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Did you know that for the same price of only two cups of coffee, you can help school nutrition professionals achieve their professional dreams and goals in promoting healthy eating for children in schools around the U.S.?

SNF Join Us for Coffee Nicole Santana

School nutrition professionals like Nicole Santana, Field Coordinator at Michigan City (Ind.) Area Schools, who has been in the profession for almost 10 years. This May, Santana will be the first person in her family to graduate from college. Santana will graduate from Ivy Tech Community College with an Associate Degree in Business Administration. Once she graduates, she will pursue her bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management at Purdue University, Northwest. Her plans are to use this degree to become a foodservice director. “The things you learn on the job teaches you a lot about the profession but the things you learn in school will help you promote and grow your program,” she said.

Santana’s career began just like any other job but the moment she stepped into the cafeteria she instantly recognized its significance when she saw the smiles on all the children’s’ faces. Those smiles were put there through the hard work and dedication of the cafeteria staff. This is when her job quickly bloomed into her passion. Santana said, “What we put into it makes the difference. We care about teaching our kids nutrition education and the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.”

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Santana’s district is nearly 80% free and reduced, which emphasizes the importance of the meals they serve to the children of their community. In some cases, the meals that they serve are the only meals the students will get. One of the newest programs at one of the high schools is the farm to school program that brings in fresh vegetables from a local farm to supply the Harvest Bar which offers fresh salads and sandwiches to students. Santana stated, “As school nutrition professionals, we are tasked with first changing the children’s palates, hoping they like their new palate and eventually creating a healthier version of themselves.”

To help Santana and others like her, we ask that you to consider donating $10 a month to the School Nutrition Foundation. With your support, the Foundation can continue to assist school nutrition professionals as they strive to achieve their professional dreams and goals.

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