February 2015

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January 2015
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Advocate for SNA with help from School Nutrition

Who is the School Nutrition Association’s top advocate? With the help of the February issue of School Nutrition, it could be you! This issue is just the primer you need on how to be a successful child nutrition advocate, particularly if you plan to attend early March’s Legislative Action Conference (LAC) in Washington, D.C. From lobbying 101 to the scoop on writing the position paper, this is one issue of SN you won’t want to miss.

The issue commences by encouraging readers to return to the classroom for “Welcome to Lobby School,” by Robert L. Guyer, an accomplished lobbyist who now specializes in training associations, individuals and corporations in the skills they need for effective state government affairs. This important article reviews the fundamentals of governmental structure, but goes beyond the basics on how to use your power as a constituent to lobby for the Association. If you’re attending LAC, don’t miss Guyer’s pre-conference session, “How to Successfully Lobby Lawmakers and Agencies,” scheduled for 1-4 p.m. Saturday, February 28. For more on Guyer’s offerings, visit www.learn-to-lobby.com for a list of seminars and other resources available to your school district or state association.

Further your advocacy education with “Upping the Ante,” by SNA Vice President of Government Affairs and Media Relations Cathy Schuchart. It’s essential to understand what you’re asking for when meeting with legislators; this article reviews SNA’s “asks” for Congress and takes a look at the past, present and future of SNA’s lobbying efforts.

What accompanies theses “asks” is the SNA Position Paper, recently released on SchoolNutrition.org. Go behind the scenes of writing the Paper and learn how the members of the Public Policy and Legislation Committee come up with the priorities for the year. Did you know it takes 16 hours to pen the first draft of the Position Paper? This article also offers information how the Position Paper is a powerful tool for SNA advocates.

If the first three articles in the February issue have you ready to start your advocacy efforts, “The Great Policy Guide for the School Nutrition Association,” by SNA staff members Nichole Westin and Nadia Egziabher, will help you begin. It offers easy-to-digest tips on how to reach out to legislators, whom to contact, best practices for visiting Congress and how to contribute to SNA’s already-in-motion efforts.

Finally, hear from SNA advocates who have put these strategies into practice. Read interviews with folks such as the PPL committee members, a state agency representative and an LAC Sweepstakes winner, and learn more about why advocacy is important to them.

In this month’s Food Focus, learn more about pasta – which still has a place on your menu, despite whole-grain mandates. Pick up recipes such as Chicken, Beans and Greens Pasta, which received rave reviews from members of SN’s Kitchen Wisdom Panel.

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