Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Dietetics and Human Nutrition

First Advisor

Dr. Janet Mullins

Second Advisor

Dr. Hazel Forsythe & Dr. Kwaku Addo


Because of an increase in food insecurity over the past decade, the U.S. and many developing countries are focusing efforts on issues relating to child hunger. School feeding programs have been in existence for roughly 220 years but modifications have been made over the years to improve the quality of food they serve. Little research has been conducted about adult perceptions of school feeding programs and the impact it has on the community in the U.S. as well as developing countries such as Ghana, West Africa. Because of the gap in literature on school feeding programs and adult perceptions about school feeding programs, the purpose of this study was to examine adult perspectives on school feeding programs in the U.S. and Ghana rural, mountainous communities. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in two communities with similar community characteristics. Semi-structured interviews examined adult perceptions regarding school feeding impact on kindergarten student attendance, learning, behavior and community impact. The sample size for this study was N=41. Grounded theory provided the framework for data analysis from which a paradigm model was developed. This paradigm model provides a visual representation of the relationships among causal conditions, phenomenon, context, intervening conditions, action/interaction strategies and consequences.