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Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner


SNA Hosts Listening Session with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue


ATLANTA, GA (July 12, 2017) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue met today with school nutrition professionals attending School Nutrition Association’s (SNA) 71st Annual National Conference (ANC) in Atlanta, Ga.

Secretary Perdue addressed the crowd during ANC’s Closing General Session, taking the opportunity to recognize the many contributions of school nutrition professionals to students’ academic achievement (scroll down for video of the speech). He also joined in a listening session with SNA leaders – school nutrition professionals elected to represent the broad range of meal programs across the country. The event allowed Secretary Perdue to hear first-hand about successes and challenges encountered by those working on the frontlines to improve menus for students while meeting updated nutrition standards for meals and snacks.

Following his speech and the listening session, Secretary Perdue said, “The USDA and SNA are partners in working together because we all have the same goals in mind, and that’s the health and vitality of our young people. My goal as Secretary of Agriculture is to remove the bookkeeping headaches and menu problems that are distracting our school nutrition professionals from doing their real job of feeding kids nutritious and appealing meals. That’s why it is especially meaningful to be working at the side of SNA – they directly influence, nurture, and mold the lives of the most important people in our country.”

Newly installed SNA President Dr. Lynn Harvey, RDN, LDN, FAND, SNS, Chief of School Nutrition Services for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, echoed Secretary Perdue’s comments. “School nutrition professionals work every day to make school meals more nutritious and delicious for our students. We are honored that Secretary Perdue recognizes these ongoing efforts and the importance of school meal programs. We look forward to working with USDA to identify ways to build on this success in school dining areas.”

SNA’s ANC brought together more than 7,000 school nutrition professionals to share new ideas for strengthening meal programs for students. Attendees participated in education sessions and visited the nation’s largest exhibit of school cafeteria trends.

About the School Nutrition Association:
The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 57,000 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

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