Process evaluation of the school fruit and vegetable snack pilot program




Bridgewater, Laura Elizabeth

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The purpose of this study was to investigate the issues surrounding implementation of a School Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program (SFVSP). Ten schools were selected to participate in the SFVSP, nine schools were elementary schools (kindergarten to grade seven), and one school was a comprehensive school (kindergarten to grade 12). These schools were selected by the project Provincial Advisory Committee to provide maximal variation across schools on geographical location and socioeconomic status (SES). Free fruit and vegetables (F&Vs) were delivered twice a week to the schools, combined with educational materials promoting locally grown produce. Data were collected by focus groups and interviews with teachers, administrators, and in-school coordinators (ISC). Facilitators, barriers, and other issues regarding the program were explored to provide insight on the implementation of the program. Fidelity and feasibility of the program were also examined. Results were analyzed using Nvivo qualitative software. Line by line coding, and memoing was conducted. Themes emerged from the qualitative data collected. Teachers, administrators, and ISCs expressed the same key facilitators, and barriers to implementation. There were 18 key themes that emerged and they could be organized into three higher order themes: observability, complexity, and compatibility. Themes were consistent with components of implementation and diffusion of innovations theory. Data also revealed that the response to the program was mostly positive, was feasible as it was implemented, and fidelity to the program was maintained at a high level. Recommendations for future research are presented and suggestions to improve the current program are also discussed.



nutrition, school children, British Columbia