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SNA Press Releases

School Cafeterias to Celebrate National School Breakfast Week, March 5-9

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner
(301) 686-3124 Ext.
media@schoolnutrition.org

School Cafeterias to Celebrate National School Breakfast Week, March 5-9

The School Breakfast Program serves 12 million students each day

National Harbor, Md., February 28, 2012 – Next week, school cafeterias across the country will celebrate National School Breakfast Week (March 5-9) by hosting “School Breakfast – Go for Gold” a fun campaign designed to highlight how eating a balanced breakfast at school helps students shine.

Studies have shown that students who eat breakfast make greater gains on standardized tests, pay attention and behave better in class, and are less frequently tardy, absent or visiting the nurse’s office. Eating breakfast is also positively linked with maintaining a healthy weight – and avoiding health problems associated with obesity.

“The School Breakfast Program is helping 12 million students jump start their days with a healthy meal,” said Helen Phillips, SNS, President of the School Nutrition Association. “School breakfast offers a critical service to children whose families struggle to make ends meet and a huge convenience for students who aren’t hungry for breakfast when they wake up.”

Federal nutrition standards for school breakfast limit fat and portion size, and cafeterias are already working to meet new requirements for more whole grains, fruits and vegetables with breakfast.

To reach more students with these healthy breakfasts, many schools are launching breakfast in the classroom programs, grab-n-go kiosks at the school doors, and breakfast-in-a-bag choices.  Last school year, the School Nutrition Foundation (SNF), as a member of Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom, launched an initiative funded by the Walmart Foundation to increase breakfast consumption among schoolchildren and spark the academic and nutritional gains associated with the morning meal. The pilot program served free breakfasts in the classroom to more than 15,000 students each school day and developed new resources to help other school districts launch their own programs.

“School Breakfast – Go for Gold” will help cafeterias celebrate school breakfast programs with special menus and decorations, fun puzzles and school breakfast related brainteasers to help students to warm up their brains before they head to class. Kids will also have the opportunity to create their own school breakfast t-shirt design highlighting the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast.

“School Breakfast – Go for Gold” was created by the non-profit School Nutrition Association with support from General Mills Foodservice. This national campaign recognizes National School Breakfast Week, launched in 1989 to raise awareness of the availability of the School Breakfast Program (SBP) to all children and the links between eating a good breakfast, academic achievement and healthy lifestyles.

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School Nutrition Professionals to Discuss New School Meal Standards and Challenges at SNA’s Legislative Action Conference, March 4-7, 2012

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Diana Pratt-Heavner
301-686-3124 Ext.
media@schoolnutrition.org

School Nutrition Professionals to Discuss New School Meal Standards and Challenges at SNA’s Legislative Action Conference, March 4-7, 2012

National Harbor, Md., February 23, 2012 – Next month, over 900 school nutrition professionals from across the nation will gather in Washington DC to discuss new school meal nutrition standards and urge Congress to ease the financial burden on school meal programs working to meet these regulations. School Nutrition Association’s (SNA) 40th annual Legislative Action Conference (LAC) runs from March 4 – 7, 2012 at the JW Marriott Hotel, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.

LAC comes at a critical time for the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, as school cafeterias work to meet the new meal pattern starting in the 2012-2013 school year, and Congress prepares to draft a new Farm Bill. LAC will feature several key discussions on these topics including:

  • Former Secretaries of Agriculture John Block and Dan Glickman and Former Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Charles Conner will participate in a roundtable discussion on school nutrition, the upcoming Farm Bill and the general election.
  • Dr. Janey Thornton, USDA Dep. Under Sec. for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, and Cindy Long, USDA Child Nutrition Division Director of the Food and Nutrition Service, will brief attendees on the new meal pattern and continued implementation of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (Public Law 111–296)
  • Attendees will hear from Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), Ranking Member of the US Senate Committee on Agriculture. Noted political commentator Charlie Cook will deliver a keynote address.
  • LAC also includes a “Charge to the Hill” allowing SNA members to meet with their representatives to discuss school nutrition issues and SNA’s 2012 Legislative Issue Paper.

Media wishing to attend these events must contact Diane Pratt-Heavner at 301-686-3124 or media@schoolnutrition.org to register for the conference.

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 find out more about today’s school meals, visit www.TrayTalk.org.

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School Nutrition Association Leading New Chefs Move To Schools Coalition

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner
301-686-3124 Ext.
media@schoolnutrition.org

School Nutrition Association Leading New Chefs Move To Schools Coalition SNA CEO participates in First Lady’s Dallas event announcing new coalition and website

Dallas, February 10, 2012—First Lady Michelle Obama has announced that the School Nutrition Association and the American Culinary Federation are leading a new coalition to oversee the Chefs Move to Schools program.

The coalition of prominent culinary, nutrition and school organizations listed below will spearhead new efforts to expand Chefs Move to Schools, which helps chefs and schools team up to educate children about healthy food choices.  

The First Lady also unveiled a new Chefs Move to Schools website, www.chefsmovetoschools.org, created by the coalition to serve as a one-stop shop for chefs and schools interested in working together. The site will allow visitors to sign up for the program; access training, recipes and resources; and learn how chefs and schools across the country are partnering to create healthier school environments.

The First Lady made the announcement during an event in Dallas celebrating the second anniversary of the Let’s Move! initiative. SNA CEO Frank DiPasquale, who attended the celebration commented, “We all have an important role to play in helping America’s students make healthier choices. School Nutrition Association is proud to be partnering with the Chefs Move to Schools coalition to support our members’ ongoing efforts to promote healthy school environments.”

SNA members are constantly working to improve school meals and encourage students to make healthier choices. The First Lady’s event was held in Dallas Independent School District where SNA Past President Dora Rivas runs the school meal programs. The First Lady recognized the district for earning the most Gold award winning schools in the HealthierUS School Challenge, and working with chefs to make healthy changes to school menus and offer cooking classes for students and families.  

“Chefs Move to Schools has been a huge success with thousands of chefs teaming up with schools to prepare healthier meals and teach students about healthy eating, and now we’re excited to take this program to the next level,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “ChefsMoveToSchools.org will make it even easier for chefs to connect with schools and share ideas with each other. So I’m counting on chefs and schools across our country to go to the website, sign up, and start cooking!”

The Chefs Move to Schools program began in June 2010 as part of the Let’s Move! initiative, dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation. Through the program, chefs partner with schools in their communities and work with teachers, parents and school nutrition professionals to help educate kids about food and nutrition. The goal of the program is to promote chefs as the catalyst for creating a new nation of child food advocates and start turning the tide on unhealthy eating behaviors. 

Approximately 3,400 chefs and 3,350 schools across the nation have signed up for the program to date. Together, chefs and schools have developed gardens, introduced salad bars to cafeterias, created healthier school meal recipes, hosted educational demonstrations and empowered kids with the knowledge they need to make healthy decisions. 

The new Chefs Move to Schools coalition will build on this success. In addition to SNA and ACF, coalition organizations include Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs (BEN), The Culinary Trust, Harvard School of Public Health, International Corporate Chefs Association, SupermarketGuru|The Lempert Report, National Food Service Management Institute, Partnership for a Healthier America, Share Our Strength and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Visit www.chefsmovetoschools.org today to learn more or to register as an official participant. 

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 find out more about today’s school meals, visit www.TrayTalk.org.

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