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USDA Farm to School Census Released – Districts Can Update Data Until Nov 30

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USDA has released its first-ever Farm to School Census, revealing that in school year 2011-12, over 38,000 schools across the country served over $350 million in local food in their school cafeterias. Visitors to USDA’s Farm to School Census website (www.fns.usda.gov/FarmtoSchool/census) can access the results at the national, state and district levels.

School districts that missed the opportunity to participate in the survey can submit information regarding farm to school practices through November 30, 2013. Districts that did participate are encouraged to visit the site to check their responses. USDA will accept updated responses from school districts through November 30, 2013. To update data for your school district or to complete the questionnaire, contact Matt Benson with the USDA Farm to School Program at matthew.benson@fns.usda.gov.

Bringing The Farm To School - Click to Enlarge


Get Social with SNA

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October 22, 2013 – SNA invites you to join the conversation about school meals! If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our various social media sites for updates, stories, ideas, and fun.

  • Join more than 6,000 other school nutrition professionals and ‘like’ SNA’s Facebook page. We’re always sharing photos, member stories, media coverage, updates, promotions, and more.
  • Check out SNA’s Twitter handle, @SchoolLunch. Get quick updates on policy, trends, allied groups, and more.
  • Join our private LinkedIn Group. This special members-only discussion group focuses on trends, hot topics, and successes in school nutrition. You can connect with other school nutrition professionals, throw out your own questions, share stories, and hear about other districts’ challenges and tips.

Trying to become more social media savvy? Want to grow an online audience for your school nutrition program? Check out SNA’s Social Media Guide. It has all the information you need to get started. 

School Cafeterias Nationwide Celebrate “School Lunch Across the USA”

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October 21, 2013 – Last week was National School Lunch Week (NSLW). In case you missed it, here’s a quick recap:

Schools nationwide celebrated NSLW from October 14-18 with the theme “School Lunch Across the USA.” The 2013 theme encouraged school districts to celebrate regional food, flavors and traditions from the various parts of the USA. Many schools served up special menus, decorated the cafeteria and invited special guests to come eat lunch.


The staff at Grand Forks Public Schools in N.D. used a map to educate students about where food comes from

If you celebrated, please send in a description and photos of your National School Lunch Week activities to School Nutrition magazine - highlights from your celebration may appear in the magazine’s wrap-up article next April!

Send them by e-mail to snmagazine@schoolnutrition.org or by mail to NSLW Wrap, School Nutrition, 120 Waterfront St., Suite 300, National Harbor, MD 20745.


Tipp City Exempted Village Schools in Ohio invited parents to come in for lunch

[Note: Submission of photos grants permission to use the images in the magazine or other SNA materials.]

The 2013 NSLW theme and resources are made possible by McCormick for Chefs and MilkPEP. Mark your calendars – NSLW 2014 is scheduled for October 13-17.

Keep the Excitement Alive
NSLW brings a unique opportunity to engage your staff & students, ignite your marketing, and grab the attention of local media. It may be over, but you can keep up your marketing and PR efforts all year long with free tools from SNA:

  • PR Resources – toolkit, videos, talking points, activity sheets, handouts and more. This page has everything you need to spread the word to parents, media, and the community that school meals are healthy.
  • National School Breakfast Week 2014 – celebrate school breakfast March 3-7, 2014. SNA provides plenty of free marketing and PR tools to help you get the word out.
  • School Lunch Hero Day – May 2, 2014, is School Lunch Hero Day! This special holiday was created to honor the women and men working in school cafeterias.
  • Summer Feeding Toolkit – Download the Summer Feeding Toolkit for tips and ideas to grow your summer feeding program. You can also access media relations and marketing tools to spread the word about the availability of summer meals.


‘Georgia Day’ lunch at Glynn County Schools – Cheesy Chili Smashed Potato Bowl with sweet Georgia peaches, a whole wheat roll, and milk!


Students celebrate the “Across the USA” theme at Harlan Elementary in Ala.


Healthy NSLW trays with fresh fruits and veggies from Anne Arundel County Schools in Md.


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