School-Based Weekend Feeding Program: A Comparison Group Design Documents Selection Efficacy and Appreciable Effects on School Attendance

Barbara H. Fiese, Craig Gundersen, Brenda Koester, Elaine Waxman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Food insecurity is experienced by one in five children in the United States. Weekend feeding programs administered in schools are designed to alleviate food insecurity and rely on the ability of school administrators to correctly identify students in need. While the central goal of this program is to alleviate food insecurity, an ancillary benefit may be increased attendance on days when the food is distributed. We surveyed 283 households that participated in a weekend feeding program and compared them to households that were identified by school personnel as eligible for the program but did not participate in the program. We find that, in comparison to children who are on the wait list for the program, those students receiving the BackPack were more likely to attend school on Fridays, the day that food is typically distributed, than the comparison group. School personnel were able to accurately identify children who were food insecure and weekend feeding programs may have appreciable effects on school attendance in the long run.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-229
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 3 2020

Keywords

  • Food insecurity
  • food banks
  • poverty
  • school attendance
  • weekend feeding programs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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