Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Public Affairs and Administration

First Advisor

Dr. Matthew S. Mingus

Second Advisor

Dr. Francisco Cordero

Third Advisor

Dr. Donijo Robbins


food politics, public policy, local wellness policy, food policy, nutrition policy, Healthy Hungry-Free Kids Act


The purpose of this study was to explore attitudes and perception of stakeholders (teachers, principals, nutrition service directors, nutrition service supervisors, school nurses, nutrition specialists and administrators) toward the implementation of the local school wellness policy in public schools within Kent County, Michigan. The subjects of interest were stakeholders from more than 300 schools and 20 public school districts within the Kent Intermediate School District. Subjects responded to a survey assessing their perspectives regarding the implementation of the local school wellness policy pursuant to the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 an Obama-era policy, the results were then examined using ANOVA and theoretical foundations of Policy Implementation Framework (PIF), Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF), and Multiple Streams Model (MSM). In this study, the author identifies the perceptions of stakeholders to bring about a more effective understanding of the consequences of an unfunded mandate that fuels local school wellness policy in Kent County. This study fills a gap in nutrition policy literature at the local/district level and demonstrates that there is a perception that school employees/staff responsibilities were negatively impacted by the HHFKA and that local school wellness policy lacked proper implementation due mostly to lack of training for stakeholders.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Public Policy Commons