Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The purpose of this investigation was to study state- supervised school lunch programs in city schools of Kansas to disclose some of the more common administrative practices and to determine the degree of satisfaction with these same programs as measured by school administrators who were associated with them. The questionnaire was used to gather data from all school lunch programs in cities of the first and second classes and programs in one third of the cities of the third class. Usable responses were received from 79 percent of first-class city schools, from 85 percent of second-class city schools, and from 89 percent of third class city schools. Besides being a great financial investment, the school lunch program is also a valuable service feature that is rapidly becoming an integral and vital part of the educational program. This huge business brings many responsibilities to school administrators, and these school officials must be prepared to manage each phase of school lunch services in a satisfactory manner. The study revealed that 51 percent of the total enrollment of all schools studied participated in school lunch programs. The school was the sponsoring agency for most of these 210 programs, and the school administrator was most frequently the authorized representative. These administrators seldom had written policies to guide them in their management of school lunch activities. The average number of students served in each eating center was 139, and there was an average of 59 students served for each full -time school lunch employee. Less than one third of the school lunch supervisors had training in home economics. The study disclosed that most supervisors and cooks did not work underwritten contracts. About two thirds of these workers were required to have physical examinations. Many free services, including free lunches, pay for holidays, activity passes, and social security benefits, were extended to school lunch workers. Most school lunch programs required either part or all of their school lunch staff to attend summer school lunch workshops sponsored by the School Lunch Division in Kansas. Less than half of the schools followed budgets in the operation of their programs, while more than three fourths of school lunch programs required annual audits of school lunch records. All but a few programs were self-supported except for government commodities and cash reimbursements from the state. Most purchases of foods and equipment were made on open market, and foods were generally purchased from local retailers. It was apparent that schools were doing much to integrate lunch programs with educational programs. More than four fifths of the schools gave instruction in proper table manners and in the values of balanced diets. Further attempts at integration were revealed through the many services related to school lunch programs in which students participated. One fourth of the programs made no attempts to interpret school lunch services to their communities. School lunch programs in cities of the first class more often publicized their school lunch activities than did those in cities of either second or third classes. In general, school officials in all three classes of city schools were equally satisfied that their school lunch programs were quite satisfactory. Questionnaire responses indicated that a majority of school officials felt that the school lunch program very definitely rendered a fine service to children and youth.


Dr. W. Clement Wood

Date of Award

Summer 1954

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1954 Clyde Deloss Hargadine


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