Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Health and Nutritional Sciences

First Advisor

Suzanne Stluka


barriers, community coaching, facilitators, food council, rural, voices for food


Objective: To quantitatively assess perceived coaching confidence of a community coach working with food councils, and to qualitatively determine perceived barriers and facilitators associated with coaching rural food councils.
Design: Two phases were implemented using a mixed methods study design with quantitative (scorecard) and qualitative (key informant interviews) methodologies.
Setting: Six rural, Midwestern states implementing Voices for Food.
Participants: Voices for Food community coaches (n=9) who coached rural food council(s).
Intervention: A component of the broader Voices for Food intervention.
Analysis: Quantitative scorecard data were analyzed with STATA by running paired ttests. Qualitative key information interview data were analyzed with NVivo by coding transcripts to themes, and then using a query matrix.
Results: Perceived confidence scores of community coaches were found to be significantly different at post-intervention compared to pre-intervention (103.3 vs 68.7, P=.004). Key facilitators associated with coaching rural food councils included: community relationships; the coach’s past experiences, communication, organizational skills, and open mindedness; use of sub-committees, meeting agendas, and in-person communication; food council environmental and system changes; cooperative extension presence. The only barrier identified was the creation and/or continuation of a food council advisory board.
Conclusions and Implications: Over the course of time, coaches can expect for their confidence in facilitating a food council to increase, and can be better prepared for barriers and facilitators that may arise. Future research should examine the impact community readiness has on coaching and food council success.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Community organization -- Middle West.
Rural development -- Middle West.
Food supply.
Nutrition policy.


South Dakota State University


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