Stakeholders' interest in and challenges to implementing farm-to-school programs, douglas county, Nebraska, 2010-2011

Courtney Pinard, Teresa M. Smith, Leah R. Carpenter, Mary Chapman, Mary Balluff, Amy L. Yaroch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction Schools are uniquely positioned to influence the dietary habits of children, and farm-to-school programs can increase fruit and vegetable consumption among school-aged children. We assessed the feasibility of, interest in, and barriers to implementing farm-to-school activities in 7 school districts in Douglas County, Nebraska. Methods We used a preassessment and postassessment survey to obtain data from 3 stakeholder groups: school food service directors, local food producers, and food distributors. We had a full-time farm-to-school coordinator who was able to engage multiple stakeholders and oversee the development and dissemination of a toolkit. We used descriptive statistics to make comparisons. Results Seven food service directors, 5 distributors identified by the food service directors, and 57 local producers (9 completed only the preassessment survey, 16 completed only the postassessment survey, and 32 completed both) completed various components of the assessment. Interest in pursuing farm-to-school activities to incorporate more local foods in the school lunch program increased during the 2-year project; mean interest in purchasing local foods by food service directors for their districts increased from 4.4 to 4.7 (on a scale of 1 to 5). Conclusion Implementing farm-to-school programming in Douglas County, Nebraska, is feasible, although food safety and distribution is a main concern among food service directors. Additional research on feasibility, infrastructure, and education is recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number130182
JournalPreventing Chronic Disease
Volume10
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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