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Conference Focuses on School Nutrition Standards, Access to School Meals

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Erik Peterson
703-739-3900 ext 124
epeterson@schoolnutrition.org

Conference Focuses on School Nutrition Standards, Access to School Meals

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (March 1, 2006) – A key step towards addressing childhood obesity is increasing consumption of healthy school meals. Studies show that school lunches provided through the National School Lunch Program provide more fruits, vegetables and grains, and less fat, than lunches brought from home. Unfortunately, the 40-cent fee required for a reduced-price school lunch is a barrier to participation for many low-income working households, including military families. Over 700 school nutrition professionals will gather March 12-15, 2006, in Washington, DC, to discuss school nutrition standards and call on Congress to support greater access to healthy school meals.

The morning of March 15, 2006, conference participants and guests will take part in a Town Hall Meeting on School Nutrition Standards. The session will discuss the current state of school nutrition standards at the federal, state and local levels for school meals and ‘competitive foods,’ and will seek a direction that ensures healthy food and beverages throughout school campuses.

The 34th annual Legislative Action Conference of the School Nutrition Association at the Washington Renaissance Hotel will also include:

  • Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA,) Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) – by video, Representative Mike Castle (R-DE,) Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Deputy Under Secretary Kate Coler of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service. NPR correspondent Mara Liasson will provide the keynote address.
  • Panel discussions on SNA’s legislative priorities for 2006 including supporting full funding for federal child nutrition programs, eliminating the reduced price meal category, supporting nutrition education and school wellness policies, adding agricultural commodity support for school breakfasts and supporting the Dole-McGovern global school feeding program.
  • On March 14, 2006, SNA members will take their message to Capitol Hill, sharing the nutritional value and importance of school meals with their Members of Congress. An evening banquet will feature Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT.)
  • On March 13, 2006, SNA past president Dr.Josephine Martin will be honored with the 2006 Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award at “A Possible Dream Gala.” Also recognized will be Demetrious Giovas, 2005 Outstanding Director of the Year and Tami Cline, 2005 Industry Member of the Year. The Gala will be held on Monday evening, March 13 at the National Building Museum, Washington, DC. Proceeds from the evening will benefit the Foundation’s global school feeding initiatives.

Free press registration is available in advance and on-site at the conference.

The School Nutrition Association is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 55,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country. The Association and its members are dedicated to feeding children safe and nutritious meals. Currently celebrating its sixtieth anniversary, SNA is the only association devoted exclusively to protecting and enhancing children’s health and well being through school meals and sound nutrition education.

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