School Nutrition Association Names Grand Forks Public Schools 2011 District of the Year



Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner  


School Nutrition Association Names Grand Forks Public Schools 2011 District of the Year  


NASHVILLE, TN (July 13, 2011) – Grand Forks Public Schools in Grand Forks, North Dakota, was named the 2011 District of the Year in School Nutrition yesterday during the 2nd General Session of the School Nutrition Association’s Annual National Conference. On behalf of the school district, Julie Tunseth, Director of Child Nutrition, accepted the award.

Grand Forks’ Child Nutrition Department was recognized for its commitment to excellence in creating nutritious, appealing meals, implementing innovative nutrition education initiatives, developing a strong professional development program and exercising superior financial management. As further evidence of this program’s success, every single one of Grand Forks Elementary Schools has received the Gold Award of Distinction under the HealthierUS School Challenge.

Grand Forks Public Schools offers breakfast and lunch in all of the district’s schools, after-school snack programs in all elementary schools and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program in seven schools. The Child Nutrition Department continuously strives to improve its meals, and despite an open campus policy at Grand Forks High Schools, the department maintains a 70 percent participation rate for lunch.

Grand Forks was one of seven districts from across the nation awarded the District of Excellence Distinction this year through SNA’s Keys to Excellence program.

Keys to Excellence, a core component of SNA’s professional development and credentialing programs since 1992, is a national best practice standards tool for school nutrition professionals seeking to assess, benchmark and improve their school food and nutrition operations. School districts may apply for the District of Excellence Distinction by completing a comprehensive application process including a thorough program self-assessment in all four “Key” areas: Administration, Communications and Marketing, Nutrition and Nutrition Education, and Operations. All applications are judged by a formal peer review panel.

Grand Forks earned the District of the Year Award for having the most Best Practices of all of this year’s Districts of Excellence. Grand Forks is the fourth recipient of the District of the Year Award. The District of Excellence and District of the Year programs are made possible through the support of the National Dairy Council®.

To learn more about the District of Excellence program, please visit

SNA, ( the School Nutrition Association, is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 53,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country. Founded in 1946, the Association and its members are dedicated to feeding children safe and nutritious meals.


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