Education Summit Brings Together Leaders in School Nutrition

February 8, 2013 - On February 4-5, representatives from SNA, the National Food Service Management Institute (NFSMI) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) came together for a first-of-its-kind Education Summit, which was hosted at SNA Headquarters in National Harbor, Md. This historic meeting was aimed at strengthening the school nutrition profession through productive collaboration on professional development and training for the industry.

This meeting marked the beginning of an ongoing process of building on each organization’s unique strengths, competencies, and focus areas to deliver the most efficient and effective training possible.

A total of 20 participants representing each association were on hand to participate in the day-and-a-half summit. Those in attendance included SNA Past Presidents Dr. Janey Thornton, SNS, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, and Dr. Katie Wilson, SNS, NFSMI Executive Director.

SNA President Sandra Ford, SNS, as well as SNA’s Executive Team, voiced the enthusiasm felt by all participants, noting, “By coming together, we can use our collective expertise and resources to improve school meals programs nationwide and strengthen the health and well-being of our nation’s children. Together, we will also be better positioned to address and navigate the challenges of today’s school nutrition profession.”

As a starting point in this collaboration, a number of action items and next steps were agreed to. These included:

  • Establishment of a partnership Steering Committee to oversee this collaborative effort going forward. This committee will begin its work within the next two weeks.
  • Identification of priority areas for collaboration, each aimed at improving professional development and training awareness, quality and access.

As this work continues, you can expect to see: improved partnership, leading to true synergy in professional development and training; reduced duplication of efforts and materials; and stronger reliance on the unique strengths and capabilities of each partner.

Each of the partners is excited about and committed to this effort and its ability to enhance the skills of school nutrition professionals and the overall performance of the industry.

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