SNA News

Latest Journal Issue Examines School Nutrition in Charter Schools

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February 28, 2014 – Interested in reading about the experiences and observations of other school nutrition operators? Be sure to check out The Journal of Child Nutrition & Management, SNA’s peer-reviewed research journal published twice a year. The exclusively digital publication features research articles on topics critical to the successful operation of school meal programs.

One of the articles from the Fall 2013 issue, “School Food Environment of Charter Schools in St. Louis” by Whitney Linsenmeyer, MS, RD, LD; Patrick Kelly, PhD; Steve Jenkins and Mildred Mattfeldt-Berman, PhD, RD, details a study that explored the school food environment of charter schools in St. Louis, Mo., to describe the participation of charter schools in the National School Lunch Program and the prevalence of competitive foods in charter schools.

To view this article, click here. To read the entire Fall 2013 issue, visit

Related Links

“School Food Environment of Charter Schools in St. Louis”

The Journal of Child Nutrition & Management

Take SNA’s Poll on Weather Related School Closings

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February 28, 2014 – How many days has your program been disrupted by weather-related school closings this year? Snow, ice and extreme temperatures (cold and hot) have resulted in a number of unscheduled closings, late starts and early dismissals across the country this year. These disruptions also impact the meals school nutrition programs provide to students. 

SNA wants to know how your program has been impacted by weather this school year. Click here to take a short, three-question poll.

Meet TV’s Ali Vincent at ANC 2014

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February 27, 2014 – As the first female winner of “The Biggest Loser,” Ali Vincent is known for bringing her one-of-a-kind high-energy, positive outlook to audiences nationwide, including several past SNA conferences. Just announced, Vincent will make a special return appearance at the 2014 Annual National Conference (ANC) in Boston, Mass.

Vincent is no stranger to the struggles and hard work associated with lifelong health and wellness, and shares a unique perspective on the importance of SNA’s personal wellness program, the STEPS Challenge.

SNA members will be fascinated with her story of weight loss success (she lost 112 pounds!) and she is certain to inspire you with her personal philosophy, “Believe It, Be It,” and her conviction that anything is possible from her book, Believe It, Be It: How Being the Biggest Loser Won Me Back My Life.

Now you can see Vincent at several exciting STEPS events on Tuesday, July 15 at ANC 2014:

  • 6:00 am-6:45 am, STEPS Challenge Wellness Event – Vincent will help you start the day off right with this fun wellness event!
  • 11:00 am-12:30 pm, Meet & Greet at the Jennie-O booth – Vincent will pose for pictures and sign autographs.
  • 2:15 pm-3:15 pm, STEPS Challenge Education Session – Vincent will share the importance of overall wellness and discuss her weight loss journey at this can’t-miss education session.

Don’t miss Vincent’s message of positivity for living a more healthful life. Make plans now to attend ANC 2014. For more information and to register, go to

First Lady Michelle Obama and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack Announce Proposed Standards for Local School Wellness Policies

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February 26, 2014 – On Tuesday, February 25, 2014, First Lady Michelle Obama and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced proposed guidelines for local school wellness policies. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 mandated that the USDA set guidelines for what needed to be included in local school wellness policies in areas such as nutrition education and physical fitness. The new proposed guidelines will help ensure that foods and beverages marketed to children in schools are consistent with the Smart Snacks in School standards.

“The food marketing and local wellness standards proposed today support better health for our kids and echo the good work already taking place at home and in schools across the country. The new standards ensure that schools remain a safe place where kids can learn and where the school environment promotes healthy choices,” Secretary Vilsack said.

In the interest of helping schools implement their wellness policies, USDA has launched a new “School Nutrition Environment and Wellness Resources” website, which includes steps for implementing school wellness polices and resources for food marketing practices on the school campus.

In response to media inquiries yesterday, SNA President Leah Schmidt, SNS, issued the following statement. “School nutrition professionals have been working hard to offer more fruits, vegetables and whole grains with school meals and to make those healthy choices more appealing to students. Today's announcement is another positive step toward fostering healthy school environments and ensuring our schools are sending consistent messages to students about nutritious choices. Supporting nutrition education and physical fitness while limiting marketing of unhealthy foods will help reinforce positive messages in and out of the cafeteria. We look forward to reviewing the proposed rule on school wellness policies and providing feedback and insight from school nutrition professionals.”

Get Ready for SNA’s 2014 Legislative Action Conference

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February 24, 2014 – It’s nearly time to mix and mingle with the folks on Capitol Hill as SNA’s Legislative Action Conference (LAC) draws near. This annual conference is the school nutrition professional’s opportunity to delve into the world of politics as it relates to the ever-changing world of school meals.

At LAC, expect nearly 1,000 of your peers at the J.W. Marriott hotel in Washington, D.C., for a discussion with not only your peers but also lawmakers and Washington insiders about the current political climate as it relates to school nutrition. If your colleagues are still wavering on joining you at LAC, make sure they know that onsite registration is still available by simply printing and filling out the Onsite Registration Form on SNA’s website and arriving at the Marriott on Sunday, March 2. When you arrive, don’t miss out on a number of special events taking place this year at LAC:

  • Arrive a day early for the pre-conference session on Saturday, March 1: Dream Kitchens Designing, Retrofitting and Outfitting Your Best Cafeteria Kitchen. For just $100—you’ll earn 3 CEUs—learn how to create improved work environments to better meet the needs and flexibility required for meeting today’s school nutrition challenges.
  • A number of informative General Sessions, including the Opening Session featuring keynote speaker Kathleen Parker, Washington Post columnist, as well as a USDA update and an issue-by-issue look at SNA’s 2014 position paper.
  • On Monday, March 3, from 7:30-8:30 am, show your support for school breakfast and drop by a complimentary breakfast sponsored by the National Dairy Council. Attendees will eat, mingle and can participate in a voluntary photo session posing with signs to promote the school breakfast program. 
  • Don’t miss the party on Monday, March 3, from 7-9 pm as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the School Nutrition Foundation! The evening will highlight five School Nutrition Heroes who have very giving hearts. As we acknowledge these five individuals, we want to recognize the giving hearts of all School Nutrition professionals, and that includes you. Tickets are required, but a limited number are still available for purchase.
  • Of course, the centerpiece of LAC, the Charge to the Hill and second annual Capitol Hill reception on Tuesday, March 4, when you truly get the opportunity to let your voice be heard.

Don’t forget to pack your sweaters; Washington, D.C., has been trending chilly! Currently, snow is forecasted for Monday, March 3, and the other days range from mid-30s to a high of 50 degrees. But we know that potential snow can’t cool your passion for school nutrition—see you on the Hill!

Updated for 2014: Summer Feeding Resources from SNA

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February 21, 2014 – Believe it or not, warmer weather is right around the corner, which means it’s time to outline your plans for your summer feeding operation!

Visit to access SNA’s updated summer feeding tools, like:

  • A toolkit with tips for getting started and running your program
  • Sample menus for summer breakfasts and lunches – sourced from SNA members across the country
  • A tip sheet with marketing ideas to help you get the word out about your program
  • Activity sheets to hand out to student customers
  • A customizable press release to send to local media contacts
  • And more!

When the last bell of the school year rings, many of the students who rely on free and reduced-price lunches are left at serious risk of going hungry.  Your summer foodservice program can help bridge the hunger gap, so be sure to make it your most successful summer yet!

Click here to download all the free resources, made possible by the National Watermelon Promotion Board.

Just Announced! Huey Lewis and The News Will Rock ANC 2014

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February 20, 2014 – Drum roll, please… For one night only, Huey Lewis and The News will rock the house at the Annual National Conference’s (ANC) Final Event in Boston, Mass.! Known as one of America’s great rock ‘n’ roll bands, they incorporate a variety of musical influences, including R&B and soul, to create their own unique sound.

As the group enters their 35th year together, their contagious brand of music that has outlasted countless trends, making it as fresh today as ever. Formed from two rival Bay Area bands in 1979, they continue to thrill audiences worldwide and have sold more than 20 million albums in the process, earning them the right to mark their place on the pop history map.

These Grammy Award-winners have written and performed such classic Top 10 hits as “Heart of Rock & Roll,” “Stuck With You,” “I Want A New Drug,” “If This Is It,” “Hip To Be Square,” “Do You Believe In Love” and “Workin’ For A Livin.’” The group also wrote and performed “The Power of Love” and “Back in Time” for the hit film Back To The Future. “The Power of Love,” nominated for an Academy Award, went to No. 1 on Billboard’s singles chart, and was a smash hit worldwide.

There is something extra special about a Huey Lewis and The News’ live show. Front man Huey Lewis' unmistakable voice has a rich, textured quality that lends itself well to not just their hits, but also to the variety of other songs featured in the show. Lewis also brings some bluesy tones to the performance when he breaks out into his harmonica solos.

Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind, live performance from longtime headliners Huey Lewis and The News. The concert takes place at 8:00 pm Wednesday, July 16, in the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Your ticket is included in the full conference registration fee; however, space is limited. Be sure to indicate your intention to attend when registering for the conference.

For more information about ANC 2014 and to register, go to

Related Links

ANC 2014

Register for ANC

Final Event

New Online Courses Available through School Nutrition University (SNU)

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February 19, 2014 – Want to earn CEUs or key area hours to put towards your SNA certification or SNS credential? Be sure to check out two new bundled online courses available via SNA’s School Nutrition University (SNU):

These courses will earn you 1.5 CEUs or 1.5 key area hours. There are several online courses available which cover topics in key areas like food safety and sanitation, administration, and marketing.

A full list of courses is available at

2014 Josephine Martin National Policy Fellow Winner Announced

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February 14, 2014 – SNA and the School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) are pleased to announce that Janet Dunmyer has been selected as the 2014 Josephine Martin National Policy Fellow.

Dunmyer is the Food Service Operations Manager for Zionsville (Ind.) Community Schools (ZCS). She has been an active member of the SNA and the Indiana School Nutrition Association (ISNA) for the past 10 years. She currently sits on the Executive Board of the ISNA and has served on the ISNA Public Policy & Legislation Committee.  

The award, established in honor of school nutrition pioneer and advocate Dr. Josephine Martin, enables an SNA member to attend the Legislative Action Conference (LAC) for the first time. It is a fitting tribute to Dr. Martin’s passion for child nutrition and ensures that the voices of nutrition professionals will continue to be heard by legislators and policy makers at the local, state and national level.

When asked why she would like to attend LAC, Dunmyer said “The ability to bring back first-hand knowledge of the legislative process and share that with front-line school nutrition staff at ZCS would be invaluable.”

Dunmyer will be recognized during the first general session at LAC on Sunday, March 2. 

Funding for the Josephine Martin National Policy Fellow is made possible by the Josephine Martin Endowment Fund at SNF. The Endowment is still accepting contributions to reach its $75,000 goal. To date, the Endowment has raised approximately $22,000. 

Kevin Woods, SNA Industry Representative, Resigns from Board

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February 14, 2014 – On February 13, 2014, SNA Industry Representative Kevin Woods, SNS, announced he is resigning from the Board of Directors, effective March 5, 2014. Following SNA bylaw protocol, Gary Vonck, vice president of education at KeyImpact Sales & Systems, will replace Woods as Industry Representative.

“Although we are sad to have Kevin leave the board, we certainly understand and thank him for his service,” says SNA President Leah Schmidt, SNS. “We are pleased to have another dedicated Industry Representative willing to serve in Gary Vonck, and we welcome him back to the Board.  

At the time of SNA elections, Woods’ position focused on the K-12 segment; since that time, he has begun working at another company in a new role with responsibilities that do not focus on the school nutrition industry, “Resulting in no longer having the focus on the segment and my finger on its pulse and its nuances,” Woods writes in his final column for SNA e-newsletter, Industry Insider. “All of these aspects are required of the Industry Representative, so it would be unfair to my fellow industry members and SNA for me to continue in this role and not provide the attention it requires.”

In the event of a Board resignation and vacancy, SNA’s bylaws require giving first consideration to the other candidate who ran for the position during the election. By following these procedures, the Board of Directors has voted and appointed Vonck to the position for the remainder of the term. Vonck was also appointed to hold this position on the 2012-2013 Board of Directors when the previous industry representative resigned.

Both Woods and Vonck will attend SNA’s Legislative Action Conference (LAC) from March 2 to 5, 2014, in Washington, D.C., and Globe Food Equipment Company, where Woods is the vice president of sales and marketing, continues as an SNA member. Vonck’s appointment is effective March 5, the closing day of LAC.

Initial NSLP and SBP Participation Trends for 2013-14 School Year

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February 13, 2014 – With the many changes occurring in school nutrition programs, SNA has been monitoring data from USDA to understand national participation trends for lunch and breakfast programs.

National School Lunch Program
Initial participation data for this school year indicates a continued decrease in the average number of students participating in the National School Lunch Program. As implementation of the new meal pattern requirements for this program begins its second year, 30.5 million students participated on an average day so far in the 2013-14 school year (September–November 2013). This is a 1.94% decrease when compared to the same time frame last school year (2012-13) and a 4.89% decrease when compared to the same time frame in school year 2011-12. While the average number of students receiving a free meal increased from the past two previous years, there were fewer students on average participating in the paid and reduced-price categories.

School Breakfast Program
Average participation in the School Breakfast Program indicates a continued increase in participation in this program even as new meal pattern requirements are implemented this school year. An average of 13.6 million students participated in the School Breakfast Program, so far, in the 2013-14 school year (September – November 2013). This is a 3.38% increase in the average number of students participating when compared to the same time frame last school year and a 6.19% increase when compared to the 2011-12 school year. Increases were driven by growth in the number of students receiving a free breakfast.

As updated data is made available from USDA, SNA will continue to track this participation information.

To view the Participation Charts, visit the SNA Resource Center or click here.

Take Time to Recognize NSBW!

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February 12, 2014 – National School Breakfast Week (NSBW) begins March 3rd. Will you recognize “Take Time for School Breakfast” in your cafeteria?

Visit to download all of the free celebration tools, like:

  • Handouts for kids and parents
  • A toolkit full of easy ideas to recognize NSBW
  • Images and logos for your menus, tray liners and website, too!
  • NSBW sweepstakes form—enter to win over 700 free stickers for your students!
  • And much, much more!

Don’t forget, you can purchase NSBW merchandise like t-shirts, balloons, aprons, buttons and more at

Visit today to get started planning your promotion!

Latest Journal Issue Examines the Impact of Wellness Policies

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February 12, 2014 – Interested in reading about the experiences and observations of other school nutrition operators? Be sure to check out The Journal of Child Nutrition & Management, SNA’s peer-reviewed research journal published twice a year. The exclusively digital publication features research articles on topics critical to the successful operation of school meal programs.

One of the articles from the Fall 2013 issue, “Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables in Middle School Students Following the Implementation of a School District Wellness Policy” by Kathleen D. Young, MS; Anastasia Snelling, PhD, RD; Maya Maroto, EdD, RD; and Katherine A. Young, MPH, details a study in which a large urban school district implemented a school wellness policy that required schools to increase health education and physical education contact hours for students and to improve the nutritional standards of school meals. The study measured the consumption patterns of fruits and vegetables of middle school students following this implementation.

To view this article, click here. To read the entire Fall 2013 issue, visit

Related Links

“Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables in Middle School Students Following the Implementation of a School District Wellness Policy”

The Journal of Child Nutrition & Management

Connect with the Experts: Upcoming Webinar Wednesdays

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February 11, 2014 – SNA’s Webinar Wednesdays offers you the opportunity for professional development and education directly from subject matter no cost and all from the comfort of your office. Learn about the latest hot topics in school nutrition, presented with your needs in mind.

Take a look at the upcoming schedule, below:

NEW! Three-part Series on the Community Eligibility Provision
SNA, in partnership with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) and the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), will host a three-part webinar series on the new Community Eligibility Provision (CEP).

  • CEP Part 1: Making the Most of CEP (February 19, 2014, 2:00-3:15 pm EST) Click here to register.
  • CEP Part 2: Eliminating School Meal Applications (March 26, 2014, 2:00-3:15 pm EST) Click here to register.
  • CEP Part 3: Determining which Schools will be Eligible to Participate in CEP (April 2, 2014, 2:00-3:15 pm EST) Click here to register.

Learn the Details of the Proposed Professional Standards from USDA (Monday, February 24, 2014 2:00-3:00 pm EST)
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 outlines the requirements for establishing professional standards for school food service directors, managers, staff and state agency nutrition directors. The new standards will be discussed, along with tips on how to implement them. Click here to register.

Engaging Your Audience with Proven Presentation Techniques (February 26, 2014, 2:00-3:15 pm EST)
SNA, in partnership with Dr. Katie Wilson, executive director at the National Food Service Management Institute (NFSMI) brings you presentation techniques to engage your audience. Click here to register.

Latest News in Effective School Food Allergy Management (March 12, 2014, 2:00-3:15 pm EST)
SNA, in partnership with the National Peanut Board will provide the latest resources for effective food allergy management in schools. Click here to register.

USDA’s “Smart Snacks in Schools” Nutrition Standards (Wednesday, March 19, 2014 2:00-3:15 pm EST)
SNA, in partnership with the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service Child Nutrition Programs, will host nutrition standards for all foods sold in schools outside of a reimbursable meal, known as the “Smart Snacks in Schools” standards. Click here to register.

School Nutrition Focuses on High School Meal Operations

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February 10, 2014 – Each type of K-12 school nutrition operation—elementary school, middle school and high school—presents its own specific challenges and requires a unique set of expertise from school nutrition professionals. The February issue of School Nutrition, SNA’s award-winning flagship publication, focuses on school meal operations in high schools. School nutrition colleagues from across the country provide a sense of what’s involved in serving this customer group. Also included in this issue is a look at how schools are embracing Asian cuisine as a menu opportunity with flavorful, appealing and healthy items.

What are some of the high hopes and persistent pains related to the teen scene? “Taking on Today’s Teens” offers the perspectives of school nutrition professionals experienced in high school operations on topics such as whether nutrition messages may finally be taking hold for the long term, the length of lunch periods and marketing to this age group.

Interest in Asian cuisine among school-age customers is growing, and school nutrition operators are trying creative menu options such as orange chicken, teriyaki pork, Asian-inspired dishes with yellow rice, “kung fu tacos” and beyond. “Rising to the Occasion With Asian” explores the national interest in Asian cuisine and how school nutrition operations are incorporating this trend into their menus. Bonus Web Content: A number of food manufacturers and processors serving the K-12 market are responding to the growing demand for Asian-inspired ingredients and menu items. Check out a few of the products now available on the market, and don’t miss additional online-only recipes.

Related Links

School Nutrition—February 2014

Mobile Device or Tablet Version (for iOS devices only; Android version forthcoming)

Celebrate School Meals Around the World

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February 7, 2014 – Mark your calendars: March 6, 2014 (during National School Breakfast Week) is International School Meals Day!

This special holiday was developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and its counterpart in the United Kingdom to raise global awareness about the importance of school meals.

School communities around the world can celebrate International School Meals Day by promoting healthy eating and learning, using the theme Food Stories. Stories, like food, communicate the culture of peoples and their dreams for a healthier and better future, while at the same time bring communities together.

International School Meals Day is a brand new holiday—and SNA encourages all members to recognize it in some way. If all you’ve got time for is a tweet, remember to use the hashtag #ISMD2014.

Visit to learn how you can participate and spread the word.

SNA Wants Member Feedback on Proposed Rule on Professional Standards

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February 5, 2014 – On February 4, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released proposed regulations on professional standards for all school nutrition employees.

The School Nutrition Association (SNA), representing 55,000 school nutrition professionals working in school cafeterias nationwide, has already mobilized a representative task force of SNA members to review the details of the proposed rule. The task force will assess the impact of the rule on school nutrition professionals and school meal programs, as well as gather extensive input from SNA members and craft SNA’s official comments in response to the rule.

USDA’s announcement can be found at this link. The proposed rule can be found here. SNA encourages members to review the rule and provide any comments, encouraging or critical in the comment field below. Final comments on the rule will be due on April 7, 2014.

Barnes & Thornburg LLP has provided an executive summary to the rule. Please click here to review their summary.

ANC 2014 Online Registration is Now Open!

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February 4, 2014 – Are you ready for a wicked good time in Boston? Well, wait no longer...registration is now open for SNA’s Annual National Conference (ANC), which will be held July 13-16, 2014, in Boston, Mass. ANC 2014 will bring together the school nutrition community in the historic “Cradle of Liberty” for four days of informative and inspiring sessions, countless exhibits and unmatched networking, and you don’t want to miss out!

SNA is pleased to announce that classically trained, award-winning actress Viola Davis will kick things off as this year’s Opening General Session keynote speaker. Davis will discuss her career and how overcoming adversities and preconceived restrictions have all contributed to reinforcing her abilities as an artist and becoming a stronger woman. Billy Shore, founder and chief executive officer of Share Our Strength, a national nonprofit committed to ending childhood hunger in America, will speak at the Second General Session. Shore founded Share Our Strength in 1984 with his sister, Debbie, and a $2,000 cash advance on a credit card and since then has raised and invested more than $376 million in the fight against hunger.

Using his one-of-a-kind, high-energy performance and style, Aric Bostick, motivational speaker, trainer and author, will headline the final General Session on Wednesday, July 16. Bostick has spoken to more than a half-million people in nearly every industry, helping leaders and employees get “Fired Up!”

Of course, this is on top of everything else ANC has to offer, including more than 100 education sessions, 850 Exhibit Hall booths and countless networking opportunity among colleagues and industry members and a soon-to-be-announced final event! With all ANC 2014 has to offer, you can’t afford to procrastinate. Visit to take advantage of the early-bird rate today. Be a part of history at ANC 2014 in Boston!

Related Links

ANC 2014

ANC Online Registration

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