Evaluation of school breakfast programs in Prince Edward Island
University of New Brunswick
Over the past 15 years, provinces across Canada have developed school nutrition policies to inform nutrition decisions. In addition, Breakfast for Learning (BFL), a national organization, has developed Keys to Success standards to guide school breakfast programs. Although the number of school breakfast programs in Canada has increased in recent years, there has been little evaluation of the effects of the policies or standards on programs. Evaluation is important as it informs program decision-making and establishes accountability for policy makers, organizations, and other stakeholders. In 2010, the School Nutrition and Activity Project (SNAP) in Prince Edward Island (PEI) conducted the first provincial evaluation of PEI school breakfast programs based on district policies. Data were collected through questionnaires and on-site observations. Results indicate that some policy standards are being met, but overall, most programs need improvement. Only 2 schools scored 75% or higher on their adherence to the Keys to Success. Elementary, consolidated, and middle schools scored significantly higher than high schools. It is recommended that future policy-makers strengthen PEI nutrition policies by implementing required standards for breakfast programs.