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SNA & SNF Announce First School Nutrition Hero Recipients

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January 31, 2014 – The School Nutrition Association (SNA) and its philanthropic arm, the School Nutrition Foundation (SNF), are pleased to announce the selection of five individuals for recognition as School Nutrition Heroes.

SNA/SNF’s leadership knows that every school cafeteria across America is staffed by passionate people who go above and beyond typical job responsibilities in service to children. The School Nutrition Hero award was developed to shine a much-deserved spotlight on the extraordinary efforts of ordinary SNA members.

The 2014 honorees are:

  • Dorothy Caldwell, SNA Past President (1993-94), SNF President (1994-95), Director of Child Nutrition (Retired), Arkansas Department of Education, Deputy Administrator for Special Nutrition Programs (Retired), U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services
  • Margo Frazier, Supervisor of Operations, Sheldon (Texas) Independent School District
  • Sandi Kramer, Nutrition Director, Yankton (S.D.) School District
  • Joanne Terry, Administrative Assistant, Charlotte County (Fla.) Public Schools
  • Karen Watson, CNP Manager, Sylacauga High School, Sylacauga City (Ala.) Schools

These individuals will be recognized at the SNF 50th Anniversary Celebration of School Nutrition Heroes, on March 3, 2014, in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with SNA’s Legislative Action Conference.

“All of us at SNA/SNF could not be more proud of our 2014 honorees. This group represents the wide range of everyday heroes that characterize the school nutrition profession at every level,” says SNA President Leah Schmidt, SNS.

Each of the five women who will be honored in March has made an impact on the lives of others in her school, district, community and/or association, and has applied skills learned through involvement in SNA/SNF. In their nominations, they are praised as “role models,” “mentors,” “motivators,” “ideal association members” and “caregivers.”

In addition to managing the demanding requirements of school nutrition, these Heroes have gone the extra mile in many ways, including

  • coordinating a “Sack Pack” program to ensure low-income children have weekend meals;
  • volunteering for the community rescue squad;
  • revamping a state association scholarship program;
  • making significant life changes to become a role model for health and wellness; and
  • spearheading the establishment of an endowment fund to support efforts that raise public awareness about school nutrition programs.

Since its founding in 1964, SNF has raised millions of dollars to underwrite a variety of scholarships, grants, research, training opportunities and technical assistance designed to support school nutrition heroes at every level of the profession. Its 50th Anniversary Celebration honors the generous support of a diverse group of SNA individual members, state affiliates, industry partners and private foundations that have helped to fund critical programs and services. The 2014 School Nutrition Heroes represent all those who have benefitted from the programs and services of SNA/SNF and used their involvement to make a lasting impact.

For more details about the event and to purchase tickets, send an e-mail to snf50@schoolnutrition.org or call SNA Headquarters at (800) 877-8822.

Related Links

SNF 50th Anniversary Celebration of School Nutrition Heroes

Enter to Win a Free Registration to ANC Boston

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Tell us how you’ve made history in your district for a chance to win!

January 29, 2014 – SNA members will be making history in Boston this July at SNA’s Annual National Conference (ANC). Between now and April 31, you can enter to win a complimentary conference registration – just tell us how you’ve “made history” in your school district.

Maybe you created a brand new healthy menu item, obtained SNA certification, introduced new salad bars, or signed up for the STEPS Challenge. Whatever you’re most proud of, we want to hear about it!

To learn more and enter today, visit www.schoolnutrition.org/ancsweeps. For the official rules, click here. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Latest Journal Issue Explores Nutrition Knowledge and Cafeteria Purchases

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January 27, 2014 – Interested in reading about the experiences and observations of other school nutrition operators? Be sure to check out The Journal of Child Nutrition & Management, SNA’s peer-reviewed research journal published twice a year. The exclusively digital publication features research articles on topics critical to the successful operation of school meal programs.

One of the articles from the Fall 2013 issue, “The Relationship Between Nutrition Knowledge and School Cafeteria Purchases of Seventh Grade Students in a Rural Indiana School District” by Deanna Pucciarelli, PhD; Terry McNeany, MS, RD; and Carol Friesen, PhD, RD, examines the relationship between students’ nutrition knowledge and the food items they purchase in their school cafeterias.

To view this article, click here. To read the entire Fall 2013 issue, visit www.schoolnutrition.org/jcnm.

Related Links

“The Relationship Between Nutrition Knowledge and School Cafeteria Purchases of Seventh Grade Students in a Rural Indiana School District”

The Journal of Child Nutrition & Management

Send Us Your Best Breakfast Shots

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January 24, 2014 – As part of National School Breakfast Week (NSBW) 2014 (March 3-7), SNA will be promoting the benefits of school breakfast to parents and the general public through this year’s theme, "Take Time for School Breakfast."

We would like to feature pictures of real, delicious school breakfasts from across the country and need your help. Please consider sending your high-resolution, quality photos of your best breakfast trays to SNA. They can be hot meals or grab ’n’ go options. The most usable images will:

  • Feature a complete breakfast with all meal components, including whole grains, fruit and milk
  • Include some colorful, fresh fruits and veggies if possible
  • Combine a mix of hot breakfasts, grab ’n’ go options, cereal and vegetarian options
  • Be clear, close-up shots of food removed from original packaging and presented nicely on a tray

Please send your breakfast tray photos to SNA Director of Media Relations Diane Pratt-Heavner (dpratt-heavner@schoolnutrition.org) by Friday, February 14, 2014. And don’t forget that NSBW is March 3-7, 2014! Visit www.schoolnutrition.org/nsbw for celebration ideas and free resources.

Webinar for New SNA Members

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January 16, 2014 – Join SNA for a new member webinar on Tuesday, January 21, 2014, at 2:00 pm ET. This webinar will connect you to the many SNA benefits and essential tools for your continued professional development. You'll also gain valuable insight into the array of programs, resources and services that are available to you through your membership with SNA.

Take advantage of this free program and get the most out of your membership. This webinar is open to all new SNA members. No CEUs are awarded for participating.

To participate, click here. This webinar will be recorded and posted to www.schoolnutrition.org/webinars.

Grants Available from the B.E.N. Center

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January 16, 2014 – The Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs (the B.E.N. Center) recently announced a new award program to support research involving the possible applications of behavioral economics to the improvement of the food choices American children make at school as participants in USDA's National School Lunch Program.

The Center will award $150,000 and will support 5-12 proposals ranging from $5,000-$40,000.

A short letter of intent is due by 12:00 am (midnight) on Tuesday, January 21, 2014. Invited applicants will be notified by Monday, February 3, 2014. Invited full proposals will be due by Monday, March 17, 2014 with projects beginning no earlier than June 2, 2014. Proposals selected for funding will be notified by Monday, April 21, 2014.

To learn more about the B.E.N. Center’s Small Grants Program, including the scope of research funded, click here.

Call for Posters: School Nutrition Research and Best Practices Showcase

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January 15, 2014 – Is there something you think your program does well? Have you recently conducted research related to school foodservice or nutrition? Show it off at SNA’s School Nutrition Research and Best Practices Showcase Poster Session during the 2014 Annual National Conference (ANC) in Boston, Mass., July 14-15, 2014.

The School Nutrition Research and Best Practices Showcase is a display of posters highlighting best practices and research in school nutrition. This is a great opportunity to draw attention to some of the things happening in your program. Posters can address topics such as:

  • menu changes
  • food safety practices
  • marketing and customer service innovations
  • nutrition education initiatives
  • environmentally friendly practices, and more!

Visit www.schoolnutrition.org/snshowcase to learn more about the School Nutrition Research and Best Practices Showcase and submit a poster proposal. The deadline to submit a poster idea is March 15, 2014. If you have any questions about the School Nutrition Research and Best Practices Showcase, please contact the SNA Service Center at (800) 877-8822.

Don’t Miss Out on LAC 2014 Early Bird Registration!

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January 14, 2014 – Be a vital part of SNA’s legislative efforts in 2014 by attending the 2014 Legislative Action Conference (LAC) in Washington, D.C. Don’t miss the chance to save $50 off regular conference fees by registering by the early-bird deadline, Monday, January 20. What are you waiting for? Register now via mail or online at www.schoolnutrition.org/lac.

Join school nutrition professionals and their allies March 2-5, 2014, at the 42nd annual LAC at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C. LAC is your chance to share your thoughts, opinions and priorities regarding child nutrition with the lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Peer into the inner workings of the democratic process, and learn firsthand what legislative and regulatory issues the industry currently faces. This year’s keynote speaker, Kathleen Parker, Washington Post columnist, will offer an inside look at the inner workings of D.C.’s political atmosphere, including a look at culture and contemporary issues.

Highlights of LAC 2014 include:

  • An enriching pre-conference session on designing, retrofitting and outfitting your best cafeteria kitchen;
  • A unique opportunity to further network and build relationships with Congressional staff during the Capitol Hill Reception;
  • The latest information from key leaders in Congress, USDA and allied organizations, regarding the major issues facing the school nutrition industry;
  • And a celebration of the School Nutrition Foundation’s 50th anniversary.

To learn more about LAC 2014, visit www.schoolnutrition.org/lac. And, don’t forget the special early -bird registration rate deadline is Monday, January 20, 2014. See you on the Hill!

SNA Accepting Student Entries for NSBW 2014 Art Contest

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Encourage your students to use their creativity and imagine how school breakfast will look in the future!

January 14, 2014 – What will school breakfast look like in the year 3014? Will the students zoom around like “The Jetsons”? Will breakfast be served by robots? Will the bus fly to school?

As part of National School Breakfast Week (NSBW), SNA is organizing a creative art contest for kids. Students are asked to use their imagination and draw school breakfast in the future.

Three national winners will be selected by a panel of judges and will receive prize packs which include a time capsule, so they can leave memories of what life is like in 2014 for future generations!

Do you think your students have what it takes? Download the official entry form and the student entry form here to get started:

Official Entry Form
Student Entry Form

Entries are due no later than March 31, 2014. Click here for details and official rules. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Remember to visit www.schoolnutrition.org/nsbw to get started planning your celebration for NSBW, March 3-7, 2014.

SNF Now Accepting Applications for Scholarships!

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January 10, 2014 – Would you like to attend a national SNA conference? Are you planning to or currently pursuing a degree in a school nutrition related field and could use some financial assistance? The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) is now accepting applications online for its 2014 scholarships! All scholarships are open to current SNA members who want to learn and grow in their school nutrition careers. Specific requirements vary by scholarship.

A wide variety of scholarships are available, including:

  • Josephine Martin National Policy Fellow Scholarship to attend SNA’s Legislative Action Conference in Washington, D.C. (Applications due Friday, January 24, 2014)
  • ANC First-Timer Scholarship to attend SNA’s Annual National Conference in Boston, Mass. (Applications due Thursday, May 1, 2014)
  • Kathleen Stitt Award to participate in the Child Nutrition Showcase at SNA’s Annual National Conference in Boston, Mass. (Applications due Monday, June 2, 2014)
  • SNF Scholarships for Members Pursuing Degrees to help fund the higher education of SNA members in a school nutrition related field (Applications due April 9, 2014). These scholarships include:
    • SNF Professional Growth Scholarship
    • Schwan's Food Service Scholarship
    • Nancy Curry Scholarship

For more information and to apply online for an SNF scholarship, visit www.schoolnutrition.org/scholarships. If you have any questions regarding the application process, please contact scholarships@schoolnutrition.org or (800) 877-8822.

Latest Journal Issue Features Article on Swedish School Meals

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January 9, 2014 – Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to read more about other school nutrition operations? Be sure to check out The Journal of Child Nutrition & Management, SNA’s peer-reviewed research journal published twice a year. The exclusively digital publication features research articles on topics critical to the successful operation of school meal programs.

One of the articles from the Fall 2013 issue, “Nutrient Content of Consumed Elementary School Lunches: A Pilot Study From Sweden” by Ulla Rosander, Dietitian Licentiate; Kimmo Rumpunen, PhD; Helena Lindmark-Mansson, PhD; Bo Gullberg, MSc; Marie Paulsson, PhD; and Ingvar Holm, PhD, provides a look at the nutrient content of Swedish school meals consumed by students in the context of national recommendations regarding food composition and intake.

To view this article, click here. To read the entire Fall 2013 issue, visit www.schoolnutrition.org/jcnm.

Related Links

“Nutrient Content of Consumed Elementary School Lunches: A Pilot Study From Sweden”

The Journal of Child Nutrition & Management

Explore New Landscapes at SNIC 2014

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January 8, 2014 – Are you ready to thrive? SNA’s 2014 School Nutrition Industry Conference (SNIC)—where the message is “Thriving in an Ever-Changing School Nutrition Landscape—is just around the corner.

If you haven’t registered yet, it’s not too late to attend this year’s conference! Held from January 12-14, 2014, at the Hyatt Regency in Miami, SNIC on-site registrations will be accepted — just fill out the onsite registration form and bring it with you to the SNIC registration desk, where the SNA staff will set you up with everything you need to participate in this enlightening event.

Highlights of the 2014 SNIC include:

  • Three engaging keynote speakers, each focusing on a component of a successful foodservice operation.
  • Targeted industry sessions featuring focused, useful information about operations, a la carte, social media and updates from USDA.
  • Incredibly popular Innovation Stations, where you have the chance to learn about the latest and greatest in school nutrition solutions, including food beverage, service, supply and equipment.
  • The exciting FAME Awards, where a number of your colleagues will be recognized for their contributions to the profession.

Additionally, don’t forget to pack your athletic shoes to take part in the STEPS Challenge wellness events, taking place on Sunday afternoon and Tuesday morning. Sunday’s event features a wellness walk through Miami’s picturesque scenery, while Tuesday morning offers a gentle and relaxing tai chi session. Participants will earn a STEPS Challenge T-shirt, plus a conference badge ribbon. Sign up for the wellness events at registration or at the STEPS Challenge registration station. Don’t forget — participating in activities at SNIC will earn you points for January’s STEPS challenge, “Make Time for Fitness.” To learn more about the STEPS Challenge, click here.

As of publication, Miami’s weather for the conference is forecasted to be in the low 80s with a minimal chance of rain. As you know, hotel and conference rooms can get chilly, so pack a light jacket to stay comfortable while indoors and in the evening!

For more about SNIC 2014, click here. See you in Miami!

School Nutrition Takes a Look at Technology Today

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January 8, 2014 – With a new year will surely come additional changes in the world of technology, so dive in to the January issue of School Nutrition, SNA’s award-winning flagship publication, which explores the latest technological terms and innovations, as well as provides a behind-the-screens look at the challenges technology providers face in meeting your school nutrition needs. Also included in this issue is an overview of the Beans and Peas Subgroup that identifies some creative ways to menu these items.

Every year, there’s a new technological tool transforming the way school nutrition operators do business. In “Meet My New TBF! (Tech Best Friend),” colleagues across the country share some of their favorites. Bonus Web Content: All the way back in 1964, operators were debating the benefits of providing reimbursable meals to students through automated vending machines! Read about some other “blasts” from school nutrition’s past that may surprise you.

Even without flying cars, some of today’s top tech trends exceed the imaginative dreams of 20th-century science fiction writers. “2014: Welcome to the Future” takes a look at what the future—near and distant—holds.

Even if you consider yourself an early adopter of the latest technology, some of the terms being carelessly exchanged in the media and casual conversation might make your head spin. Don’t miss “Tech Terms You Should Know,” a brief glossary of some of the more common—yet still-mystifying—terms.

As a school nutrition technology user, you know its value in making your job easier and more efficient. But do you know what goes on behind the scenes to ensure that the technology you choose becomes a useful part of your operation? “Bits and Bytes of School Meal Management” showcases what you need to know. Bonus Web Content: Vendors interviewed for this piece offer additional advice about the value of long- and short-term technology planning.

Make a New Year’s resolution to check out some of School Nutrition’s online-exclusive offerings. “Spend a Little Screen Time With School Nutrition” provides additional details about the magazine’s monthly, not-to-be-missed bonus content.

Learn more about beans, peas, lentils and other legumes—a unique and versatile vegetable subgroup with a fair share of protein power in “What’s Your Pulse Rate?” Bonus Web Content: Expand your knowledge of beans with online content pertaining to cooking and soaking them, as well as cooking creatively with them, advice for reducing the unpleasant digestive effects associated with eating them and additional recipes.

Related Links

School Nutrition—January 2014

Mobile Device or Tablet Version (for iOS devices only; Android version forthcoming)

Welcome Webinar for New SNA Members

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January 7, 2014 – SNA will be hosting a welcome webinar for new SNA members on Tuesday, January 21, 2014, at 2:00 pm ET. During this webinar, new members will learn about the many benefits of SNA membership and how to make the most of their membership! This webinar is open to all new SNA members. No CEUs are awarded for participating.

To participate, click here. This webinar will be recorded and posted to www.schoolnutrition.org/webinars.

Keep Your Resolution Simple with STEPS!

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January 6, 2014 – A new year means a fresh start – it’s the perfect time to commit to healthier habits.

If you haven’t signed up already, be sure to register for SNA’s STEPS Challenge. It’s simple, free, and you can:

  • Compete in monthly health challenges for a chance to win great prizes
  • Access healthy recipes and simple fitness ideas
  • Get inspired and motivated for tips for wellness,  motivation, and feeling your best
  • Help your state win the STEPS Challenge All-Star States competition and be entered to win a free trip to ANC 2014!

To learn more and get started, click here. And don’t forget to visit www.schoolnutrition.org/steps anytime for healthy recipes, fitness ideas, success stories and more.

SNA Launches Strategic Realignment Project

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January 3, 2014 – The Association’s leadership has commenced an ambitious project to improve the alignment of SNA’s governance, programs and Headquarters organizational structure to meet the priorities of its strategic plan. This action demonstrates the leadership’s commitment to improving its decision and work processes in response to current and anticipated opportunities and challenges.

As many members know, SNA developed a strategic framework in December 2010, organizing key priorities into five “pillars.” It’s expected that this framework will continue to be a key element in the realignment project. But SNA has not reviewed or made any significant changes to its governance structure since the late Nineties. In addition, its programs, services and national staffing need to be assessed to ensure that the Association is appropriately positioned for future growth and success.

The project is being developed and managed with the expertise of Tecker International, LLC, a well-respected association and management consultant, which was selected in a competitive review process. In the fall, a project team comprised of SNA officers, senior management and other key stakeholders met with Tecker representatives to establish a process and timeline for going forward; the group’s first planning retreat will be held in January, in conjunction with SNA’s School Nutrition Industry Conference in Miami, Fla.

SNA members can play a valuable role in this process! All members will be asked to participate in a web survey regarding this initiative later this winter. Please do plan to participate and share your feedback about the project’s initial findings.

To learn more and to check for future updates to this project as it proceeds over the course of the next six months, click here. Leaders also will keep members and allies in the loop on the process and progress of this initiative through other communications, including School Nutrition magazine and e-newsletters.

Related Link

SNA Strategic Realignment Project

Take Time to Plan Your NSBW Celebration!

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January 2, 2014 – Mark your calendar: National School Breakfast Week (NSBW) 2014 is March 3-7! Use this year’s theme, “Take Time for School Breakfast,” to remind parents that school breakfast is a great timesaver during those busy mornings.

Not sure where to start or looking for some inspiration? Check out all of SNA’s members-only resources at www.schoolnutrition.org/nsbw. On the site, you’ll find:

  • A 10+ page toolkit with ideas and tips
  • Downloadable artwork and logos
  • Online tools like banner ads and a Facebook cover photo
  • Entry form for the NSBW sweepstakes – you could win free stickers for your students!
  • Activity sheets and a special art contest for kids
  • PR and marketing materials to help get the word out
  • And much, much more

Don’t forget you can also purchase NSBW merchandise like aprons, t-shirts, decorations and giveaways by clicking here.

Recognizing NSBW is a great way to increase breakfast participation and convey the importance of school breakfast to parents, the media, and school community. So what are you waiting for? Take time to plan your best celebration yet!


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