Chopade SN, Baylis MS, Jomaa LH, McDonnell ET, Orlofsky CO, Probart CK.
Journal of the American Dietetic Association. August 2007 (Suppl 3) 107:8. A-108.
Learning Outcome: The participant will be able to identify positive and negative perceptions of school employees related to School Breakfast Program.
The literature suggests that participation in the School Breakfast Program (SBP) is related to increased attentiveness, decreased absenteeism, and improved behavior. However, participation in the SBP lags behind that of school lunch. Little is known about how school employees perceive the SBP. A 22-item survey, developed to assess school employees’ perceptions of the SBP, was sent to principals, teachers, foodservice directors and school nurses at 44 schools with recently-initiated SBPs. Of 1641 surveys sent, 1167 were returned for a response rate of 71%. Results indicated that staffing issues and bus schedules were seen as top barriers for initiating SBPs, indicated by 18.4% and 14.5% of respondents, respectively. Parents (mean = 7.2 ± 1.9) were considered to be least supportive while principals (mean = 8.5 ± 1.7), were found to be highly supportive of SBP based on a 10 point scale with 10 being “very supportive.” Almost 60% of respondents disagreed that time is wasted and 56.9% disagreed that trash is a problem as a result of the SBP. Respondents agreed that the school learning environment (38.6%), and student attentiveness (41.5%) have improved since initiating the SBP. A large majority of respondents (85.6%) felt that the SBP should be part of the school district’s local wellness policies. Results suggest that school employees are highly satisfied and recognized benefits of SBP. These findings should be shared with other schools as motivation to start SBPs.