availability and variety was among the highest reported barriers to F2S. Results suggested a need to enhance established relationships between distributors, farmers, and the Mississippi Department of Education to increase availability of local items through local distributors.

Included in

Nutrition Commons

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