Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Nutrition and Food Sciences

First Advisor

Ingrid E. Lofgren


School food safety education programs have increased knowledge and promoted proper food safety practices, attitudes and beliefs of students. Supplying young children with basic food safety education is important for the development of foundational food safety knowledge and behaviors. The primary objective of the Food Safety and School Garden Program (FSSGP) was to develop an intervention curriculum that integrated food safety principles into school garden-related activities and the primary hypothesis was that there would be a significant increase in students’ knowledge from pre- to post-intervention. The secondary objectives of this study were to assess knowledge changes by grade and by curriculum category, evaluate the FSSGP through student activity ratings and to assess student-to-parent interaction. The FSSGP was part of the Farm to School Project, which was coordinated by Farm Fresh RI, a not-for-profit organization with a mission to grow a local food system. The two-lesson intervention consisted of a didactic component of four major categories: bacteria, washing hands, washing produce, and washing containers and interactive activities that accompanied discussion of each category. First through fifth grade students’ (n=194) knowledge was evaluated using 10-question baseline and post-intervention tests. Number of correct responses increased from 5.6±1.8 to 8.1±1.9 (p