August 31, 2012—The HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) is a key component of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to end childhood obesity. Schools participating in the challenge adopt U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) standards for the food that they serve and provide nutrition education and opportunities for physical activity.
In February 2010, the First Lady and USDA challenged stakeholders to double the number of HUSSC schools within a year and then add 1,000 schools per year for the following two years. As of August 20, 2012, nearly 4,100 schools were certified as HUSSC schools, which exceeds this goal.
Earlier this year, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service announced new HUSSC criteria to reflect the recent changes to the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program meal pattern requirements. The program will continue to recognize schools that go above and beyond federal requirements for school meals. The implementation of these new criteria will coincide with the implementation of the new meal pattern. All new applications submitted on or after July 1, 2012, will be considered using the new criteria. Schools will continue to be recognized at four award levels: Gold Award of Distinction, Gold, Silver or Bronze level.
To learn more about the HealthierUS School Challenge, visit www.fns.usda.gov/tn/healthierus/index.html .
USDA Exceeds First Lady’s HealthierUS School Challenge Goal
HealthierUS School Challenge
USDA Announces New Criteria for the HealthierUS School Challenge
August 29, 2012 – With the new school year well underway, it’s not too early to begin identifying top performers in your school and district. Look around and take note of those staff members and co-workers who really make a difference. Who are the shining stars? Which individuals always go the extra mile? SNA’s 2013 Awards Program is a perfect platform to highlight their outstanding contributions.
Help spread the word about the SNA Awards Program, so that more of your colleagues are aware of the chance to spotlight the great work each of you do every day!
To learn who is eligible for SNA’s Heart of the Program award, Louise Sublette Award of Leadership Excellence in School Nutrition and the Outstanding Director of the Year award, see “That’s a Neat Idea,” “Ideas at Work” in the August 2012 issue of School Nutrition magazine.
Put your thinking caps on, because the deadlines for nominations will be here before you know it. For additional award details and nomination guidelines, visit www.schoolnutrition.org/awards.
August 28, 2012 – For nearly 30 years, SNA’s School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) has been supporting the educational needs of SNA members like you. Thousands of school nutrition professionals have received scholarships to further their careers and gain knowledge so they can continue to nourish the lives of millions of children. With the generous support of members and industry partners, the SNF scholarship program has grown to eight different funds with more than $1.6 million in scholarship awards.
It’s a new school year for your students—and for you! Take a look at the scholarship opportunities designed to help you achieve your professional goals:
Whatever your reason for going back to school or enhancing your professional development, SNF is dedicated to making your goals attainable. Visit www.schoolnutrition.org/scholarships for additional details about SNF’s scholarships, as well as downloadable applications and submission deadlines.
August 27, 2012 – Have you registered for the STEPS Challenge yet? A new school year is the perfect time to make healthy changes to your lifestyle and there’s still time to sign up before monthly challenges begin on September 1st.
September’s challenge, ‘Focus on Fruit’, encourages participants to get more fruit into their diet everyday. Participation is easy:
Start off the school year right with a healthy eating plan. Encourage friends and co-workers to participate with you to eat healthier together, stay motivated, and stick to it. Get started at www.schoolnutrition.org/steps.
About the STEPS ChallengeThe STEPS Challenge is SNA’s personal wellness program. Created just for school nutrition professionals, the program is free and all SNA members are eligible to participate. The STEPS Challenge is designed to make better health and wellness simple and attainable for busy school nutrition professionals. Program benefits include access to healthy recipe ideas, fitness tips, online wellness resources, a downloadable toolkit, monthly challenges, prize drawings, and more. To sign up or learn more about the challenge, visit www.schoolnutrition.org/steps.
Signing up for Fuel Up to Play 60 is a great way to increase participation and secure extra funding for your school nutrition program.
Want to get involved, but short on resources and time? The Fuel Up to Play 60 program includes different levels of involvement for school nutrition professionals. Regardless of your availability, budget, or time, there are plenty of ways to participate.
Check out the levels below, and visit www.schoolnutrition.org/fueluptoplay60 to learn more. You can also download the toolkit to get started. Remember, there are always ways to help out and get in the game!
There’s never been a better time to register – if you sign up before December 31st, you’ll be entered to win a free SNA conference registration. Join today!
Fuel Up to Play 60: Levels of Involvement:
August 21, 2012 – Staying sharp as a school nutrition professional today means staying on top of what’s happening in districts around the country, as well as national news. Can’t find the time to browse for related articles? You don’t want to fall behind. Fortunately, there is a simple solution: Sign up to receive SNA SmartBrief and receive a summary of the news that really matters—delivered straight to your inbox each weekday.
This e-newsletter is an essential tool that will help you stay on top of the latest issues and trends affecting this market segment. Since its launch in late January, SNA SmartBrief already boasts 13,000 subscribers who depend on the daily brief to save time and keep current.
To help deliver this resource to SNA members and the school nutrition community, SNA has partnered with SmartBrief, Inc., an online media publishing company that gives readers in more than 25 industries a competitive edge by providing them with targeted news and information. Knowledgeable SmartBrief editors filter through thousands of news sources daily, handpicking and summarizing key articles and providing direct links to the original sources. In other words, SmartBrief does all the research and you get the latest news in your inbox, absolutely free.
To subscribe to SNA SmartBrief, visit www.smartbrief.com/sna and be added to the mailing list. While you’re at it, go ahead and share an issue of SNA SmartBrief with your school nutrition peers to spread the word and help them be in the know!
In addition, the Association will continue to provide its biweekly CN Direct e-newsletter, which highlights key stories, events and announcements specifically from the SNA website. To subscribe to CN Direct, click here.
August 21, 2012 – Hurry, the September 30th deadline to submit your education session proposal for SNA’s 2013 Annual National Conference (ANC) in Kansas City, Mo., is fast approaching! SNA leadership and staff are already busy planning the 2013 “School Nutrition Event of the Year,” scheduled for July 14-17, 2013. A key component of that preparation is the development of educational offerings that showcase nutritional integrity as the core component, resulting in the highest-quality training and education sessions available for this profession.
At ANC 2013, educational programs, research “poster” sessions and pre-conference seminars and workshops will once again focus on a wide variety of school nutrition achievements, initiatives, trends and issues. We invite you to share your expertise and experience by submitting a presentation for consideration in the four key areas of the Association’s Keys to Excellence and Certification programs:
This premier professional conference is your best chance to not only instruct and inform, but also to inspire operators working in the K-12 segment. And there are many additional benefits of presenting at ANC; including pre- and post-event promotion to 55,000 SNA members, onsite access to SNA members and vendors, professional networking opportunities and much more.
To submit your presentation for consideration, complete the “Call for Proposals” form, available online only at www.schoolnutrition.org/anc2013. Note that the deadline is quickly approaching! Proposals must be received on or before September 30, 2012. If you have questions, please contact SNA at (800) 877-8822 for more information.
ANC 2013 Call for Proposals
ANC 2012 Presentations
National School Lunch Week (October 15-19 2012) is right around the corner. It’s time to start cooking up celebration ideas! SNA has the tools to help you get started:
1. Online ToolsWhether you’re looking for logos, PR tips, fun ideas for your cafeteria, creative recipes, or tools to reach parents, you’ll find everything you need at www.schoolnutrition.org/cooking. Be sure to check out the Toolkit for ideas and tips to make your NSLW a success.
2. School-made RecipesGet inspired by learning what other districts are cooking up. NSLW 2012 will feature many healthy, school-made recipes submitted by SNA members nationwide. Many of the recipes are chef-inspired and student favorites.
3. National Take Your Parents to Lunch DayAs part of NSLW, SNA has teamed up with KIWI Magazine for National Take Your Parents to Lunch Day. On Wednesday October 17 (or a day of your choosing) we hope you will host a “National Take Your Parents to Lunch Day” and spread the word to parents that healthy and tasty options are being served in your cafeteria every day. Visit KIWI’s website http://myhealthyschool.com to see resources for both schools and parents.
4. Enter to Win StickersTell us what you’re doing to celebrate “School Lunch – What’s Cooking?” in our participation sweepstakes and you will automatically be entered to win stickers for your students and yourself! Visit www.schoolnutrition.org/nslw for more details and to enter.
5. “What’s Cooking?” MerchandiseWhether you’re looking for balloons, posters, aprons, or student giveaways, the SNA Emporium is the only place for official “School Lunch – What’s Cooking?” merchandise. Take a look today at some of the products available to add fun and excitement to your NSLW celebration: http://emporium.schoolnutrition.org.
Get cooking with these online tools today to make your NSLW a success.
August 8, 2012 – All good things must come to an end and, unfortunately, so did this year’s Annual National Conference (ANC) in Denver. Were you among the 7,000+ school nutrition professionals, industry partners and advocates in attendance? If so, you know that this year’s conference was filled with plenty of fresh and innovative ideas, new and old friends and unmatched learning opportunities—as well as the chance to let loose and have fun in the "Mile High City."
If you didn’t make it to every session you wanted to at ANC, handouts of many of this year’s education session presentations are still available for download. ANC audio recorded education sessions are also available for purchase! For instructions on placing your order and how the sessions can be used toward SNA certification, please visit www.schoolnutrition.org/ancaudio.
To relive your favorite ANC memories, be sure to check out all of the conference photos posted on SNA’s Flickr page. Also, don’t forget, out social media sites are a great way to stay connected with SNA and your colleagues throughout the year. If you haven’t already done so, consider “Liking” SNA on Facebook or “Following” SNA on Twitter.
Finally, be sure to mark your calendar now for ANC in Kansas City, July 14-17, 2013! If you're interested in submitting a proposal to present a session at ANC 2013, click here. Stay tuned to the SNA website for the latest conference information.
ANC 2012 Audio Recordings
August 7, 2012—It’s back-to-school time, and for many school nutrition operations, that means changes in the size of their school districts or a different calendar than what many of us experienced when we were in school. The August issue of School Nutrition, SNA’s award-winning flagship publication, explores some of these challenges faced by many school nutrition professionals around the country. Also included are an interview with new SNA President Sandra Ford, SNS, and a look at the STEPS Challenge, a new personal wellness program from SNA.
Sandra Ford, SNS, may have begun her foodservice career “by sheer accident,” but her path through the profession has been long and varied. Get to know SNA’s new powerhouse leader as she details her travels through the school nutrition profession, the delight she has found in a Florida lifestyle and her plans and goals for the year ahead in “Ford’s Focus.” Bonus Web Content: If you or someone you know is interested in reading this profile in Spanish, you can find a translated version online.
It’s hard enough to predict meal counts from day to day, but it can be even harder to manage a school nutrition program when there are significant changes in the number of students from year to year. “Sizable Shifts” explores some of the ups and downs, literally, of managing such changes.
Academic and economic pressures are prompting school districts to make creative calendar decisions. Find out the impact these decisions have on some school nutrition operations in “Calendar Daze.” Bonus Web Content: Don’t miss additional perspectives from school nutrition operators who made creative adjustments as a result of changes to the school year calendars in their districts.
Last month, at SNA’s Annual National Conference in Denver, President Sandra Ford, SNS, announced the launch of an exciting new personal wellness program developed especially for school nutrition professionals. Learn about the STEPS Challenge, how it works—and how you can sign up—in “Taking STEPS to a New You”!
Many school nutrition professionals are finding that some of the global cuisines that more and more students are eagerly embracing are key to healthier diets. In addition to offering some innovative ways to serve rice, “Get Rice to It!” provides a helpful primer on how to purchase, cook and store this versatile grain. Bonus Web Content: Check out a detailed chart of rice bowl ideas from the USA Rice Federation and menuing suggestions from previous winners of the USA Rice Federation’s Healthy Rice Bowls contest for school nutrition professionals.
School Nutrition –August 2012
August 6, 2012 – It’s back to school season and SNA’s PR resources provide the tools to help you communicate to parents that school meals are healthy, delicious, and a great value. Between talking points, outreach tips, and presentations, these resources make it easier than ever to connect with your local community. Downloadable resources include:
All of the tools are available at: www.schoolnutrition.org/PR (member login required)
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