SNA News Releases

New School Milk Statistics and Free Resources from the National Milk Mustache “got milk?®” Campaign

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October 31, 2012 - MilkPEP has concluded the Annual School Milk Survey, among the findings:  the average calories in school flavored milk has declined by more than 21% over the past 5 years, and sugars have been cut dramatically by 40%.  On average, school flavored milk now has 132 calories per serving.  However, due to the elimination of flavored milk in some districts over the last 3 years, school milk usage has dropped nearly 4%. Additional research shows this may come with alarming nutritional fallout. Click here for a summary of the Survey findings, and mark your calendars to be part of the next Annual School Survey coming out in January.

New Resources:  To help school nutrition professionals promote the importance of milk in schools, including flavored milk, MilkPEP has developed new school milk resources that are perfect for use in the cafeteria, educational events or parent outreach. Order these and other free School Materials, here. And, sign up here to receive news from MilkPEP.  Resources include:

“Milk:  A Nutrient Powerhouse” Beverage Comparison Chart

This two-sided 8” x 11” handout is a great resource for communicating with parents.   It shares facts about how white and flavored milk stack up to other popular beverages – and how they don’t even come close to milk nutritionally. 

“Essential for a Reason” School Milk Poster

Help students learn why milk is delicious and nutritious.  This poster features half a glass of white milk/chocolate milk and the 9 essential nutrients contained vs. popular other food items. 



USDA Releases Memo on Improving Access to USDA Foods

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On October 11, 2012, USDA released a memo designed to provide direction and guidance to State distributing agencies (SDAs).  This is to ensure compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements and to make certain that all school food authorities (SFAs) receive their planned assistance level and maximize their use of USDA Foods to meet the nutrition standards in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).  In meeting the requirements, the SDA must offer to SFAs, to the extent practical, the full variety of USDA Foods that the Department of Agriculture (USDA) makes available in NSLP.  The SDA must use the most efficient and cost-effective distribution system for providing USDA Foods to SFAs.

To read the memo in its entirety, click here


Announcing Winner of Rachel Ray's Yum-o! Healthy School Lunch Contest

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(NEW YORK) October 16, 2012 – In celebration of October’s National School Lunch Week, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation (Alliance), the School Nutrition Association (SNA) and the Yum-o! organization have announced Donnie Barclift from Oakland Unified School District as the winner of Rachael Ray’s Yum-o! Healthy School Lunch Contest with his recipe for Pozole con Pescado.

Rachael Ray’s Yum-o! Healthy School Lunch Contest asked school chefs from around the country to submit an innovative, delicious, healthy school lunch— including meat/meat alternative, bread/grain, vegetables and fruit—which meet or exceed the new USDA school meal guidelines.

“School food service professionals are doing incredible things to serve nutritious, flavorful meals,” says Rachael Ray, best-selling author, daytime host and found of the Yum-o! organization. “We were thrilled with the creative, healthy recipes submitted for the contest and congratulate Donnie and the other finalists!”

More than 50 recipes were received and three lunches were selected to be prepared and judged in a school cafeteria by students and with representatives from the Alliance, Yum-o! and SNA. The recipes were judged on nutrition, appeal to students, ease of replication in schools, and presentation. The winner and finalist included:

  • Pozole con Pescado, submitted by Donnie Barclift from Oakland Unified School District, Oakland, CA (WINNER)
    A zesty tomato broth with kale and other vegetables, served with a piece of seasoned and roasted fish on top and a side of diced melons with lime, mint and basil.
  • Fiesta Fish, submitted by Susan Foster and Becky Martin from Hall County Schools, Gainsville, GA (FINALIST)
    A Mexican seasoned tuna sandwich served with seasoned sweet potatoes, fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, served with a yogurt dipping sauce.

Donnie Barclift has worked for Oakland USD for more than three years, and says he’s proud to be working in school food service at such a critical time for our nation’s students. “Being a part of this exciting time for school food and shaping the way this generation of children eat is a great source of inspiration for me. I think the changes we are making in kids’ lives will leave a lasting impact on the way they see food and their relationship with food.”

As the winner, Donnie Barclift will fly to New York to attend a taping of the Rachael Ray Show during National School Lunch Week and will be featured in the November issue of School Nutrition Magazine.

The two recipes were submitted from school districts a part of the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program. The Healthy Schools Program currently supports more than 15,000 schools and more than ten million students nationwide and is available to anyone – at no cost – who is interested in improving health and wellness initiatives on a school campus.

The recipes are available for free, to any school in the country by visiting the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s website at

About the Alliance for a Healthier Generation
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation works to address one of the nation’s leading public health threats – childhood obesity. The goal of the Alliance is to reduce the nationwide prevalence of childhood obesity by 2015, and to empower kids to make healthy lifestyle choices. Founded in 2005 by the American Heart Association and William J. Clinton Foundation, the Alliance works to positively affect the places that can make a difference to a child’s health: homes, schools, doctor’s offices and communities. To learn more about the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, visit

About the Yum-o! Organization
Yum-o!® is Rachael Ray's nonprofit organization that empowers kids and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking by teaching families to cook, feeding hungry kids and funding cooking education and scholarships. By providing the tools to create easy, affordable and delicious meals, Yum-o! is changing the way America eats. For more information about the Yum-o! organization, please visit

About School Nutrition Association
The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing 55,000 school nutrition professionals across the country. Founded in 1946, SNA and its members are dedicated to making healthy school meals and nutrition education available to all students. To learn more, visit


Alliance for a Healthier Generation
Megan McIntyre

Yum-o!/Rachael Ray
Charlie Dougiello

School Nutrition Association
Diane Pratt-Heavner

SNA Revises Meal Pattern Companion Guide: October 2012 Version Available

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SNA has released an updated version of the Meal Pattern Companion Guide as of October 2012.  This guide has more menus to serve as examples from Manatee County Florida.   This revised version is now available at, along with other tools and resources to aid in your understanding of the meal pattern.  This guide aims to assist in the challenges of implementing the new meal pattern requirements going into effect this fall.  It provides you with sample menus, resources and other valuable tools needed to interpret and implement the new meal pattern regulations.  This guide was pulled together by an SNA Ad Hoc Meal Pattern Working Group, which consists of school nutrition operators, state agency officials, industry and USDA representatives.  The first version was unveiled in July 2012 at ANC Denver.



USDA Releases Resources Addressing Calorie Limits

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USDA has released a number of resources to assist school districts in addressing calorie limits in school meals as well as athletic students in need of after school snacks.

On October 2, 2012, USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon sent a letter to Regional Directors to explain and address concerns about the calorie limits with the new meal standards.  You can read the full letter here.

In addition, USDA’s initiative, the School Day Just Got Healthier has released 2 fact sheets.  One fact sheet addresses the calorie maximums in school meals and provides tips to encourage student acceptance and anotherfact sheet addresses athletic programs in schools and afterschool meal service options available.

These resources and many other tools to support implementation of the nutrition standards are available at   In addition, SNA has PR resources, including tips for working with the media available at


SNA Releases New PR Tools and Talking Points About Calorie Limits

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SNA has developed new resources to respond to negative news stories featuring student complaints about school meals and new calorie/portion limits.

SNA continues to promote positive stories to national media outlets, but to respond to specific inquiries and complaints in your communities, members are invited to use the talking points and customizable letter to the editor found at this link: Defending Schools Meals.

Members are also encouraged to share SNA’s new 30 second Public Service Announcement, featuring school foodservice professionals and the delicious, nutritious food they serve. To download the video, visit

These resources and other PR tools, including tips for dealing with the media, can all be found at

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