Research Article|Articles in Press

“A Growing Relationship”: Cultivating Organizational Readiness to Influence Implementation of Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE) Change Programming in SNAP-Ed Funded School-Community Partnerships

Published:April 19, 2023DOI:



      Provide a nuanced understanding of how Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) implementers decide what programming a school is ready to implement and the organizational factors that facilitate the initial implementation of programming in schools.


      Case studies conducted at schools during 2018–19.


      Nineteen School District of Philadelphia schools receiving SNAP-Ed-funded nutrition programming.


      Interviews were conducted with 119 school staff and SNAP-Ed implementers. A total of 138 hours of observations of SNAP-Ed programming were completed.

      Phenomenon of Interest

      How do SNAP-Ed implementers decide what PSE programming a school is ready to implement? What organizational factors can be developed to facilitate the initial implementation of PSE programming in schools?


      Interview transcripts and observation notes were coded deductively and inductively on the basis of theories of organizational readiness for programming implementation.


      Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education implementers focused on schools’ existing capacity when determining readiness for programming.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Findings suggest that if SNAP-Ed implementers only focus on a school's existing capacity when assessing its readiness for programming, the school might not receive the programming it needs. Findings suggest SNAP-Ed implementers could develop a school's readiness for programming by concentrating efforts on cultivating relationships, program-specific capacity, and motivation at schools. Findings have equity implications for partnerships in underresourced schools that may have limited existing capacity and consequentially could be denied vital programming.

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