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"Some of these kids are gonna be my nurses, some of these kids are gonna be my doctors, but they can't be if they're hungry": a qualitative inquiry of a school-based weekend feeding program

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Title: "Some of these kids are gonna be my nurses, some of these kids are gonna be my doctors, but they can't be if they're hungry": a qualitative inquiry of a school-based weekend feeding program
Author(s): Washington, Latesha
Advisor(s): Fiese, Barbara H.
Department / Program: Human & Community Development
Discipline: Human & Community Development
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: M.S.
Genre: Thesis
Subject(s): Food insecurity hunger schoolchildren evaluation qualitative
Abstract: Food insecurity is defined as the access to all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life. In 2009, 14.7 percent of households in the United States were food insecure, and that included 5.7 percent of households that had very low food security. In 10.6 percent of households with children (4.2 million), children were food insecure at some times during the year. Food insecurity in the U.S. has been shown to have a negative impact on academic, physical, mental, and behavior problems in school-aged children. A wide array of private and public food assistance programs (The National School Lunch Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), food banks, etc.) may help to appease food insecurity. Despite these programs, food insecurity persists as a major public health problem in the United States. The Backpack Program has been adopted by schools across the country and provides students with food-filled backpacks to carry home for weekend meals. Because the selection process for this program has been minimally explored, this study used twenty semi-structured qualitative interviews to explore school staff approaches to implementation. Staff members believed that both societal influences and aspects of family life may contribute to food insecurity. Identification strategies included both individual staff efforts and relational interactions between staff, students, and families. Three primary themes that emerged from this research: staff members philosophy and beliefs about food insecurity, the school as a context for addressing food insecurity, and the processes that make the program unique. Taken together, these findings suggest that successfully implementing the Backpack Program requires recognition of the multi-level influences on child food insecurity, and consideration for how relationships among those most proximal to the child influence how children access to sufficient food.
Issue Date: 2012-05-22
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/30929
Rights Information: Copyright 2012 Latesha Washington
Date Available in IDEALS: 2012-05-22
Date Deposited: 2012-05
 

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