183096 Farm to School: Addressing obesity and school nutrition through local food systems

Monday, October 27, 2008

Amy E. Paxton, MPH, RD , Institute for Families in Society, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Alice Ammerman, DrPH, RD , Nutrition, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Suzanne Havala Hobbs, DrPH , Health Policy and Administration, School of Public Health, UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Phyllis Flemming, PhD , Nutrition, Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, UNC - Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Farm to School (FTS) program goals include providing nutrition education opportunities, improving student nutrition, and increasing economic opportunities for local farmers. Using a mixed methods approach, we are investigating school-level barriers and facilitators to implementation of FTS programs and conduct an in-depth analysis of stakeholders' attitudes about FTS programs. We will distribute a previously administered survey to all 115 Child Nutrition Directors (CND) in North Carolina in March 2008 to determine perceived barriers to and facilitators of implementing FTS programs at the school district level. Quantitative analyses of responses will be conducted using SAS 9.1 to yield descriptive statistics and investigate relationships among responses. Additionally, we will use snowball sampling to identify twenty key informants in school administration and food service management with whom in-depth structured interviews will be conducted in April 2008. We will audiorecord interviews and organize and manage data from verbatim transcripts using Atlas Ti. We will use a multistep coding scheme to identify major themes related to barriers and facilitators of FTS implementation. CND survey data will provide insights into perceived benefits and barriers of FTS programs from the CND perspective, while data from structured interviews will identify school administrator and food service manager perspectives. Together, these data will create a comprehensive picture of perceived benefits and barriers associated with FTS implementation among North Carolina school systems. Results will contribute to the growing body of FTS literature and potentially support the development of effective strategies to promote implementation of FTS programs nationally.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe Farm to School program goals. 2. Identify barriers and facilitators to implementing Farm to School programs within school districts in North Carolina. 3. Discuss practical strategies to assist advocates in efforts to implement Farm to School programs.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a PhD candidate supervised by the faculty listed as coauthors of this investigation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.