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Summer Food Access for Nebraskan Children: A Qualitative, Collective Case Study Analysis of the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)
Background. According to a 2016 USDA report, only 0.4–0.6% of eligible children participated in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) in Nebraska, which makes for one of the lowest SFSP participation rates in the US. This study is the first one conducted in state of Nebraska investigating the barriers of SFSP implementation and participation a) in general (pre-COVID-19), b) in the COVID-19 pandemic, c) in the first year of the new federal presidential administration compared to the last year of the previous federal presidential administration. Methods. In this qualitative collective case study, seventeen structured zoom interviews were conducted with eleven SFSP experts who have worked in SFSP in summers of 2019, 2020, and 2021, and six parents of children whose children benefited from the SFSP also in summers of 2019, 2020, and 2021in the state of Nebraska. Two project team researchers independently coded interview transcripts by following a deductive qualitative thematic analysis method and used Taguette—an open-source software—to sort and organize the themes. Findings. It seems that the COVID-19 pandemic adaptations of the SFSP and SFSP COVID-19 pandemic waivers made it easier both for Nebraska SFSP experts (state agency representatives, sponsors, and site workers) to run the program and for children to participate in the program. The findings also demonstrated that perceived barriers of both implementing the SFSP and participating in the program and most of the recommendations to improve the program implementation and participation in the state of Nebraska mostly rooted from institutional, community, and public policy factors. Conclusion. This study suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic adaptations of the SFSP should be continued even after the pandemic ended. These adaptations could also benefit other food and nutrition assistances programs. Moreover, policy makers should take actions to address mentioned barriers of SFSP implementations and participations to guarantee children’s nutrition during summer.
Hajizadeh Oghaz, Masoomeh, "Summer Food Access for Nebraskan Children: A Qualitative, Collective Case Study Analysis of the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)" (2022). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI30000073.