Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner, 703-576-7526,

SNA’s Legislative Action Conference, Mar. 5-7

School nutrition professionals to urge Congress for support

ARLINGTON, VA – More than 800 school nutrition professionals from across the country are headed to Washington, D.C. to urge Congress to support school meal programs, facing critical economic and regulatory challenges. Participants in School Nutrition Association’s (SNA) 51st annual Legislative Action Conference (LAC) will meet with legislators to request more funds, the ability to offer free school meals for all students and the preservation of current school nutrition standards.

LAC attendees will also receive an update from high-level USDA officials on Monday, March 7, at the JW Marriott, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC. Media must contact Diane Pratt-Heavner at to register and meet SNA’s Press Registration Policies.

LAC will feature several key events including:


  • Education sessions to support attendees working to improve school meal programs
  • Political analysis from Charlie Cook, Founder of The Cook Political Report (1:15 pm)


  • USDA update on child nutrition program regulations (8:30 am)
  • “Healthy School Meals for All: Successful State Strategies” panel discussion with SNA advocates from California, Colorado, Maine, Maryland and Pennsylvania (10:15 am)
  • “The Supply Chain Saga: Where Things Stand Today” by Mark Baum, FMI – The Food Industry Association (2:15 pm)
  • New York Times bestselling author, Dr. Marty Makary, of Johns Hopkins University, addressing food research and student health (3:00 pm)


  • Legislator visits. Note: SNA leaders and school nutrition directors will be available for interviews.

SNA’s 2023 School Nutrition Trends Survey revealed school meal programs face persistent financial, supply chain and labor challenges, as well as rising unpaid meal debt, declining student meal participation and increased paperwork requirements due to the loss of free school meals for all students. In July, school meal programs will lose critical funds provided under the bipartisan Keep Kids Fed Act. At the same time, they will need to meet additional nutrition requirements limiting sodium despite widespread menu item and staffing shortages.

LAC participants will share these challenges with their representatives and discuss solutions proposed in SNA’s 2023 Position Paper, which urges Congress to permanently increase reimbursements, offer free school meals to all students and maintain current school nutrition standards.

About 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 on school meals, visit

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