Nutrition and Health Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version



A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Sciences, Major: Nutrition & Health Sciences, Under the Supervision of Professor Julie Albrecht. Lincoln, Nebraska: July, 2011

Copyright 2011 Morgan E Swisher


More than 25% of children in the U.S. are overweight. Farm to School is a program that encourages schools to procure local produce and nutrition education in an effort to improve childhood nutrition. A case study involving four schools has examined the attitudes of food service managers, food service staff members, and educators who are about to incorporate this program into their schools. Food service managers were interviewed about the foods they intend to purchase, food safety, menu planning, expected costs and receiving, additional training, and staff interest. From the qualitative study, the following themes were found: “More work for me,” “Unsure,” “Healthy changes,” “Choice,” “Nobody’s addressing the problem,” and “Worry about safety.” Supportive stakeholders also play an important part in the success of a Farm to School Program. Because of this, the attitudes of food service professionals and educators were also examined. A likert-scale survey was distributed to food service staff members (n= 49) and educators (n= 152) concerning cooking techniques, student food choices, classroom activities, and local support. Both surveys showed a positive correlation between age and score, but neither was statistically significant. The average score for the educators was 66.8 out of 85 (78.5%). The average score for the food service staff members was 61.1 out of 90 (67.9%). Support was noted as one of the most important factors for starting a Farm to School Program.

Adviser: Julie Albrecht