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Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner


SNA’s Annual National Conference to Serve Up Healthy School Meal Solutions


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ARLINGTON, VA (July 1, 2019) – Nearly 6,000 school nutrition professionals from across the country are headed to St. Louis, Missouri, this month for School Nutrition Association’s (SNA) 73rd Annual National Conference (ANC), July 14-16.

ANC offers attendees strategies for planning cost-effective school menus that meet federal nutrition standards and appeal to diverse student tastes and dietary preferences. The conference features the nation’s largest exhibit hall in school nutrition, where attendees will sample foods and beverages and preview equipment, technology and resources. More than 120 education and culinary skills sessions will share best practices for everything from expanding services for food insecure children to increasing purchases of locally-grown foods.

Media wishing to attend ANC must contact Diane Pratt-Heavner at to register for the conference. Media guests must meet the published Press Registration Policies (pdf).

School meals must still meet Target 1 reduced sodium limits and offer students a variety of whole grain foods, regardless of recent adjustments to sodium and whole grain requirements. Meals also continue to meet strict calorie and fat limits and offer larger portions and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. School nutrition professionals come to ANC looking for everything from flavorful low-sodium entrees and soft-textured whole grain foods to healthy, kid-friendly recipes and ingredients for large-batch scratch cooking. Attendees are also seeking strategies to overcome declining student lunch participation and control rising costs.

ANC highlights include:

  • The largest Exhibit Hall in the school nutrition industry with more than 200,000 square feet of exhibits from 378 companies, partner organizations and US Department of Agriculture divisions.
  • Education sessions on topics including strategies to market healthy school meals to students and families, accommodate student food allergies and special diet requests, improve food safety, minimize food waste and implement innovations such as food trucks and online ordering.
  • SNA’s Chefs Task Force will host Culinary Skills Labs with tips on using fresh and dried herbs and spices, kitchen hacks to speed up fruit and vegetable prep and garnishing tricks to boost students’ produce consumption.
  • Culinary Demonstrations featuring innovative school recipes such as Korean BBQ Beef Tacos and Grilled Chicken Quesadilla with Cilantro Yogurt Dip.
  • General Session speakers include: Stephen Censky, Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Jon Dorenbos, Comedy Magician, Motivational Speaker and Former NFL Player; Ashley Rhodes-Courter, Inspirational Speaker and Author.

About School Nutrition Association: 
The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 58,000 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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