SNA News

Nominate a School Nutrition Hero for the FAME Awards Program

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July 30, 2013 – Do you know of a school nutrition leader or innovator who deserves to be nominated for a national Foodservice Achievement Management Excellence (FAME) Award? For 25 years, the FAME Awards have recognized those who raise the school nutrition bar for others to follow. These are individuals who have triumphed over challenges and provide insightful and innovative solutions to the complex issues that are the hallmark of this business. If this describes you, your supervisor or a colleague, take the time to submit your nomination today.

Winning a FAME award is a tremendous honor, but being nominated is, as well. The nominations for this and other school nutrition awards programs often are used as leads and resources by School Nutrition, the flagship publication of SNA, and other foodservice media to showcase the profession’s best practices and creative strategies. Participation in the FAME Awards program gives you the chance to shine the spotlight on your district and help spread the word about the important role that school nutrition professionals play in contributing to the health and welfare of America’s children.

Award categories include Golden School Foodservice Director of the Year, Silver Leadership, Silver Spirit, Silver Rising Star and Silver Friend of Child Nutrition.

Nominations will be taken online or via a downloadable form at until October 9, 2013. Eligible nominees include SNA members in good standing. Make sure FAME doesn’t pass you by! Send your nomination in before this year’s deadline.

Related Link

FAME Awards

SNA Announces Winners of 2012-2013 Membership Campaign

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Eight Lucky Winners Rewarded for their Recruiting Efforts

July 29, 2013 – Congratulations to Janet Bowling of Murfreesboro, Tennessee – Janet is the Grand Prize Winner of SNA’s 2012-2013 membership campaign. Janet won an all-expenses paid vacation to the US Virgin Islands! The trip includes airfare for the winner and guest, hotel stay, and $500 spending money.

Marriott Frenchman's Reef Resort, US Virgin Islands

Seven other lucky winners also won free trips to attend ANC 2014 in Boston as part of the campaign:

  • Kaye Wetli, SNS, of Riverview, WA
  • Liz Johnson of Everett, WA
  • Lora Gilbert, SNS, of Orange, FL
  • Jessica Shelly of Cincinnati, OH
  • Debra Davis of St Tammany, LA
  • Sandy Wallace of Marlboro, SC
  • Leon Williams of Sumter, SC

The eight winners’ names were picked in a random prize drawing – SNA members that recruited five or more new members between June 1, 2012 and May 31, 2013 were automatically entered in the pool.

There are still opportunities to recruit new members and get entered to win prizes! Click here for details about SNA’s 2013-2014 “Go Places with SNA Membership” Campaign – you could win a trip to Miami or one of seven ANC 2015 registrations!

SNA is the voice of school nutrition – and we appreciate members’ efforts to recruit new professionals and create a stronger, larger SNA.

SNA Releases 2012-13 Annual Report

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July 25, 2013 – SNA President Sandra Ford, SNS, chose transformation as the theme of her 2012-13 presidency, and School Nutrition Association members stood up to accept this challenge, as well, resulting in a busy year for school nutrition professionals and SNA alike.

From an Association perspective, SNA’s strong and successful advocacy for eliminating the weekly maximums for grains and proteins in the new meal pattern regulations for school meals to hosting an historic Education Summit with the National Food Service Management Institute and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to media relations efforts that have resulted in a whopping 20.5 million TV/print impressions regarding SNA key messages since July 2012 and so much more, SNA had another extraordinary year representing you with its wide variety of programs and services.

To review all of the achievements of the last year, click here, where you can read, download and print this year’s Annual Report.

Related Link

SNA 2012-13 Annual Report

National School Lunch Week 2013 Resources Now Live

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From October 14-18, 2013, school cafeterias nationwide will recognize National School Lunch Week (NSLW) with the theme “School Lunch Across the USA.” The 2013 theme is all about celebrating regional flavors, recipes and culture from all over the country.

Have you started organizing a NSLW promotion? Start planning your celebration early to ensure you have plenty of time to implement your great ideas! Check out some of SNA’s NSLW resources at You can access:

  • 10+ regional recipes to serve during NSLW – sourced from SNA members
  • A downloadable toolkit full of ideas and tips
  • Customizable PR /marketing tools, and PPT presentations – just plug in your district’s information and you’re good to go!
  • Artwork, web banners and a Facebook cover photo for your page
  • …and much more

Don’t forget to visit SNA’s Emporium for great NSLW merchandise like aprons, balloons, t-shirts, student giveaways and more.

More information about NSLW 2013 is available at

The NSLW 2013 resources are made possible by McCormick for Chefs and MilkPEP.

SNA Announces Candidates for 2013 Election

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July 22, 2013 – The SNA Nominating Committee recently met at the Annual National Conference (ANC) in Kansas City, Mo., to select a slate of candidates for the 2013 SNA election ballot.

After carefully studying the biographical information for each candidate, as well as supporting documents such as the candidates’ goals and recommendations submitted by colleagues on their competencies, the Nominating Committee selected the official slate of candidates (see below) for the ballot. The winners of this year’s election will serve on the 2014-16 SNA Board of Directors and Nominating Committee, with the installation to take place at SNA’s 68th Annual National Conference, July 13-16, 2014, in Boston.

The “polls” will be open for SNA members to cast their ballots between October 15 and November 15, 2013. Voting will be conducted online through SNA’s independent election house, which you will be able to access through the SNA website, Election results will be announced on Tuesday, November 19, 2013.

If the Association is to continue serving as the voice of child nutrition programs (in the United States and around the world), it’s critical that you participate in the selection of your future leaders. Stay tuned to the SNA website for full biographies of all the candidates, Vice President interview videos, as well as more information on how you can cast your vote for the future leadership of the Association.


Vice President
Becky Domokos-Bays, PhD, RD, SNS, Alexandria City Public Schools, Virginia
Craig Weidel, SNS, Mesa Public Schools, Arizona

Linda Eichenberger, SNS, Oak Hills Local School District, Ohio
Paul Harvey Schmid, SNS, East Stroudsburg Area School District, Pennsylvania

Member Services Committee Chair
Cheryl Goffus, SNS, New Jersey Department of Agriculture
Renee Hanks, SNS, South Colonie Central School District, New York

Nutrition Committee Chair
Carol Weekly, RD, SNS, Queen Creek Unified School District, Arizona

School Nutrition Employee/Manager Representative
Roxanne Knops, White Bear Lake Area Schools, Willow Lane Elementary School, Minnesota
Teresa Stevenson, Cobb County School District, Kennesaw Elementary School, Georgia

State Agency Representative
Lena Harris-Wilson, RD, SNS, Colorado Department of Human Services, Colorado
Donna Parsons, RD, SNS, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, Washington

Northeast Regional Director
Debbi Beauvais, RD, SNS, Gates Chili and East Rochester Schools, New York
Sheila Parisien, SNS, Manchester Essex Regional School District, Massachusetts

Northwest Regional Director
Debbie Kallio, Sedro-Woolley School District, Washington
Debbie Timm, Jefferson County Joint School District #251, Idaho

Southwest Regional Director
Monica Deines-Henderson, SNS, Falcon School District 49, Colorado
Kevin Ponce, SNS, Mid-Del Schools, Oklahoma


Mideast Nominating Committee Rep.
Patricia Cunningham, Seaford School District, Delaware
Victoria Moore, SNS, South Bend Community School Corporation, Indiana

Midwest Nominating Committee Rep.
Mary Betlach, Robbinsdale Area Schools, Minnesota
Annette Hendrickx-Derouin, SNS, Willmar, New London-Spicer, Montevideo and Community Christian Schools, Minnesota

Southeast Nominating Committee Rep.
Diane Gillie, South Carolina Department of Education, South Carolina
Diane Santoro, SNS, Indian River Public Schools, Florida

West Nominating Committee Rep.
Robert Lewis, PhD, SNS, El Monte City School District, California
Analee Knudson, South Sanpete School District, Utah

Related Links

SNA 2013 Election

Vice President interview videos

ANC Wraps Up with Author Jarrett J. Kroscozka, Performance by Darius Rucker

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July 18, 2013 – The final day of SNA’s Annual National Conference 2013 began with powerful Closing General Session, during which the 2013-2014 SNA Board of Directors – including new President Leah Schmidt – were installed and keynote speaker Jarrett J. Kroscozka presented a fascinating look at the world of School Lunch Superheroes.

For the final time, 2012-2013 SNA President Sandra Ford addressed the Association’s membership, bringing full circle her message of transforming school nutrition. As CEO Patricia Montague remarked, “You’ll always be Optimus Prime in our book.”

Schmidt then took to the stage, announcing her presidency’s theme, “Positive Partnerships for Healthy Results.” “We have a lot to do this year at SNA,” she said. “But I am so lucky to be working with a capable board.” She concluded by drawing the name of the ANC grand-prize winner, who receives an all-expenses-paid trip to ANC 2014 in Boston – Robin Smith, who happens to be Schmidt’s assistant in the Hickman Mills School District in Missouri. “It wasn’t fixed!” Schmidt exclaimed.

For the final portion of the session, SNA welcomed Kroscozka, author of the Lunch Lady graphic novel series. He told the fascinating story of how his crime-fighting lunch lady came to existence – a process that took eight years from inception to publication, and began with a trip back to his own elementary school in Worcester, Mass., and a reconnection with his childhood lunch lady, on whom the story is based.


ANC13 Jarrett.jpg


“There’s nothing more loving than feeding someone,” Kroscozka said. He announced that just that morning, on the day of the General Session, he had submitted the final pages of his 10th and final – for a while! – Lunch Lady book, “Lunch Lady and the Schoolwide Scuffle.”

The session concluded with four surprise guests, the women who appeared on The Food Network’s reality cooking competition, “Chopped.” The theme of school lunch superheroes continued – “For me, it was an honor and privilege [to represent the profession],” said Shannon Solomon, one of the contestants. “We’re all heroes, every single day.”


ANC13 Chopped.jpg


The Annual National Conference in Kansas City, Mo., concluded Wednesday evening with a rousing performance from country singer Darius Rucker, who serenaded the crowd with such hits as "Wagon Wheel" and "Hold My Hand," a beloved hit from his Hootie and the Blowfish days. Today, some 6,000 members and exhibitors will begin their journey home across the country, and begin eagerly preparing for ANC 2014 in Boston, Mass.


ANC13 Darius.jpg


The ANC conversation doesn’t have to end just because the conference is over! You can keep it going on our social media sites—comment on our posts, share your thoughts about the conference and post pictures. Connect with SNA on Facebook, follow @SchoolLunch on Twitter and view candids of your favorite conference moments on Flickr,

SNA Headquarters Office Reopens

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July 18, 2013 – The water supply in Prince George’s County, Md., has been restored and the SNA Headquarters office will reopen today, Thursday, July 18. A water main break in the area had forced the SNA office to close early on Tuesday, July 16 and stay closed through Wednesday, July 17.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this service disruption. If you tried calling the SNA Headquarters office during this time and did not receive an answer, please try calling the SNA Service Center today at (800) 877-8822 or, they will be happy to help you. While many SNA staff are still making their way home from the Association’s Annual National Conference (ANC) in Kansas City, you can still reach them via email.

Thank you for your patience!

Lisa Ling Inspires, Captivates at ANC 2013

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July 17, 2013 – Yesterday, broadcast journalist Lisa Ling received a standing ovation from the audience at the second General Session at SNA’s Annual National Conference (ANC) in Kansas City, Mo., after a riveting speech focusing on thinking about the consequences of actions, as well as taking the time to get to know the story of the people around you. 

Ling, who said her career was influenced by other broadcast journalists such as Connie Chung, offered a number of anecdotes about children, including boys armed with machine guns in Afghanistan. It was experiences like these that evolved her career goal from “a desire to be on TV to have a better life to wanting to tell these stories,” she said.

Although Ling’s talk mostly focused on her adventures as an international journalist, she touched on the importance of the work of SNA members. “I truly applaud all of you for being here and taking the health of our children so seriously.” During a question-and-answer segment, Ling also admitted that her favorite school lunch foods growing up were the least-healthy options, such as sloppy Joes. “It just goes to show how things have changed enormously,” she added.

As for Oprah, with whom Ling works closely, as she show appears on the Oprah Winfrey Network, “Oprah is cool,” Ling said, getting the question out the way early in the speech. “Oprah said to me once, because you have the welfare of so many kids in your hands, ‘Now that you know, you can't pretend that you don't,” she said.

But it wasn’t just Ling who gripped the SNA membership -- Janey Thorton, USDA FNS deputy under secretary, provided a USDA update, during which she both acknowledged the challenges of the evolving regulations and praised school foodservice professionals. “Thank to your hard work … our reputation has changed, not just nationally, but internationally,” Thornton said. She cited that as of the end of April, three-quarters of school districts had applied for 6 Cent Certification, while 50 percent were certified. She gave a special call-out to Colorado, which achieved 100 percent certification.

ANC wraps up today, Wednesday, July 17, with the Closing General Session, featuring keynote speaker Jarrett J. Krosoczka, the installation of the 2013-14 SNA president and board of directors and the final event, featuring country-rock singer Darius Rucker.

Can’t get enough ANC excitement? Join SNA on Facebook and @SchoolLunch on Twitter to be part of the conference buzz—or simply add hashtag #ANC13 to your tweets and be part of the conference Twitter stream.

Temporary Closing – SNA Headquarters Office

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There is currently a major water main break in Prince Georges County where the SNA Headquarters office is located. The repairs are underway but are affecting hundreds of thousands of residents, in addition to hotels, restaurants, hospitals and offices.

Unfortunately, the county estimates it may take as long as four days to complete the repairs. During this time, the SNA office will be closed because the water supply has been shut down.

We will post an announcement as soon as the office reopens. Many SNA staff are still at ANC in Kansas City but you can reach them and other staff at their SNA email address. You can also leave a message on the main telephone number, 800-877-8822, and staff will return your call when the office reopens.

Thank you.

“A Fresh Start for School Breakfast:” New Menu Planning Resource from SNA and Alliance for a Healthier Generation

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July 16, 2013 – School nutrition professionals now have a new resource to help plan school breakfast menus that meet new meal pattern requirements. SNA and Alliance for a Healthier Generation have teamed up to create “A Fresh Start for School Breakfast,” a menu planning guide featuring suggested two-week cycle menus for breakfast in the classroom, grab and go, and traditional cafeteria breakfast programs. Nutrient analysis for all menus is included.

The new meal pattern requirements for school breakfast are being phased in over the course of two school years. These menus meet the upcoming school year goals (phase-in year 1) in addition to the 2014-15 school year goals. Schools must follow a food-based menu planning approach, meet calorie ranges, eliminate trans-fat and ensure half of all grains offered with breakfast are whole grain rich. “A Fresh Start for School Breakfast” helps ease the transition for school menu planners by providing student-friendly menu ideas that can fit into any style of breakfast operation.

On Tuesday, July 16, at 8:45 am, representatives from SNA and the Alliance presented the new menus and answered questions during an education session featuring the new guide at SNA’s Annual National Conference (ANC) in Kansas City, Mo. Click here to download this new resource.

ANC 2013 Kicks Off with Al Roker, Award Winners

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July 15, 2013 – The enthusiasm overflowed Sunday, July 14, in the Grand Ballroom of the Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, Mo., as attendees of SNA’s 67th Annual National Conference (ANC) couldn’t contain their jubilation and applause at the start of the Opening General Session.

Although members and participants had been trickling into the Convention Center since early Saturday when pre-conference education sessions began, Sunday afternoon marked the official start of the event. Members and exhibitors turned out in full force – numbering nearly 6,000 – pouring into the expansive ballroom. After a harmonious rendition of the National Anthem, sung by local music-makers 4’s Company Quartet, SNA President Sandra Ford and CEO Patricia Montague welcomed the Association’s Board of Directors and state presidents onto the stage. Ford acknowledged three presidents whose leaderships have pushed their states to the top in membership development and retention and professional development and included an innovative, impactful state initiative: Jeanne Pierce of New Hampshire, Jane McLucas of Massachusetts and Cindy Cooper of Tennessee.

In a moment of fun, the Member Services Committee hit the stage to regale the audience with “a very creative approach to promoting what it means to be an SNA member – with a song!” Ford said. The group’s song, set to The Turtles’ 1967 “Happy Together,” detailed the benefits of joining the Association.

After an informative update from Ford and Montague about the state of the Association, announcing the grand-prize winner of the 2012-13 Membership Campaign – Janet Bowling from Murfreesboro School District in Tennessee – and acknowledging the winners of the regional and national Louise Sublette Award of Excellence in School Nutrition, it was the moment everyone was waiting for – the introduction of keynote speaker Al Roker.

Roker, the co-host and weatherman for NBC’s “Today” show, spent some time in front of the SNA membership reflecting on his childhood and the food he ate. “I would set my alarm early to get up for breakfast,” he said. “But the fact is … a lot [of kids] actually don’t have time for breakfast.” He reiterated the importance of eating the morning meal on a child’s academic performance, behavior and future. “You folks are on the front line,” he said.

New this year, ANC attendees were able to text message questions during Roker’s speech, which Ford then read to him. Questions ranged from his (and his kids’) thoughts on school lunch (for the record, his teenage daughter enjoys it, Roker says) to his efforts in weight loss and training for a marathon. One early question: “What is your biggest food temptation?” Everything, Roker replied.

While Roker’s time on stage was full of humor and laughter, he wrapped up his speech with an important message to SNA and its members: “You have the ability to change kids’ lives,” he said. “I, for one, thank you. This country owes you a giant debt of gratitude.”

Are you a fan? Do you tweet? Well, join in on the conference-related conversations happening now on SNA’s Facebook page and @SchoolLunch on Twitter. You can also add hashtag #ANC13 to your own tweets to have your tweet show up in the conference Twitter stream.

Submit Your Education Proposal for ANC 2014 in Boston

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July 12, 2013 – SNA’s 2013 Annual National Conference (ANC) is just about to get underway in Kansas City and yet it's not too early to start thinking about next year’s conference in Boston! Mark your calendars now for July 13-16, 2014!

To ensure a successful education program, the ANC Program Committee is calling on you to share your expertise, innovations and ideas! Interested in presenting a 60-minute education session? Do you have a training program that will be beneficial to our members and want to submit it as a possible four-hour or eight-hour pre-conference session next year? If your answer is YES to either question, then take this opportunity to share your expertise by submitting an online proposal.

The ANC 2014 pre-conference and education sessions will focus on the four key areas of SNA’s Key’s to Excellence Program:

  • Key Area 1 – Operations
  • Key Area 2 – Nutrition, Nutrition Education and Physical Activity
  • Key Area 3 – Administration
  • Key Area 4 – Marketing and Communications

We are looking for programs addressing all topics relevant to school nutrition operations, especially programs applicable to employee/managers.

To view the Call for Proposal guidelines and to submit your application form, visit

Online submissions will be accepted until September 30, 2013. If you have additional questions, you may contact SNA’s Director of Education at

ANC 2013 Countdown: Five Days to Go!

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July 9, 2013 – The official start of SNA’s 2013 Annual National Conference (ANC) in Kansas City, Mo., is just five days away! Are you one of the thousands of school nutrition professionals ready to immerse themselves in four invigorating days of education and excitement? In order to make the most of your ANC experience, here are some last-minute reminders and tips to keep in mind as you make your way to the “Heart of the Nation.”

If you haven’t yet registered, it’s not too late! You may register onsite at the Kansas City Convention Center. Just look for the signs pointing you toward Registration. To download the Onsite Registration Form, click here.

Already registered? Be sure to take advantage of the self-service registration kiosks! Just be sure to print and bring your confirmation letter (which includes a barcode) along with you for express badge printing onsite. Please note the following registration policies:

  • You MUST present identification in order to receive your registration packet.
  • Check your badge and ticket information to make sure it is correct BEFORE leaving Registration.
  • Attendees MUST pick up their own packets. You will NOT be allowed to pick up another attendee’s registration packet.
  • Badges MUST be worn at all times during the conference. There will be a fee of $5.00 to reprint a lost badge.
  • Tickets to ANC events, including the Final Event, will NOT be reprinted, no exceptions.

Weather & Packing
Don’t forget your sunscreen! The weather forecast says our time in Kansas City will be in the low 90s with plenty of sun. However, bring a sweater, too – it might be hot outside, but the rooms in the Convention Center can be chilly at times. As for what else should go in your suitcase, the No. 1 tip from ANC veterans is to wear comfortable shoes.

Transportation to/from Airport
Because taxi and other transportation services are not readily available from the airport, the Association is offering an Official SNA Airport Shuttle to and from Kansas City International Airport. This convenient service allows you to eliminate the hassle of multiple stops, waiting in line and paying high cab fares. (Taxi fare from the airport is approximately $80 roundtrip, and Super Shuttle is $36 roundtrip with several stops.) SNA encourages you to take advantage of this low cost, exclusive Official SNA Airport Shuttle for only $30 per person round-trip. Reserve your seat today to take advantage of door-to-door service and convenient online registration. Last-minute arrangements will be subject to limited availability. Return trips are available from the Convention Center on Wednesday, July 17, and from all ANC hotels on Thursday, July 18, until 1 p.m. Luggage storage will be provided at the Convention Center on Wednesday. To make your shuttle reservation, visit

Transportation during Conference
The Marriott, Aladdin, Crowne Plaza, Hilton and Phillips hotels are all located just a short walk from the Convention Center. For those staying at the Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn, InterContinental, Sheraton, Westin, and Q Hotel, shuttle transportation will run regularly to/from the Convention Center throughout the conference. For the official shuttle schedule, click here.

Education Sessions
Need handouts for specific education sessions you plan to attend? They are now available for download here. These handouts also will be available online after ANC, therefore we encourage you to pack light and print the ones you need when you return home. Printing stations will not be available during ANC.

Exhibit Hall
Plan your Exhibit Hall strategy in advance! To decide what companies you want to see before the exhibit floor opens on Monday, July 15, check out the June/July issue of School Nutrition (listing starts on Page 94) or refer to your ANC Program Guide that you receive onsite at Registration.

Final Event
And last, but certainly not least, be sure to join your peers for the Final Event concert featuring country-rock superstar Darius Rucker on Wednesday evening, July 17 (in the Grand Ballroom of the Kansas City Convention Center). This event does not include food or refreshments, so hit the town before the show and sample some of what Kansas City has to offer.

Visiting KC
Everything’s up to date in Kansas City! Don’t miss out on the nightlife in the Power & Light District or the mouthwatering barbecue — local SNA members recommend visiting Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue. Check out the shopping at the Country Club Plaza, the only World War I museum in the country and the new polar bears at the Kansas City Zoo. For more information about Kansas City,

Related Links

ANC 2013

Onsite Registration Form

Hotel & Travel Info

ANC 2013 Presentations

Visit KC

SNA’s Little Big Fact Book: Big Resource, Bigger Value!

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2013 Little Big Fact Book Cover.jpg

July 5, 2013 – Whether you want to get a new employee up to speed, help explain school nutrition issues to your district’s superintendent, support legislative initiatives in your state house or take a refresher course yourself, SNA’s Little Big Fact Book: The Essential Guide to School Nutrition offers everything you need to know about the fundamentals of school nutrition. Released in March, the 2013 edition of Little Big is a comprehensive overview, overflowing with facts and figures about federal regulations, USDA Foods, school district demographics and the hottest topics being discussed today.

This 40-page resource is a must-have for anyone and everyone working in and with school nutrition programs, but it’s particularly useful for new foodservice directors and managers, school administrators, manufacturer marketing and sales teams, state and national legislators and media representatives. Purchase your copy today online for just $18 in the SNA Bookstore, or if you’re attending SNA’s Annual National Conference next week in Kansas City, pick up a copy at the Emporium at a special conference price! Additional price savings are available for bulk orders.

The K-12 school nutrition profession is easily misunderstood and underestimated. Help others to understand just how complex this business is by purchasing your copies of SNA’s Little Big Fact Book today.

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