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Thousands of School Foodservice Professionals to Meet in Minneapolis

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Thousands of School Foodservice
Professionals to Meet in Minneapolis

ALEXANDRIA, Va.,  June 28, 2002 – An estimated 6-7,000 attendees including exhibiting companies will travel to Minneapolis in July for the American School Foodservice Association’s (ASFSA) 56th Annual National Conference. The event takes place from Sunday July 21 to Wednesday July 24.  

This year’s theme is “School Nutrition: Dish It Up," and highlighting the event will be keynote addresses by Ed McMahon, one of the most recognized men in broadcast media, Senator Paul Wellstone, the senior senator from Minnesota and Ron Clark, a sixth grade teacher from Harlem, New York, voted Teacher of the Year in 2000. 

Individuals attending the conference, mainly school foodservice directors and their staff from school districts across the United States, will attend more than 100 education sessions in seven topic areas: Administration, Human Resources, Leadership, Nutrition, Operations, Outreach and Marketing, and Technology.  Among the noteworthy sessions scheduled are

  • Confronting Childhood Obesity
  • Approaches to Food Safety in the Child Nutrition Program
  • Computer-Based Training
  • Ending Hunger--Caring for Our Communities

“School Nutrition: Dish It Up" will offer many additional activities for those in attendance: the largest exhibit hall in the industry, culinary demonstrations, the ASFSA Marketplace and a gala awards presentation. In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to earn continuing education units and take the School Foodservice & Nutrition Specialist (SFNS) Credentialing exam.

Other outstanding events, such as the Evening of Entertainment featuring Three Dog Night, and the Farewell Event at the Mall of America's Camp Snoopy, will attract thousands of participants.

The general sessions, educational sessions and exhibit hall are open free of charge to working press who wish to cover the conference for their publications. To obtain a press registration from contact Jan Stanton at 703-739-3900 ext. 149, or jstanton@asfsa.org. For more information on ASFSA’s Annual National Conference, please visit see Related Links.

Child Nutrition Foundation Awards Academic Scholarships and Research Grants

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Child Nutrition Foundation Awards
Academic Scholarships and Research Grants

ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 3, 2002 – The Child Nutrition Foundation Financial Aid Committee recently awarded 56 Schwan’s Food Service Scholarships (undergraduate level and above) to eligible members of the American School Food Service Association (ASFSA) and their dependents. In addition, nine Child Nutrition Foundation Professional Growth Scholarships (graduate level) awards were made. Both scholarships will be used for the 2002/2003 academic year.

Schwan’s Food Service Scholarships are funded by a generous grant from Schwan’s Food Service. Professional Growth Scholarships are funded through proceeds raised at the Child Nutrition Foundation’s annual Silent Auction and “Chippin’ for Children” Golf Tournament, as well as a contribution from Lakeside Manufacturing.

Additionally, the Foundation was pleased to award seven Heinz Foodservice Scholarships. Heinz USA generously donates a percentage of school foodservice ketchup sales to support the Heinz Scholarship.

The complete listings of scholarship recipients can be found in Related Links.

The Child Nutrition Foundation also awarded two research grants: the Lincoln Foodservice Award for Innovations in Child Nutrition and the Hubert Humphrey Research Grant. Each grant, valued at $2,500, is provided by Lincoln Foodservice Products, Inc.

The Hubert Humphrey Research Grant recipients are Jerry Cater and Denise Brown from the University of Southern Mississippi for their proposal on, “A comparison of school foodservice administrators’ and after school care program coordinators’ perceptions of the importance of accountability requirements when implementing the National School Lunch Program snack service.” The Lincoln Foodservice Award for Innovations in School Foodservice recipients are Laurel Lambert from the University of Idaho and Deborah Carr from the University of Southern Mississippi for their proposal on “Perceptions, practices, and barriers of school foodservice directors, elementary school teachers, and elementary school principals in providing nutrition education to students.”

The Child Nutrition Foundation wishes to express thanks and appreciation to the companies that make the financial aid programs possible: Schwan’s Food Service, Heinz USA, Lincoln Foodservice Products, Lakeside Manufacturing, and ConAgra as well as those ASFSA members who supported the golf tournament and silent auction. For more information on the Foundation's academic assistance programs, please see Related Links.

The Child Nutrition Foundation, established in 1964, is a non-profit corporation that provides high-quality professional development, financial aid and research programs to child nutrition professionals and members of the American School Food Service Association (ASFSA). The Foundation’s commitment to the child nutrition community is integral to implementing positive change in school meals and, ultimately, to the health of school children.

USDA Announces Additional Funding for School Community Kitchens

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USDA Announces Additional Funding
for School Community Kitchens

ALEXANDRIA, Va.,  May 22, 2002 – The Honorable Eric Bost, Under Secretary of Agriculture for the Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announced today that the USDA will provide the Child Nutrition Foundation with $444,265 to further develop the School Community Kitchens Initiative. 

The School Community Kitchens project provides food to people in need while training low-income individuals for placement in school foodservice positions. The initiative began two years ago with pilot sites in Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Florida. Under Secretary Bost made the announcement while touring the kitchen at Miami Northwestern Senior High School in Miami-Dade County Public Schools, one of three pilot School Community Kitchens. 

The three-year continuation of the project will provide seed money and both print and Web-based resources to school districts interested in developing School Community Kitchens. “We are excited to be able to expand the School Community Kitchens project beyond the pilot stage to eighteen new communities,” said Marcia Smith, president of ASFSA. “The impact of the new sites will be measurable in the lives that are changed in communities across the nation. 

The program is a partnership between the Child Nutrition Foundation, USDA, and D.C. Central Kitchen, which pioneered the community kitchen concept.  New School Community Kitchens can benefit from three pilot models, a How-To Guide and other resources available on the ASFSA Web site. See Related Links to access these new resources. The three pilot projects employed individuals in child nutrition and foodservice positions, served over 8,000 meals to children and adults, and resulted in new community partnerships. Over 30 graduates of the program found employment in foodservice jobs. 

The Child Nutrition Foundation, established in 1964, is a non-profit corporation that provides high-quality professional development, financial aid and research programs to child nutrition professionals and members of the American School Food Service Association (ASFSA). The Foundation’s commitment to the child nutrition community is integral to implementing positive change in school meals and, ultimately, to the health of school children.

Over 500 Become Credentialed as School Foodservice and Nutrition Specialists

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Over 500 Become Credentialed as School
Foodservice and Nutrition Specialists

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (May 6, 2002) – According to the American School Food Service Association (ASFSA) over 500 individuals have now earned the designation of School Foodservice and Nutrition Specialist (SFNS).

The credentialing program that was begun by ASFSA in January of 1999 requires that school foodservice professionals fulfill academic requirements, have work experience in the field, participate in specialized training and pass a national exam.

Marcia Smith, president of ASFSA, states, “The SFNS credential recognizes professionalism in school foodservice. Many of our members run school district programs with budgets in the ten of millions of dollars and manage hundreds of employees.” She continues, “Our credential communicates to others a level of knowledge and expertise in the profession.”

The credentialing program is being recognized among school officials who hire and manage school foodservice programs. Job placement ads sometimes include the SFNS credential as a requirement for the position. In some school districts employees receive an increase in salary once they become credentialed. In Virginia Beach, VA, the school board approved a $1,000 annual foodservice credentialing bonus for any employee who achieves SFNS status.

See Related Links for more information on the ASFSA Credentialing Program.

National Food Drive Will Help Alleviate Hunger This Summer

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National Food Drive Will Help
Alleviate Hunger This Summer

Sharing with Communities We ServeALEXANDRIA, Va., (April 2, 2002) – When Florida school foodservice director Marcia Smith envisions a food drive, she doesn't limit her sights to a single school or neighborhood. As this year's president of the American School Food Service Association (ASFSA), Smith is spearheading a nationwide food drive in April with the help of 55,000 other ASFSA members. Although the drive is a national effort, the "Sharing with Communities We Serve" campaign will benefit local food banks and charities.

Smith actually conceived the idea last year, but the urgency for such an effort took hold last fall after she discovered that donations to local charities were down in the wake of the Sept. 11 tragedies. At that time many individuals and corporations focused their giving on national relief funds. Even before Sept. 11, food banks across the country have struggled to keep up with demand. According to a report by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, requests for emergency food assistance increased in 1999 by an average of 17% in American cities, with more than 60% of requests coming from families with children.

As a part of the “Sharing with Communities We Serve” campaign, school children across the nation will collect food for other children. "The goal of the food drive is to collect food specifically for children who do not have access to school meal programs during the summer," said Smith. “This is a time of year when food banks have additional needs for serving children who are out of school.” In particular, donations will help children who rely on school lunch and breakfast programs for a majority of their nutritional needs during the school year. During summer months, food banks tend to run low as the food donated during the holiday season begins to run out.

"Never has the need been more important," said Smith. "This is a rewarding way for us to give back to the communities we serve." Locally, schools will be conducting one-day, one-week or longer food drives in April. In Smith’s district 100 schools will participate in the food drive. The district school that collects the most food will have the opportunity to send a group of students and staff to a special ceremony at their food warehouse on Wednesday, April 24.

With its network of 52 state affiliates, hundreds of local chapters and 55,000 members, ASFSA reaches communities and schools throughout the United States. Before the end of her term, Smith will have the honor of announcing the total amount of food collected nationally during a special presentation at ASFSA's annual conference in Minneapolis in July.

ASFSA members can find out more information on the Food Drive in the Members Only section of this site.

Protecting School Employees Against Hepatitis A

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Protecting School Employees Against Hepatitis A

ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 26, 2002 – The discovery of a Hepatitis A infected food handler can trigger alarm among supervisors, executives and health officials. Hepatitis A is passed person to person but can also spread through contaminated food and water. Over 180,000 people are infected with this liver disease each year. In most cases, food handlers are infected outside of work and not as a result of specific occupational hazards. However, knowing the facts about Hepatitis A and how it can be prevented is the best defense against an outbreak. 

Sue McCarroll, APRN, BCP will preside over the American School Food Service Association's online chat on the topic of Hepatitis A on Thursday, March 28 at 4pm EST at http://www.asfsa.org. McCarroll, Coordinator of Health Services for Aurora Public Schools (CO), will discuss the threat of Hepatitis A in the school environment and respond to questions about implementing a district-wide Hepatitis A prevention program.

McCarroll is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse as well as a Certified School Nurse Practitioner. In 1992, McCarroll received a Master’s degree in Counseling and Human Services. McCarroll has been recognized numerous times for her leadership in the health profession most recently as a nominee for the 2001 Colorado School Nurse Administrator of the Year. She is an active member of National Association of School Nurses (NASN) Research Committee and the Colorado Association of School Nurses (CASN)

The "Preventing Hepatitis A" online chat is made possible through support from GlaxoSmithKline.

All ASFSA members and the general public are invited to participate in the chat. To participate, visit ASFSA’s Web site, Your Child Nutrition eSource at http://www.asfsa.org, on the day of the chat. There will be instructions on the ASFSA home page for connecting to the chat. A transcript of the chat will be available through the Web site within three days, as well.

Please note that chat participants now can receive one Continuing Education Unit (CEU) towards ASFSA Certification by attending the chat and completing a short quiz afterwards. More information can be found on this new professional development opportunity at ASFSA’s Web site in the Online Education Center.

ASFSA also has scheduled a chat for April 25, at 4pm, EST, on “Diversity in the Workplace.” ASFSA hosts chats every fourth Thursday of the month at 4pm, Eastern Time. In February, ASFSA.ORG hosted a chat on “Promoting School Breakfast.” The transcript for this chat is now available.

See Related Links for more information on past and future online chats. Join the Sanitation and Safety Community within ASFSA's Online Communities to discuss food safety and sanitation issues, exchange ideas on food safety education and keep up-to-date with current trends.

Reader eSource

The above is featured as a Reader eSource in School Foodservice & Nutrition.  


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