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SNA Press Releases

Helen Phillips Named 2011-2012 President of the School Nutrition Association

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner
703-576-7526 Ext.
media@schoolnutrition.org

Helen Phillips Named 2011-2012 President of the School Nutrition Association

NASHVILLE, TN (July 13, 2011) — During the closing session of the School Nutrition Association’s (SNA) 65th Annual National Conference, over 7,500 members and participants welcomed a new president of the Association. Helen Phillips, SNS, Senior Director of School Nutrition for the Norfolk Public Schools (Virginia), was named the 64th President of SNA.

Phillips has held a distinguished career in the school nutrition arena for 19 years. She got her start in school nutrition as District Supervisor for School Nutrition for Norfolk Public Schools in 1992. Phillips left Norfolk in 1999 to manage the school nutrition program for Suffolk Public Schools (Virginia), but returned to Norfolk Public Schools in 2001 to serve as Assistant Director. In 2002, Phillips was promoted to Senior Director of School Nutrition, where she oversees a staff of 375, serving more than 23,000 lunches and 10,000 breakfasts daily.

From 1985-1989, Phillips served as a Nutritionist working on the Women, Infants and Child (WIC) program, including three years as Director of the WIC program at Virginia Beach’s Public Health Department.

Phillips has twice been nominated for the Foodservice Achievement Management Excellence (FAME) Rising Star. She has served as president of the School Nutrition Association of Virginia and on the Board of the School Nutrition Foundation.

Helen Phillips earned her Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from James Madison University.

Phillips was named president at the final general session of SNA’s Annual National Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. The Annual National Conference, July 10-July 13, 2011, drew more than 7,500 school nutrition professionals and school foodservice industry members.

SNA, (http://www.schoolnutrition.org) the School Nutrition Association, is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 53,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country. Founded in 1946, the Association and its members are dedicated to feeding children safe and nutritious meals.

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School Nutrition Association Names Grand Forks Public Schools 2011 District of the Year

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner
703-576-7526 Ext.
media@schoolnutrition.org

School Nutrition Association Names Grand Forks Public Schools 2011 District of the Year

NASHVILLE, TN (July 13, 2011) – Grand Forks Public Schools in Grand Forks, North Dakota, was named the 2011 District of the Year in School Nutrition yesterday during the 2nd General Session of the School Nutrition Association’s Annual National Conference. On behalf of the school district, Julie Tunseth, Director of Child Nutrition, accepted the award.

Grand Forks’ Child Nutrition Department was recognized for its commitment to excellence in creating nutritious, appealing meals, implementing innovative nutrition education initiatives, developing a strong professional development program and exercising superior financial management. As further evidence of this program’s success, every single one of Grand Forks Elementary Schools has received the Gold Award of Distinction under the HealthierUS School Challenge.

Grand Forks Public Schools offers breakfast and lunch in all of the district’s schools, after-school snack programs in all elementary schools and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program in seven schools. The Child Nutrition Department continuously strives to improve its meals, and despite an open campus policy at Grand Forks High Schools, the department maintains a 70 percent participation rate for lunch.

Grand Forks was one of seven districts from across the nation awarded the District of Excellence Distinction this year through SNA’s Keys to Excellence program.

Keys to Excellence, a core component of SNA’s professional development and credentialing programs since 1992, is a national best practice standards tool for school nutrition professionals seeking to assess, benchmark and improve their school food and nutrition operations. School districts may apply for the District of Excellence Distinction by completing a comprehensive application process including a thorough program self-assessment in all four “Key” areas: Administration, Communications and Marketing, Nutrition and Nutrition Education, and Operations. All applications are judged by a formal peer review panel.

Grand Forks earned the District of the Year Award for having the most Best Practices of all of this year’s Districts of Excellence. Grand Forks is the fourth recipient of the District of the Year Award. The District of Excellence and District of the Year programs are made possible through the support of the National Dairy Council®.

To learn more about the District of Excellence program, please visit www.schoolnutrition.org/KEYS.

SNA, (http://www.schoolnutrition.org) the School Nutrition Association, is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 53,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country. Founded in 1946, the Association and its members are dedicated to feeding children safe and nutritious meals.

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School Nutrition Professionals Preview New Foods, Beverages and Equipment

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner
703-576-7526 Ext.
media@schoolnutrition.org

School Nutrition Professionals Preview New Foods, Beverages and Equipment

School Nutrition Professionals Preview New Foods, Beverages and Equipment
School Nutrition Association’s ANC 2011 exhibit floor to feature healthy trends in school meals

NASHVILLE (July 11, 2010) – As students enjoy their summer vacations, the School Nutrition Association (SNA) has brought together thousands of school nutrition professionals to share ideas and best practices for healthy school meals this fall.

More than 7,500 school nutrition professionals from around the country will visit the school nutrition industry’s largest exhibit floor today at the Gaylord Opryland Convention Center in Nashville during SNA’s 65th Annual National Conference (ANC). More than 350 companies will showcase healthy, energy efficient, cost effective and kid-friendly improvements in school nutrition at more than 770 exhibit booths.

As the US Department of Agriculture finalizes new nutrition standards for school meals, exhibitors are introducing healthy, kid-friendly foods, equipment and supplies to meet expected meal pattern requirements. Six culinary demonstrations will feature innovative, nutritious recipes and techniques for preparation. Among the items school nutrition professionals will sample and may serve in schools this year:

  • Fruits, vegetables and legumes – Fresh, ready-to-eat, single-serve fruits and vegetables; dried apricots, cherries, nuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, packaged for sale in healthy vending machines or cafeteria lines. Vegetable-infused soups and sauces and reduced sodium salsa.
  • Beverages – Reduced-sugar flavored and plain milk in 1% and fat-free varieties; organic soy beverages; 100% juice; flavored waters and fruit smoothies.
  • Dairy – Greek yogurt, cottage cheese and low-fat, low-sodium cheeses.
  • Whole grain and multigrain products – Flatbread, pasta, tortillas, cereal, pancakes, wraps and pizza crust.
  • Lean protein – Genuine Alaska pollock; whole-muscle pork, beef, and turkey products; egg-based entrees and lean deli meats.
  • Healthy student favorites – Pizzas with whole grain crusts, low-fat cheese, and low sodium toppings; zero trans fat, baked sweet potato fries and wedges; whole-grain breaded, whole-muscle chicken products.
  • Allergy-free alternatives – Soy nut butter and sunflower seed butter; gluten free breads.
  • Energy efficient equipment and supplies – ENERGY STAR® appliances, water filtration systems, steamer ovens, salad bars, milk coolers, digital thermometers, point-of-sale systems, and biodegradable lunch trays.
  • Nutrition education resources – Banners, bulletin-board kits, web resources and other tools that encourage children to make healthy choices in the cafeteria.

 

Attendees will also visit popular dedicated aisles including “Dairy Way”, “Produce Row”, “USDA Lane” and the eco-friendly “Green Aisle.” The exhibit hall will also feature a Wellness Village, where attendees can gain tips on staying healthy and fit from the Tennessee Obesity Task Force and undergo a health screening from the American Heart Association.

SNA, (http://www.schoolnutrition.org) the School Nutrition Association, is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 53,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country. Founded in 1946, the Association and its members are dedicated to feeding children safe and nutritious meals.

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Three School Nutrition Professionals Acknowledged for Extraordinary Achievements at ANC 2011

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner
703-576-7526 Ext.
media@schoolnutrition.org

Three School Nutrition Professionals Acknowledged for Extraordinary Achievements at ANC 2011

NASHVILLE, TN (July 10, 2011) – The School Nutrition Association (SNA) recognized three of its own today at the 65th Annual National Conference, in Nashville, TN. In addition to state and regional award winners, three SNA members received national recognition for their superior accomplishments in the school nutrition arena.

The National Louise Sublette Award of Excellence was awarded to Gara Sanborn, School Nutrition Manager, Coastal Ridge Elementary School, York, Maine. Sanborn was recognized for her successful efforts to increase participation in the school breakfast program. Sanborn invited three-time Olympic Speed Skater Caroline Hallisey Kepka to her school to speak with the students about the importance of starting their day with a healthy breakfast. Sanborn also spearheaded two contests to get kids excited about trying school breakfast. One contest allowed students to compete for the chance to prepare a special school breakfast of yogurt parfaits and sandwiches. Sanborn also worked with her kitchen staff to create a new cereal using homemade granola with raisins, dried cranberries, and dried blueberries. Students were then able to enter their own designs for the “cereal box.” Participation in the school breakfast increased 62% after her school hosted these events. Sanborn’s passion and dedication to her school nutrition program is certainly evident in her award winning project.

The 2011 National Outstanding Director of the Year is Lyman Graham, Director, Roswell Independent School District, Carlsbad Municipal Schools and Dexter Consolidated Schools, New Mexico. With 20 years of experience as a school nutrition director, Graham oversees three school districts with a combined 38 schools and 16,500 students in rural New Mexico. Graham’s efforts to improve food quality, add salad bars and implement breakfast in the classroom programs helped him raise student participation in one of his district’s school meal programs from 35% to 95%; in another, he grew participation from 15% to 97%. Graham has also added after-school snack and summer feeding programs to his districts, providing students with access to high quality, low cost food all year. Graham’s efforts to promote school nutrition programs expand beyond the districts he operates. Recognizing his success in developing breakfast in the classroom programs, state administrators asked Graham to conduct presentations on the program to districts across the state. In 1999, Graham was recognized by Dexter Consolidated Schools as Educator of the Year for his efforts to promote a positive school climate and increase student achievement. Graham has served as President of the New Mexico School Nutrition Association and has sat on a number of SNA committees, including the Public Policy and Legislative Committee and the Professional Standards Taskforce. Graham most recently served on a National Academy of Sciences Panel on a potential Provision 4 income eligibility category.

This year’s Heart of the Program Award goes to Shelia Garmon, Assistant, Factory Shoals Elementary School, Douglas County School District, Georgia. Garmon is known for her “infectious smile, kindness, willingness to help, good nature, and happy spirit.” Garmon makes sure she is always there to help anytime someone needs assistance. She is always willing to take on extra responsibilities to ensure the school kitchen runs smoothly and efficiently. Seeing a need to increase student vegetable and fruit consumption, Garmon challenged students to try new items during class. Garmon is creative and constantly seeking ways to make her school cafeteria a more welcoming environment. She reviews recipes and makes suggestions to improve the quality or nutritional content of the offerings, and uses her creativity to improve the visual presentation of the food. Throughout the year, Garmon decorates the cafeteria with seasonal and special event décor, making the cafeteria a friendly environment. Garmon’s supervisor writes that her “cheery attitude is what makes her a winner.” It also makes her the “Heart of the Program.”

SNA, (http://www.schoolnutrition.org) the School Nutrition Association, is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 53,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country. Founded in 1946, the Association and its members are dedicated to feeding children safe and nutritious meals.

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Thousands Gather for Premier National School Nutrition Event in Nashville

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner
7035767526 Ext.
media@schoolnutrition.org

Thousands Gather for Premier National School Nutrition Event in Nashville

School Nutrition Association’s ANC 2011 (July 10-13) features healthy trends in school meals; education and networking opportunities for school nutrition professionals

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (July 8, 2011) – As the US Department of Agriculture finalizes new nutrition standards for school meals, the School Nutrition Association (SNA) is helping thousands of school nutrition professionals from across the country connect with healthy new ideas for school meals.

More than 7,500 are gathering in Nashville, Tennessee for SNA’s 65th Annual National Conference (ANC). ANC 2011 offers more than 95 accredited education breakout sessions, vast networking opportunities and the largest exhibit hall in school nutrition, featuring more than 770 exhibit booths packed with nutritious foods and beverages, services, equipment and technology.

Many ANC education sessions will guide participants on how to meet the anticipated new USDA meal patterns and encourage students to give healthier foods a try. Topics range from taking the HealthierUS School Challenge and implementing First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign in schools to participating in Coordinated School Health Programs. This year for the first time ever, members of SNA’s Chef’s Table will host three new education sessions to help school foodservice operators partner with local chefs to promote healthy choices in schools.

ANC 2011 events feature the latest trends in school nutrition programs nationwide:

  • Thousands of school nutrition professionals will participate in education sessions on topics including scratch cooking, school nutrition standards, Farm to School, food allergies, food recall procedures, school food equipment, nutrition education, managing costs and more.
  • The largest exhibit hall in school foodservice industry featuring more than 770 booths from over 350 companies, on approximately 180,000 square feet of space. Exhibitors include major suppliers of food, beverages, equipment, and software/hardware technology as well as smaller companies that contribute to healthy school meal programs. On display will be a wide variety of whole grain products, fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy items, nutritious snacks and much more. Cameras and interviews are permitted in the exhibit hall with permission and advanced press registration.
  • Six culinary demonstrations featuring innovative recipes like Whole-Wheat Citrus Couscous Salad, Vegetarian Chili, and Roasted Chicken Brown Rice.
  • General session speakers include US Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, Chef and Sustainability Advocate Barton Seaver, Olympic Gold Medalist and co-chair of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition Dominique Dawes, and body language expert Janine Driver. National awards of excellence in school nutrition will also be presented. Learn more about ANC.

 

SNA, (http://www.schoolnutrition.org) the School Nutrition Association, is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 53,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country. Founded in 1946, the Association and its members are dedicated to feeding children safe and nutritious meals.

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