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It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Dorothy Caldwell, MS, RD, one of the School Nutrition Association’s past Presidents (1993-94) and a visionary advocate for childhood nutrition programs whose impact resonated from her roots in Arkansas and throughout the nation. Cadwell was 87. 

Caldwell was a trailblazer and an extraordinary leader with an influence felt deeply within the community. A woman of unwavering dedication, she played an instrumental role in shaping the landscape of childhood nutrition advocacy. Patricia Montague, FASAE, CAE, SNA Chief Executive Officer, aptly described her as “an incredible leader and woman who played a critical role in shaping the organization during her time on the board.” Under her stewardship, the School Nutrition Association (SNA) embarked on a path of strategic planning every three years, giving rise to transformative initiatives like the Nutrition Integrity Standards and the Keys to Excellence Program. 

During her presidency at the SNA from 1993 to 1994, Cadwell spearheaded the creation of these groundbreaking standards, paving the way for improved childhood nutrition across the nation. She co-chaired a monumental campaign with the School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) that raised an impressive $3 million, establishing an endowment to bolster the foundation’s educational and public relations endeavors. 

In recognition of her profound contributions, the SNF celebrated her legacy during its 50-year anniversary, bestowing upon her the title of “School Nutrition Hero.” Cadwell was a beacon of strength, wisdom and leadership in the realm of childhood nutrition advocacy. Her impact extended beyond her accomplishments; she was revered as a listener, speaker and writer of great insight. 

Cadwell’s legacy will undoubtedly endure through the lives she touched, the change she championed and the inspiration she imparted to all who had the privilege of knowing her. 

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