J Korean Diet Assoc.  2021 Feb;27(1):26-34. 10.14373/JKDA.2021.27.1.26.

Perception and Satisfaction of the Free School Meal Program for High School Students in Busan

Affiliations
  • 1Major in Nutrition Education, Graduate School of Education, Sookmyung Women’s University, Seoul 04310, Korea
  • 2Dept. of Food & Nutrition, Sookmyung Women’s University, Seoul 04310, Korea

Abstract

This study investigates perception of the free school meal program, satisfaction of school meal, and eating habits of free and paid school meal program students in the Busan area. Between 20 to May 2020, a total of 350 students were researched, of which 177 belonged to the second grade of high school (free school meal program), and 173 were from the third grade of high school (paid school meal program). 96.0% free school meal program students and 89.0% paid school meal program students responded to the necessity of a free school meal program, which was significantly different between the two groups (P<0.05). All questions regarding the perception of the free school meal program, which were responded to by more than 3 points, were considered positive. ‘Decline of the school meal’s quality’ had the maximum response, from 64.4% and 76.4% free and paid school meal program students, respectively, and was significantly different between groups (P<0.05). Paid school meal program students wasted significantly more school food than the free school meal program students (P<0.001). ‘Not delicious’ was responded by 56.0% free school meal program students and 50.0% paid school meal program students. Evaluating satisfaction of the food quality and service categories was determined to be higher amongst free school meal program students than the paid school meal program students (P<0.05). Considering our study data, we propose that with the gradual expension of free school meal programs, inclusion as part of the education system will serve as a foundation for proper eating habits, and compulsory education will help improve students’ health and quality of life.

Keyword

free school meal program; paid school meal program; perception; satisfaction
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