SNA News

Fall 2013 Journal Features Article on Youth Gardens

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November 27, 2013 – Have you made time to check out the latest issue of The Journal of Child Nutrition & Management? SNA’s peer-reviewed research journal published twice a year is an exclusively digital publication and features research articles on topics critical to the successful operation of school meal programs.

One of the articles from the Fall 2013 issue, “Creating a Sustainable Model for Establishing Youth Gardens in Schools and Childcare Centers” by William Wright, BA; Bettina Friese, PhD; Aaron Carrel, MD; Amy Meinen, MPH, RD, takes a look at a program that established youth gardens across Wisconsin and the results of a survey administered to participants to measure their perceptions of the success of the training held before the gardens were established. Participants also were surveyed about how effective they thought the new gardens were in increasing children’s access to and interest in fruits and vegetables.

To view this article, click here. To read the entire Fall 2013 issue, visit

Related Link

“Creating a Sustainable Model for Establishing Youth Gardens in Schools and Childcare Centers”

Professional Standards from USDA Are Coming: Get a Head Start with SNA Certification

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November 27, 2013 – As a part of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA), USDA is developing professional standards for all school nutrition employees.

Staff working in school nutrition will have annual training requirements to complete. The specific details of the requirements for various categories of employees are still being determined. However, you can start getting prepared today!

Getting certified with SNA will give you a head start training and education requirements included in the USDA’s professional standards. And don’t forget that SNA certification:

  • Increases your knowledge and skills of food safety and nutrition
  • Enhances your professional image with parents, children & school administrators
  • Provides a career ladder you can use to advance in the field from assistant, to cook, to manager, to director

It’s more important than ever to invest in your career—and yourself. To learn more and get certified, visit

SNA will be conducting an informational webinar about certification on Tuesday, February 25, 2014, at 2:00 pm ET. Attend the webinar to learn the benefits to becoming certified; the requirements to earn certification at levels 1, 2, and 3; and how you can get started on your certification. Mark your calendar and register here!

SNA Awards: Celebrate an Unsung Hero!

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November 26, 2013 – SNA awards season is getting underway! Have you started thinking about your recent accomplishments? Or perhaps you know a school nutrition colleague whose hard work deserves to be recognized?

The SNA Awards Program highlights the outstanding achievements of school nutrition employees, managers and directors who work every day to ensure well-nourished students across the country are prepared for success! There are SNA awards for every member type, including:

All nominees must be SNA members who are SNA certified or credentialed throughout the entire awards application and selection process. Award entries are due to the State President by March 1, 2014. Managers must also complete and submit a Letter of Intent to the State President by December 1, 2013.

SNA award winners will be recognized on the SNA website, in the pages of School Nutrition magazine and during the Red Carpet Awards Ceremony at SNA’s Annual National Conference (ANC) in Boston. Winners also receive prizes to honor their accomplishments.

For more information, visit

Don’t Just Survive; Prepare to Thrive at SNIC 2014

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November 26, 2013 – In the school nutrition profession, it’s not enough to simply survive the day-to-day challenges—it’s time for you to start thriving! At the 2014 School Nutrition Industry Conference (SNIC), get the tools you need to build, maintain or improve a successful school foodservice program. This year’s conference will take place in sunny Florida, at the Hyatt Regency Miami. The Regular Rate registration deadline, December 6, is coming up quickly, so don’t miss your chance to take advantage of discounted rates.

SNIC 2014 homes in on three key components of a successful school nutrition operation or business: the customer, the product and marketing. Each day’s presentations will focus on one of these topics, showcasing General Session speakers considered to be experts in each respective field. These include Jim Knight, former senior director of training and development for Hard Rock International, marketing mastermind John Moore and branding and marketing expert Ira Blumenthal. Dr. Douglas McCabe of Georgetown University will serve as the conference facilitator.

One of SNIC’s key draws is the opportunity for operators and industry representatives to network together and discuss their shared challenges and solutions. Many of the latter will be introduced through the annual Innovation Station breakout presentations, a terrific preview of many of the most innovative foodservice products on the market today. This face-time together makes SNIC a valuable conference for all partners working to our shared goals.

Visit to learn more about SNIC or to register.

SNF Webinar Wednesdays: The Financial Sense of Breakfast

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December 11, 2013, 2:00-3:15 pm EST (1:00 pm Central, 12:00 pm Mountain, 11:00 am Pacific)

The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF), in partnership with the National Dairy Council (NDC), will host a FREE webinar about the financial considerations to make when starting or expanding a breakfast program.

Are you looking at the whole financial picture when it comes to your breakfast program? Increasing participation and your bottom line are doable, but in order to make it work, you must have a firm knowledge of your costs.

Join us as we breakdown different breakfast models for programs of different sizes and help you discover simple ways to better understand how breakfast can make a positive impact on your bottom line.

Time will be devoted to Q&A, so please come with your questions. Participation in this webinar is worth 1 SNA CEU.

Can’t make it to the live event? The webinar will be archived following the live presentation.

The webinar objectives are to provide participants with a better understanding of: how to identify data indicators to track for breakfast; the impact and investment of different delivery models; what data to collect to measure effectiveness of breakfast programs; and what variables exist and how to account for them.

To register, visit

SNA Hosts Briefing on Capitol Hill and Has Several One-on-One Meetings

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November 21, 2013 – On Monday, November 18, 2013, SNA hosted a Congressional staff briefing on Capitol Hill regarding school meals. Marla Caplon, Director of Food and Nutrition Services at Montgomery County (Md.) Public Schools and Joan Shorter, Director of Food and Nutrition Services at Prince George’s County (Md.) Public Schools, provided their unique perspectives to Hill staff, walking them through the intricacies of their programs. This briefing was an opportunity to connect with Congressional staffers who will be involved in drafting the next Child Nutrition Reauthorization and provide them with an overview of school meal program operations and challenges. 

Joan Shorter (left) and Marla Caplon (right) answered Hill staff questions
during the briefing.

Following the briefing, over a 3-day period, SNA Vice President of Child Nutrition & Policy, Cathy Schuchart, along with SNA’s new lobbying team of Barnes & Thornburg, had 24 one-on-one meetings with key Hill staff and Members of Congress. These conversation- and relationship-building efforts come at a critical time as SNA continues to be the voice of child nutrition on Capitol Hill.

Meeting the New Breakfast Challenge

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November 20, 2013 – When your motivation is high, but your inspiration is lacking, turn to A Fresh Start for School Breakfast, a special menu-planning guide produced by SNA in partnership with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. The guide offers two-week cycle menus for breakfast in the classroom, grab ‘n’ go and traditional cafeteria breakfast programs. Nutrient analyses are included for all suggested menus.

The suggested menus meet the new breakfast meal pattern requirements that are now being implemented over the course of the next two school years. The cycle menus span across all grade levels, and separate analyses were completed for each of the K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 menus.

The effort to meet the new requirements is expected to be difficult for many school nutrition operators, so A Fresh Start for School Breakfast is designed to help ease the transition by providing student-friendly menu ideas that can fit into any style of breakfast service. Don’t feel pressured to reinvent the wheel when it comes to providing a nutritious, delicious breakfast for students!

To download the guide today, click here.

Kids LiveWell Recipe Challenge Seeks Healthy, Kid-Friendly Recipes from Foodservice Professionals

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November 19, 2013 – Do you have a healthy recipe that’s a hit with your students? Consider entering it in the Kids LiveWell Recipe Challenge, created by the National Restaurant Association & McCormick for Chefs!

The Kids LiveWell Recipe Challenge is a fun and creative way to showcase healthy menu options for kids and build on the spirit of innovation and creativity. Who knows more about creating healthy, kid-friendly meals than school nutrition professionals? SNA encourages all members involved in a foodservice operation to enter the challenge.

Restaurant and foodservice operators can submit one or more recipes from their children’s menus that meet the nutrition criteria from Kids LiveWell, which are based on the USDA dietary guidelines.

Any restaurant or foodservice company is eligible to enter.

To learn more, check out the nutrition requirements and enter the contest, visit The deadline to submit recipes is December 15, 2013.

The winners receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Chicago, Ill., where they will be honored at the 2014 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show (NRA Show).

SNA Announces 2013 Election Results

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November 18, 2013 – Members of the School Nutrition Association have spoken, casting their ballots in the annual election for the Association’s top leadership positions. Nine new members to the Board of Directors will be installed in July 2014 and four members, representing different SNA regions, will join the Nominating Committee.

SNA congratulates the following candidates for their election to the Association’s Board of Directors and Nominating Committee, and thanks all the candidates for their enthusiasm and commitment to serve the national Association.


Vice President
Becky Domokos-Bays, PhD, RD, SNS, Alexandria City Public Schools, Virginia

Linda Eichenberger, SNS, Oak Hills Local School District, Ohio

Northeast Regional Director
Debbi Beauvais, RD, SNS, Gates Chili and East Rochester Schools, New York

Northwest Regional Director
Debbie Kallio, Sedro-Woolley School District, Washington

Southwest Regional Director
Kevin Ponce, SNS, Mid-Del Schools, Oklahoma

Member Services Committee Chair
Renee Hanks, SNS, South Colonie Central School District, New York

Nutrition Committee Chair
Carol Weekly, RD, SNS, Queen Creek Unified School District, Arizona

School Nutrition Employee/Manager Representative
Teresa Stevenson, Kennesaw Elementary School/Cobb County School District, Georgia

State Agency Representative
Donna Parsons, MS, RD, SNS, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, Washington


Mideast Nominating Committee Representative
Victoria Moore, SNS, South Bend Community School Corporation, Indiana

Midwest Nominating Committee Representative
Annette Hendrickx-Derouin, SNS, Willmar, New London-Spicer, Montevideo and Community Christian Schools, Minnesota

Southeast Nominating Committee Representative
Diane Santoro, SNS, Indian River Public Schools, Florida

West Nominating Committee Representative
Analee Knudsen, South Sanpete School District, Utah

These winning candidates will be installed in July during the Association's Annual National Conference (ANC) in Boston, and will serve under the leadership of incoming President Julia Bauscher, SNS.

Related Link

SNA Election

Join SNF on November 20th for Peer2Peer Connect!

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November 15, 2013 – The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) is hosting a Peer2Peer Connect call post webinar! This event will allow SNA members and non-members to connect and share resources, ideas and strategies on topics affecting school nutrition programs.

SNF’s Peer2Peer Connect session will be on Wednesday, November 20, 2013, from 2:00-3:00 pm EST and the topic is: menuing mushrooms. SNF’s peer panel will be available to answer questions around strategies to extend meat entrees, add veggies and gain student approval.

This call is intended for school nutrition professionals who are interested in connecting to share ideas, resources, comments, and questions around effective strategies to menu mushrooms, include mushrooms in your commodity purchases next year, and recipe development.

Participants can "chat" in questions electronically or ask a question live via phone during the call. Attendees must log into to the session to participate live.

To register, visit

Please note, this event is not worth an SNA CEU.

SNA’s Back to School Membership Drive Winners Announced!

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November 13, 2013 – We are excited to announce the state association winners of the Back to School Membership Drive! This membership drive awarded the state association which recruited the most new members from August 1-October 31, 2013 in its membership division with the choice of a free registration to National Leadership Conference in April 2014 or 8 hours of support from SNA staff.

Join us in congratulating all of our amazing state association winners! The winners are:

Other notable state associations are Georgia SNA and California SNA, which each recruited over 200 new members during this three month period.

In total, nearly 3,000 new members were recruited during this campaign. SNA would like to thank all of our state associations for all they have done to recruit new members this year!

Last Chance to Vote in the SNA’s 2013 Election

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November 12, 2013 – Who will win in SNA’s Board of Directors and Nominating Committee Election and be the voice for your interests and concerns in the years to come? Don’t let your peers decide for you, choose to have your voice heard!

This Friday, November 15th, is the last day you can join fellow SNA members nationwide in voting for the candidates you think will make a difference in advancing the Association and its efforts to improve school nutrition programs. With four days left to vote, it is critical that you take advantage of this opportunity.

The SNA election features 25 candidates from around the country who share a common interest: a passion for child nutrition. To view the full list of candidates and their biographies, visit The newly elected officers and Nominating Committee representatives will be announced in late November and officers will be installed in July 2014 at SNA’s Annual National Conference in Boston.

How to Vote
In order to vote, your SNA membership must have been valid and current as of May 31, 2013. You will NOT be eligible to vote if you became a member or reinstated your membership after this date. Members in the Affiliate, Other or Student membership category are not eligible to vote. The slate of candidates that you are eligible to vote for is based on your membership section and the SNA region you work in.

To cast your vote, go to and click on the “Vote Now” button. You will be prompted to enter your SNA username and password. Once you have logged in, you will be directed to the voting site where you will then vote. Prompts will guide you through the online voting process, but to save time, please make all of your selections in advance. The “polls” will be open until November 15th.

For questions about the SNA Election, please contact the SNA Service Center at (800) 877-8822.

Related Links

SNA Election

Printable SNA Election biographies (pdf)

SN Vice President Candidate interviews (pdf)

Vice President Candidate Interview Videos

2014 FAME Award Winners Announced

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November 8, 2013 – SNA Past President Sandra Ford, SNS, director, food and nutrition services, Manatee County School district, Bradenton, Fla., has been named the 2014 Golden School Foodservice Director of the Year in the annual FAME (Foodservice Achievement Management Excellence) Awards competition. This marks the 25th anniversary of the FAME Awards program, which honors exceptional school nutrition program directors and supporters.

The Golden School Foodservice Director, the most prestigious honor in the FAME competition, demonstrates outstanding achievement in leadership, spirit/dedication, innovation, career awards, management systems, humanitarianism/community involvement and bettering the lives of students.

As this year’s Golden School Foodservice Director of the Year honoree, Ford is recognized for numerous achievements, marked by successful leadership, strategic planning and perseverance. Over the course of her nine-year tenure in Manatee, her initiatives have led to double-digit percent increases in lunch and breakfast participation, in addition to taking the department’s fund balance from $500,000 in 2004 to $5.2 million in 2013.

As 2012-13 SNA president, Ford guided the Association through a period of transformative change. She continues her volunteer involvement as treasurer of the School Nutrition Foundation. Colleagues describe Ford as a “servant leader,” not only within SNA but as a director in districts in both Florida and Kansas. She prioritizes staff training and student-centered marketing, among other strategies, in her efforts to position her operation—and the Association—for maximum success.

Five other school nutrition professionals were lauded by the FAME selection panel, which included winners of the 2013 competition, as well as the editors of School Nutrition magazine and other trade publications and SNA President Leah Schmidt, SNS.

The 2014 winner of the Silver Leadership Award is Constance Little, SNS, supervisor, student nutrition services, Beavercreek City (Ohio) Schools. This award recognizes a director who demonstrates outstanding leadership, dedication, fiscal achievement and innovation in menuing/merchandising.

FAME’s Silver Spirit Award is given to a person in a supervisory position who demonstrates a commitment to the people and programs of child nutrition through the development and execution of innovative programs in marketing, training, customer service, and/or staff motivation. Reginald Ross, former area supervisor, Charlotte-Mecklenburg (N.C.) Schools was recognized for his efforts as the 2014 winner of this award. Ross recently accepted a new position with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

The Silver Rising Star Award recognizes and encourages the next generation, honoring a director with three or fewer years’ experience directing a K-12 school nutrition operation. Bertrand Weber, director, culinary and nutrition services, Minneapolis Public Schools, Special School District #1, has been named this year’s recipient.

FAME’s 2014 Silver Special Achievement Award winner is Anna Apoian, foodservice director, Hawthorne (Calif.) School District. This honor is bestowed on a director who shows innovation in districts with 10,000 or less student enrollment.

This year’s Silver Friend of Child Nutrition Award, which recognizes an outstanding supporter or advocate of school nutrition programs, is SNA Past President Katie Wilson, PhD, SNS, who serves as executive director of the National Food Service Management Institute.

In addition, the fourth honoree of the Gertrude Applebaum Lifetime Achievement Award, selected exclusively by the FAME sponsors, is another SNA pioneer: Jane Wynn, MS, LDN, retired school nutrition director of the School Board of Broward County, Fla. Wynn served as president of the national Association in 1987-88.

The 25th FAME Awards are made possible with the generous support of Basic American Foods, Schwan’s Food Services, Inc., and Tyson Foods, Inc. The awards will be presented at an event on January 12, 2014 at the Rusty Pelican in Key Biscayne, Fla., in conjunction with SNA’s School Nutrition Industry Conference (SNIC).

Related Links


SNIC 2014

School Nutrition Showcases Professional Pride

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November 5, 2013 – “Every year brings new, ever-more-complex challenges to operate or administer a school nutrition program. But these don’t slow you down or deter you. You remain rightfully proud of your profession and the role you play in children’s health, education and achievement,” writes SNA Chief Executive Offer Patricia Montague, CAE in her column in the November issue of School Nutrition, SNA’s award-winning flagship publication. This issue celebrates the work of school nutrition professionals, in addition to featuring the dual perspectives of directors and managers shared during the magazine’s Roundtable of Leaders and checking in with the “school chefs” of The Food Network’s “Chopped.”

The perspectives from directors and managers who participated in School Nutrition’s 9th annual Roundtable of Leaders offer great food for thought about school nutrition operations today. “Proud Partners” features some of the highlights. Bonus Web Content: Learn about how Roundtable of Leaders participants started in school nutrition, the attractions of the job that help them to endure the frustrations and their aspirations for the future.

What made one school nutrition professional realize she was much more than “just a lunch lady”? “Confessions of a Self-Proclaimed Lunch Lady” explores the bigger role of school meals and why the work of school nutrition professionals matters.

School Nutrition catches up with contestants from both school chef-themed episodes of “Chopped” to learn what inspiring effects being on the show had on their personal and professional lives, in “First-Class Passion.”

“Go Places Together!” highlights how you can share your pride in school nutrition and service to kids by recruiting others to join SNA—you might even win a trip to Miami, Fla., or Salt Lake City, Utah, for your efforts!

School breakfast earned the red carpet treatment from California to New York and every star-studded state in between during National School Breakfast Week 2013. Take a behind-the-scenes look in “A Shining Celebration of School Breakfast.” Bonus Web Content: Students from all across the country submitted heartfelt entries to the NSBW 2013 Writing Contest. Don’t miss the entries by some of the runners-up.

Take a look at some new research findings that will help you make the case for school breakfast, as well as more resources to help you overcome the obstacles to expanding breakfast service in your schools and districts, in “A Wellness Wake-up Call.”

Pack your bags for a world tour of breakfast menus as showcased in “Around the World by 8 A.M.” Bonus Web Content: Be sure to check out a list of the resources used for this article, along with descriptions and photos for some of the items mentioned and additional international-themed breakfast recipes, in online-only content.

Related Links

School Nutrition—November 2013

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

SNF Webinar Wednesdays – Menuing Mushrooms: Strategies to Extend Meat Entrées, Add Veggies and Gain Student Approval

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November 1, 2013 – The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF), in partnership with the Mushroom Council will host a FREE webinar entitled, “Menuing Mushrooms: Strategies to Extend Meat Entrées, Add Veggies and Gain Student Approval,” on Wednesday, November 13, 2013, from 2:00 to 3:15 pm EST (1:00 pm Central, 12:00 pm Mountain, 11:00 am Pacific).

Mushrooms aren’t just for salad bars and pizza toppings anymore. They can play a starring role in extending portion size and adding an extra vegetable serving while maintaining calorie, fat and sodium maximums. Learn from a panel of school nutrition professionals about creative ways of using mushrooms to enhance your recipes, manage food costs and procure through the USDA Foods Program.

Join this webinar to learn about the nutrition benefits and versatility of mushrooms, innovative and cost saving ways to incorporate into your menu and how to effectively market the menu to students and parents.

Visit to register for the webinar.

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