From Farm to Fingers – A BC School Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program

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BC Place – Session 3, Tuesday, May 30, 2006 from 10:30 – 12:00

Abstract Title: From Farm to Fingers – A BC School Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program

Presenting Author:
Dr. Patti-Jean Naylor
Assistant Professor, School of Physical Education
University of Victoria
PO Box 3015, STN CSC
Victoria, BC V8W 3P1

Additional Authors:
Brent Warner
BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands
808 Douglas Street
Victoria, BC V8W 2Z7
Victoria, BC V8W 9B4

Lisa Forster-Coull
Provincial Nutritionists
Healthy Living / Chronic Disease Prevention
BC Ministry of Health
4 t h Floor, 1515 Blanshard Street
Victoria, BC V8W 3C8

Ann Britton
Program Coordinator
BC School Fruit and Vegetable Snack program
BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation
1767 Angus Campbell Road
Abbotsford, BC V3G 2M3

Lindsay Babineau
Executive Director
BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation

To evaluate the impact of twice-weekly delivery of BC fruit or vegetable snacks to elementary students in 10 schools on increased awareness and consumption of BC produce.

A Provincial Advisory Committee worked with educators, industry and other stakeholders to develop systems and product plans to efficiently and cost-effectively bring fresh BC fruits and vegetables into the classrooms of ten pilot schools. In-school coordinators helped to receive, record and deliver fruit from distributors to classrooms. Coordinator and teacher guides were produced and promotion materials were distributed (e.g. Branded brochures, hand-washing signs, posters, magnets). A quasi-experimental non-equivalent comparison group design was used and student knowledge, attitudes and eating behavior were measured (24 hour recall). Process evaluation included tracking by in-school and provincial coordinators, interviews with teachers, administrators and custodians. BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation evaluated product sourcing, pricing, distribution and associated costs.

Baseline knowledge and attitudes measures showed that children participating in the project were more likely to have talked about where fruit and vegetables come from with parents (x2 = 7.764, p = .021). Hand-washing before eating wasn’t associated with condition. Control students were more likely to have eaten grapefruit, mango and papaya than intervention students. Results of the February 2006 follow-up evaluation will be presented.

Findings will examine the feasibility of expanding the program to all 1600 elementary schools by 2010 and possibly all BC schools.