Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner, media@schoolnutrition.org

 

School Meal Solutions Headline SNA Conference 

Nearly 7,000 school nutrition professionals to attend ANC Boston, July 14-16  

ARLINGTON, VA – Nearly 7,000 school nutrition professionals from across the country are headed to Boston to participate in School Nutrition Association’s (SNA) Annual National Conference (ANC), July 14 – 16. ANC offers exhibits and education sessions designed to help attendees prepare nutritious, delicious school meals while managing budget constraints, a tight labor market, strict nutrition standards and diverse student preferences. The conference comes on the heels of the release of long-term nutrition standards, which require schools to further reduce sodium in meals and meet new limits on added sugar. 

Media wishing to attend ANC must contact Diane Pratt-Heavner at media@schoolnutrition.org to register for the conference. Eligible media guests must follow the Press Registration Policies. 

ANC features the nation’s largest exhibit hall in school nutrition, allowing attendees to sample foods and beverages, preview equipment, supplies and technologies and discuss pricing and product availability with 320 exhibitors. More than 125 ANC education sessions will share best practices for tackling challenges and improving menus and student services.  

ANC offers a variety of solutions related to: 

  • Nutrition Standards: Attendees will taste test new recipes and menu options with less added sugar and salt, such as a reduced-sodium, whole grain Orange Chicken Stir Fry and reduced-sugar yogurt with no artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors. Culinary demonstrations and education sessions offer tips for expanding scratch cooking, including an in-depth workshop on Boston Public Schools’ transition to scratch meals. 
  • Inclusion: ANC will exhibit culturally relevant and plant-based menu options reflecting diverse student tastes and share best practices for accommodating food allergies and special dietary needs, such as Kosher and Halal. Culinary demos feature recipes including Cilantro Lime Brown Rice with Black Beans and Southwest Sauce, and Cheesy Chicken Shawarma. 
  • Staffing: Exhibitors will demo equipment, serving lines and software designed to speed up meal prep and service, and help schools to utilize limited staff resources more efficiently. ANC sessions explore strategies to improve hiring and retention, foster teamwork and restructure kitchen operations to reduce labor hours.  
  • Financial and Operational Challenges: ANC sessions and exhibits will introduce AI tools that increase efficiency in everything from menu development to procurement. Attendees will glean best practices for boosting meal participation to increase revenue, streamlining procurement and expanding local sourcing. 

SNA’s 2024 School Nutrition Trends Survey revealed virtually all responding school nutrition directors (99.3%) reported challenges with increasing costs and more than 90% cited challenges with labor. In addition to providing ANC attendees with resources to manage these challenges, SNA is urging Congress to permanently increase federal reimbursements for school meals and provide free meals for all students.  

 

About the School Nutrition Association:
The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing 50,000 school nutrition professionals across the country. Founded in 1946, SNA and its members are dedicated to making healthy school meals and nutrition education available to all students. For more information about ANC, visit schoolnutrition.org/ANC. 

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