SNA News

Fall 2013 Journal Features Article on BackPack Programs

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December 17, 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, “The BackPack Food Program’s Effects on U.S. Elementary Students’ Hunger and On-task Behavior” by Meghan E. Ecker, MA, and Sarah K. Sifers, PhD, LP, examines a study conducted to evaluate the BackPack Food Program’s effectiveness in combating students’ hunger over the weekends and school breaks, as well as analyzing the program’s effects on students’ on-task behavior in the classroom. The study also took a look at program satisfaction from students, parents and teachers.

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

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“The BackPack Food Program’s Effects on U.S. Elementary Students’ Hunger and On-task Behavior”

The Journal of Child Nutrition & Management

SNA VP Earns Exciting Promotion

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December 17, 2013 – In Fall 2013, SNA Vice President Jean Ronnei, SNS, announced she had been promoted in her Saint Paul (Minn.) Public Schools district to the position of chief operating officer. In her new role, Ronnei will continue to oversee the district’s child nutrition program, but not retain day-to-day management responsibilities. Her promotion in a high-profile major city district is a positive reflection on the school nutrition profession and the Board extends its congratulations to her for this achievement.

A key aspect of SNA’s leadership structure is to elect a vice president who will begin a three-year term that includes succession to the roles of Association president-elect and president. Professional role changes do not in and of themselves automatically preclude the eligibility of a dutifully elected officer from participating in the full leadership cycle.

SNA leaders have fielded some inquiries from SNA members regarding Ronnei’s continued eligibility to continue to serve as a member of the organization’s Executive Team. A review of SNA bylaws by the Association’s legal counsel clearly affirms her eligibility, in keeping with similar situations by other SNA past presidents, including those employed by state agencies. In addition, Ronnei’s superintendent in Saint Paul fully supports her involvement in SNA as a benefit to the school district, as well as her own professional development. If you have any questions, contact

SNA Hosts Professional Standards Webinar for Members

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December 16, 2013 – Given that training and education requirements from USDA are on the horizon, SNA hosted an informational webinar about professional standards on December 12th. The webinar, which boasted more than 1,000 registrants, featured Jan Barrett, Senior Nutritionist with the USDA, as a speaker.

While USDA hasn’t yet released the proposed rule regarding professional standards for school nutrition employees, Barrett provided insight about the upcoming rule and answered attendees’ questions about how the requirements will be communicated and implemented.

To access the archived webinar, click here. Members earn 1 CEU for attending the live webinar or watching the archived recording.

Don’t forget, achieving SNA certification or the SNS credential is a great way to get a head start on preparing for the professional standards. To learn more and get started, visit

Registration Now Open for LAC 2014!

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December 9, 2013 – Between the October government shutdown that threatened school meals and the upcoming 2014 midterm elections in the House and Senate, it’s a particularly critical time to remind politicians in Washington, D.C., that school nutrition issues deserve a place at the legislative table. It’s your turn to be heard, and there’s no better time or place to speak up than at SNA’s 42nd Legislative Action Conference (LAC).

Taking place March 2–5, 2014, at Washington’s J.W. Marriott Hotel—including a day spent lobbying on Capitol Hill—the conference program is jam-packed with opportunities to bring school nutrition back to the forefront. LAC veterans and novices alike will benefit from hearing from Washington insiders, including representatives from SNA’s new legislative counsel, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and keynote speaker Kathleen Parker, a political columnist for The Washington Post who writes the most widely syndicated column in the country. On Tuesday, March 4, join SNA for the annual “Charge to the Hill,” where you take the lead, visiting with legislators and sharing your expertise, passion and stories. (Start contacting Hill offices now to set appointments for this day.)

Online registration for LAC 2014 is open now. The early-bird registration deadline is January 20, 2014. After you register for the conference, be sure to make your hotel reservation at the JW Marriott Washington D.C. To learn more about the conference, invited speakers and information about registration and hotel accommodations, visit

And mark your calendar for Monday, March 3, so you get your tickets to a special 50th anniversary celebrating SNA’s School Nutrition Foundation and its support of school nutrition heroes.

Promote Your Professional Pride This Holiday

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December 6, 2013 – With the winter holidays right around the corner, do you need a special token gift for your staffers or a friend and colleague in school nutrition? Maybe you just want a little treat for yourself. Perhaps you were inspired by the “Pride in Our Profession” articles that appeared in the November issue of School Nutrition magazine. Now is a great time to do some online shopping, because holiday specials await you at the SNA Emporium.

With closeout prices on all Bargain Central items available through the end of December, you don’t want to miss this opportunity to save. Log on to for discounts on a variety of great school nutrition-related items, including T-shirts, aprons, posters and much more.

While browsing the SNA Emporium, consider getting a head start on your National School Breakfast Week (March 3-7, 2014) planning and start shopping for “Take Time for School Breakfast” themed items, including colorful posters, balloons, t-shirts and aprons. NSBW 2014 items are not included as part of the Bargain Central sale.

Visit to check out all the great deals and merchandise!

School Nutrition Explores Personal and Professional Safety

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December 4, 2013— Many of us may not want to admit it, but it’s easy to become complacent about safety—both in the workplace and in our personal lives. That’s why it’s always prudent to take the time to review tips and tools related to safety in all aspects of your life, as we never know when we will need to protect our students—or ourselves. The December issue of School Nutrition, SNA’s award-winning flagship publication, provides tips to keep you safe both at work and at home. Also included in this issue is an exploration of Greek yogurt, the protein-rich alternative that is steamrolling its way through the yogurt market.

As school nutrition professionals, you are a critical part of the school safety equation. “Protect and Defend” uncovers how to take steps to ensure your cafeteria and kitchen areas can be a safe haven and not a security risk. Bonus Web Content: Take time to review additional short articles about dealing with threats posed by fellow employees, questions regarding potential vulnerabilities in your safety training plan, advice for getting help in the aftermath of an act of violence and tips for basic kitchen safety.

In this age of more and more sophisticated technology, knowing the steps to protect yourself against cyber crime is more important than ever, as the consequences of a lost smartphone, tablet or laptop can be as bad as losing your wallet or purse! “Password Protected?” takes a look at how you can stop cyber criminals from trying to take a byte out of your personal and private data. Bonus Web Content: Don’t miss exclusive online articles offering tips on limiting telemarketing and robocalls, as well as advice on how to scrub clean your electronic devices when you are ready for an upgrade.

Between social media and the 24/7 news cycle, it’s more difficult today to turn a blind eye to incidents of bullying. In “Why You Gotta Be So Mean?”, learn how to take a stand against bullying in your school—and help kids do the same. Bonus Web Content: Bullying isn’t confined to the K-12 school environment and happens in a wide range of workplaces. Additional online content offers some tips for readers who experience or witness bullying on the job.

How and where did Greek yogurt originate? What makes it different from traditional commercial yogurt formulations? Can its popularity continue to grow? And, of course, what are the implications for school meal programs? “Eureka! It’s Greek Yogurt” examines all of these questions about this protein-rich alternative that accounts for nearly half of today’s yogurt sales (compared to less than 5% five years ago). Bonus Web Content: Curious about the claims that the Greek yogurt manufacturing process is bad for the environment? And how Greek yogurt can be used to replace certain higher-fat ingredients? Find out more in online-only articles.

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School Nutrition—December 2013
Mobile Device or Tablet Version (for iOS devices only; Android version forthcoming)— Click Here’s Fed Up Campaign Paints an Inaccurate Portrayal of School Meals

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This week, is expected to release a “report of the true state of school lunch” based on their Fed Up campaign.  The campaign,, asked young people to post photos of their meals, complete a short survey on their impressions of school lunch, and vote either “eat it” or “toss it” on posted photos. 

The School Nutrition Association (SNA) encourages students to get involved in their school meal programs and SNA members welcome student feedback as they plan menus that meet new federal nutrition standards and student tastes. 

However, the Fed Up campaign promoted negative attitudes to school meals, and with marketing messages like “Got a gross burrito? ‘Poo-rito’ explains everything we need to know,” DoSomething collected exaggerated photos and captions that do not represent the true state of school meals.  Many of the photos posted do not picture school lunches under the National School Lunch Program, and instead depict a la carte items (which will meet new nutrition standards starting fall 2014), lunches from home, fast food meals, or lunches purchased on college campuses.

When the campaign launched in September, SNA CEO Patti Montague sent this letter to on behalf of members regarding campaign inaccuracies.  SNA has also encouraged members to post photos of their school meals to the site.

SNA members have a new opportunity to show the true state of school meals. USA Today, which recently reported on findings of the campaign, is also requesting school lunch photos, submitted by Friday, December 6.   See USA Today's request for details on how to submit your picture.

Don’t Miss Upcoming SNA Webinars on Breakfast Financials and Professional Standards

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December 3, 2013 – Next week, SNA will offer two informative, engaging webinars that you don’t want to miss. Register now for “The Financial Sense of Breakfast” and “Required Professional Standards for School Nutrition Staff Are Coming Soon.”

Wednesday, December 11: The Financial Sense of Breakfast
Time: 2:00-3:15 pm EST

The School Nutrition Foundation, in partnership with the National Dairy Council, will host a free webinar about the financial considerations to take 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.

Duration: 75 minutes (approximately)

Thursday, December 12: Required Professional Standards for School Nutrition Staff Are Coming Soon
Time: 2:00-3:00 pm EST

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 outlines the requirements for establishing professional standards for school foodservice directors, managers, all other school nutrition staff and state agency nutrition directors. The new standards will be discussed, along with tips on how school districts can implement them.

Speakers: Jan Barrett, Senior Nutritionist, U.S. Department of Agriculture; Danny Seymour, SNA Dean of Education; Miles Truax, SNA Certification & Credentialing Manager

Space is limited! After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Duration: 60 minutes (approximately)

Take a Time Out with SNA’s STEPS Challenge

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December 2, 2013 – According to a survey of last year’s STEPS Challenge participants, SNA members had the most difficulty with the December challenge to manage holiday stress. That’s why STEPS is challenging you once again to take a little “me time” this month to focus on yourself! It may be difficult, but finding time to relax is the key to managing stress and keeping your mood stable.

Whether you choose to read a book, take a nap, run a bubble bath, indulge in a Netflix movie, or go for a walk, you can reward yourself with five (5) points for every occasion where you take 20 minutes to relax and focus on yourself. If you earn 50 points, you can enter your tracking sheet into a drawing to win a Skincare Spa Basket from The Body Shop.

Also, don’t forget about this year’s STEPS All-Star State contest. SNA and program partner Jennie-O Turkey Store are rewarding states that have the most members actively participating in each month’s challenge. After a few challenges, it’s clear that several states have competitive spirit: Ohio edged out Minnesota again in October with the most participants in the 1,000+ membership division, while Missouri continues to dominate in the 500-1,000 division. Kansas edged out South Dakota in the 1-500 membership division! The top states in each membership division will be honored at SNA's Annual National Conference (ANC), and their members will be entered in a grand prize drawing. It isn’t too late for your state to win—encourage your fellow members to participate this month!

For more information about the wellness program or to learn more about this month’s “Take a Time-Out” challenge, SNA members can visit

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