Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education




Derek Allison


Why should school-based feeding programs be less prevalent in Canada than in some other comparable countries? As educators, parents, and citizens, we would be disturbed if schools were to choose to omit Canadian history, English, or mathematics from their courses of study. Yet is not access to an adequate meal, especially at mid-day, an equally fundamental expectation? The main purpose of this thesis was to draft plausible explanations for the lack of well-developed school-based feeding programs in Canada. This goal was accomplished by investigating the development and operation of school- based feeding programs in selected countries and then comparing conditions and circumstances in those countries to the situation in Canada.

The inquiry was guided by theoretical elements drawn from the literature on organizational theory and public policy. Descriptive data about school-based feeding programs were sought in the pertinent literature. Comparative analysis techniques were used to identify similarities and differences between provisions for, and the development of, school-based feeding programs in Canada and selected countries. The results of this investigation into the development and current status of school- based feeding programs in Canada and selected comparison countries support the initial claim that school-based feeding programs are indeed much less prevalent in Canada than the USA, UK, and Japan.

Chapter One discusses the problem, research questions, theoretical framework, and research design adopted for the inquiry. Chapter Two presents a review of literature on school-based feeding programs and provides a summary of the status of school-based feeding programs in countries ranked high on the United Nation’s Human Development Index on which Canada is the highest-ranked nation. The development and operation of school-based feeding programs in Canada and the selected comparison countries are summarized in Chapters Three, Four, and Five. Chapter Six offers a comparative overview of structural, environmental, and political features associated with the school- based feeding programs in the comparison countries, together with a discussion of the presence, or absence, of similar conditions in Canada.

Chapter Seven, begins with a review of the problem addressed in the thesis, followed by an in-depth discussion of the theoretical framework and research design adopted to guide the inquiry. The chapter ends with a discussion of the main conclusions and implications arising from the study, with reflections on prospects for the future of school- based feeding programs in Canada.



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