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SNA Press Releases

Thousands to Gather for Premier School Nutrition Event in Dallas

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner
301-686-3124 Ext.
media@schoolnutrition.org

Thousands to Gather for Premier School Nutrition Event in Dallas

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (June 29, 2010) – As Congress debates the future of child nutrition programs this summer, the School Nutrition Association (SNA) will help thousands of school nutrition professionals plan ahead for healthy school meals when students return to school this fall. 

SNA’s 64th Annual National Conference, which will be held at the Dallas Convention Center, Dallas, TX, from July 11 – 14, will connect school nutrition professionals with education and networking opportunities and the largest exhibit hall in school nutrition.  ANC 2010 will feature over 80 accredited education breakout sessions and more than 760 exhibit booths packed with nutritious foods and beverages, services, equipment and technology.

Several ANC education sessions will build on SNA’s partnership with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign (featured in the First Lady’s speech at SNA’s Legislative Action Conference) by assisting participants in meeting Let’s Move! goals, such as achieving HealthierUS School Challenge Certification and participating in the Chefs Move to Schools initiative.  A number of sessions will be co-hosted by US Department of Agriculture officials.

ANC 2010 provides members of the media an opportunity to understand the trends and issues facing school nutrition programs nationwide:

• Thousands of school nutrition professionals will participate in quality education sessions on topics including school nutrition standards, farm to school, food allergies, food recall procedures, school food equipment, nutrition education, local school wellness policies, managing costs and more.
• The largest exhibit hall in school foodservice industry featuring more than 760 exhibits, with over 340 companies, on about 180,000 square feet of space.  Exhibitors include major suppliers of food, beverages, equipment, and software/hardware technology as well as smaller companies that contribute to healthy school meal programs.  On display will be a wide variety of whole grain products, fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy items, nutritious snacks and much more. Cameras and interviews are permitted in the exhibit hall with permission.
• General session speakers include Food Network star and best-selling author Ellie Krieger, nutrition and weight-loss guru Dr. Rovenia Brock, and influential businesswoman Marion Luna Brem. National awards of excellence in school nutrition will also be presented.
• Six culinary demonstrations featuring innovative recipes and foods including berries, whole grain brown rice, beans, chicken and turkey.

The event is being held at a critical time for child nutrition programs, as Congress debates child nutrition reauthorization legislation. School nutrition professionals, challenged by rising food and labor costs, increased demand for school meals and insufficient federal reimbursements for school meals, will benefit from ANC sessions on stretching limited resources.

Learn more about ANC.  

SNA, the School Nutrition Association, is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 53,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country.  Founded in 1946, the Association and its members are dedicated to feeding children safe and nutritious meals.

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Jill Conklin Named SNA 2010 Individual Industry Member of the Year

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Dianne Pratt-Heavner
301-686-3124 Ext.
media@schoolnutrition.org

Jill Conklin Named SNA 2010 Individual Industry Member of the Year

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (June 17, 2010) – Jill Conklin, Director of Sales Development, USA for Winston Industries, was named the eighth recipient of the School Nutrition Association (SNA) Individual Industry Member of the Year Award. Conklin, who has been involved with school nutrition programs for over 9 years, was nominated by SNA Nutrition Committee Chair Julia Bauscher, SNS for her “demonstrated… dedication to the school nutrition profession” and her “special passion to support members in serving children world-wide.”

As an SNA member, Conklin has worked tirelessly on behalf of school nutrition professionals worldwide, both as an individual and in her position with Winston Industries. Conklin views herself as an educator and is very focused on the professional development of school nutrition professionals. She has made it her mission to educate “foodservice professionals about solutions to the challenges they face.” Not only has Conklin traveled across the country providing free training workshops to school nutrition professionals, she also encouraged Winston Industries to participate in the School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) scholarship program. Through her leadership, Winston now provides $50,000 in professional growth scholarships to SNA members to further their career development, in addition to their ongoing support of the Winston Equipment Award Grant Program.

Jill Conklin

Jill Conklin
SNA 2010 Industry Member of the Year

Conklin has focused her efforts beyond domestic school nutrition efforts. An active supporter of the Global Child Nutrition Foundation (GCNF), SNA’s international arm, she is working to provide all children access to nutritious food. Conklin has served as a delegate to GCNF’s flagship program, the Global Child Nutrition Forum, as well as served as a volunteer GNCF Ambassador. With her recommendation, Winston Industries has sponsored an international policy scholar to attend SNA’s annual Legislative Action Conference.

Conklin has held numerous leadership positions within SNA and GCNF, including:

  • Member, Industry Advisory Board, 2008-11
  • Co-Chair, Child Nutrition Industry Conference Steering Committee, 2010-2011
  • Member, GCNF Fundraising Committee, 2008-2009
  • GCNF Industry Ambassador, 2009-2010
  • Trainer for SNF HACCP Seminars, 2006-2007

In her nomination letter, Bauscher wrote that Conklin “is one of the most energetic and enthusiastic industry members I know.” She noted that Conklin is “a catalyst and leader” who “immediately asks, ‘What can I do to help?’” Conklin has always kept the concerns and needs of school nutrition professionals and the children they serve foremost.

The 2010 Individual Industry Member of the Year Award will be presented to Jill Conklin during SNA’s 64th Annual National Conference in Dallas, Texas on Tuesday, July 13, 2010. Conklin, along with the 2010 SNA Outstanding Director of the Year, will also be honored at the Global Child Nutrition Foundation’s “A Possible Dream Gala” in March 2011 in Washington, DC.

The School Nutrition Association (SNA), www.schoolnutrition.org, is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 53,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country. The Association and its members are dedicated to feeding children safe and nutritious meals. Founded in 1946, SNA is the only association devoted exclusively to protecting and enhancing children’s health and well being through school meals and sound nutrition education.

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Representatives from 18 Countries Call for Global Support of School Feeding Programs

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Chelsea Strandberg
301-686-3133 Ext.
cstrandberg@schoolnutrition.org

Representatives from 18 Countries Call for Global Support of School Feeding Programs

 Global Child Nutrition Forum participants issue historic call to action

National Harbor, Md. (June 14, 2010) – Last week, representatives from 18 countries who participated in the 12th annual Global Child Nutrition Forum issued the following call to action requesting the inclusion of school feeding on the international agenda, including at the African Union Summit next month.  The Forum, which brought together the largest gathering of 130 leading international school feeding experts, is a sign of the tremendous global movement afoot to implement school feeding programs. 

The Forum is the flagship program of US based Global Child Nutrition Foundation (GCNF), the international arm of the School Nutrition Association.  This year, the Forum was cosponsored by the Partnership for Child Development (Imperial College London).

ACCRA COMMUNIQUE

Dated: 10 June 2010

The largest ever gathering of leading international school feeding experts – the 2010 Global Child Nutrition Forum – has highlighted the importance of school feeding as a key mechanism to advance food security, education, and agricultural development.  Home grown school feeding promotes local agricultural development by providing smallholder farmers access to a stable market while simultaneously improving the education and nutrition of school children.

Recent calls have been made for nations to increase their annual budgets for agricultural development and to link school feeding programs to national agricultural production. In line with this the Forum delegates called for the inclusion of school feeding on the international agenda such as the African Union Summit in Kampala in July 2010.

Their call to action builds on:

• The 2010 Education for All (EFA) Addis Ababa Declaration that asks EFA partners to intensify efforts to support school feeding as an initiative that targets the most marginalized.
• The Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme’s (CAADP) key policy presenting home grown school feeding as a means to “increase food supply, (and) improve incomes for the poor and reduce hunger and malnutrition.”
• The 2009 L’Aquila Summit, where the G8 pledged to “stimulate sustainable growth of world food production, by promoting increased investment in agriculture, including through development assistance, and with particular attention to small-hold farmers.”

The Forum, held in Accra, Ghana in June 2010 was co-sponsored by the Global Child Nutrition Foundation and the Partnership for Child Development (Imperial College London).

Countries represented at the forum included Angola, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cape Verde, Chile, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Laos, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Russia, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda.

Other contributors and speakers included representatives of The New Partnership for Africa’s Development, The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme, The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, The World Bank, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, United Nations World Food Programme, United States Department of Agriculture, United States Agency for International Development, The Institute for Development Studies, Latin American School Feeding Network, PATH, and many active NGOs working across the globe on school feeding, health and agriculture.

For further information please contact:
Mr Francis Peel f.peel@imperial.ac.uk or Barbara Belmont bbelmont@schoolnutrition.org

The Global Child Nutrition Foundation (GCNF), www.gcnf.org, established in 2006, is a non-profit organization whose mission is to expand opportunities for the world’s children to receive adequate nutrition for learning and achieving their potential.

The School Nutrition Association (SNA), www.schoolnutrition.org, is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 55,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country.  The Association and its members are dedicated to feeding children safe and nutritious meals.  Founded in 1946, SNA is the only association devoted exclusively to protecting and enhancing children’s health and well being through school meals and sound nutrition education.

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School Nutrition Association Applauds House Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner
301-686-3124 Ext.
media@schoolnutrition.org

School Nutrition Association Applauds House Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill

New legislation provides additional funds; jumpstarts reauthorization process

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (June 10, 2010) – The School Nutrition Association applauded the US House Education and Labor Committee today for introducing the Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act of 2010, a Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill that includes critical funds to further improve healthy school meals.

At a press conference announcing the bill, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller thanked the School Nutrition Association and other advocacy groups for their work on child nutrition issues.

The House bill’s introduction reignites the reauthorization process. The legislation largely mirrors the Senate’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 provisions, but is expected to expand the Senate bill’s additional funds for child nutrition programs. 

“As school children nationwide are going on summer vacation, too many children who rely on free and reduced price meals are going without - adding urgency to Congress’ efforts to reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act,” said School Nutrition Association President Dora Rivas, MS, RD, SNS and Executive Director of Child Nutrition Services for Dallas ISD (Tex.).  “The introduction of a strong House Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill is jumpstarting the effort to meet the nutritional needs of America’s school children, expanding the reach of school meals to those in need and providing vital funds to support school nutrition programs as they offer students more healthy options.”

“School nutrition professionals have been working hard to offer students a wider variety of fresh produce, whole grains and low-fat dairy products, to reduce sodium, sugar and fat in school meals and connect students with nutrition education initiatives ranging from cooking classes to farm to school programs,” said Rivas.  “School nutrition programs are improving school meals despite limited budgets, complicated regulations and federal reimbursements that don’t meet the cost of preparing school meals.  We applaud efforts by both the Senate and the House to provide school nutrition programs with additional resources to build on these successes.”

The Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act of 2010 includes many critical improvements to the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs which SNA has advocated for, including:

• Assisting schools in meeting Institute of Medicine recommendations for school meals by increasing the federal reimbursement rate for school lunch.
• Granting the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to establish national nutrition standards for all foods sold on the school campus throughout the school day;
• Expanding universal meal service through community eligibility; a new option allowing high-poverty schools to offer free meals to all students without collecting paper applications;
• Establishing professional standards for school nutrition personnel and providing additional training for the individuals who operate the federal school nutrition programs;
• Expanding direct certification for school meals to include children who are eligible for Medicaid; and
• Expanding access to school breakfast, afterschool meals and the Summer Food Service Program.

For additional information SNA’s legislative priorities for Child Nutrition Reauthorization 2010, please see SNA's 2010 Legislative Issue Paper.

The School Nutrition Association is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 53,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country.  The Association and its members are dedicated to feeding children safe and nutritious meals.  Founded in 1946, SNA is the only association devoted exclusively to protecting and enhancing children’s health and well being through school meals and sound nutrition education.

 

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Report on School Wellness Fails to Feature School Meal Successes

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner
301-686-3075 Ext.
media@schoolnutrition.org

Report on School Wellness Fails to Feature School Meal Successes

National Harbor, MD (June 8, 2010) - A study released today on health-related policies in elementary schools fails to report on significant improvements in the meals served to America’s students through the National School Lunch Program.  The study, released by Bridging the Gap, a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, offers incomplete and misleading information about the foods served in school meals. 

For example, the survey asked schools whether they offer salad bars to students, but failed to ask about pre-packaged salads and other fresh fruit and vegetable options available to participating children.  With incredibly limited resources, many school nutrition programs simply do not have the necessary funds to purchase salad bars and provide constant staff oversight needed to ensure food safety and protect against cross-contamination.  However, the School Nutrition Association’s 2009 Operations Report found that students have access to a variety of healthy food choices with 91 percent of school districts nationwide offering either salad bars or pre-packaged salads and 98.8 percent offering fresh fruits and vegetables.

The Bridging the Gap survey also failed to acknowledge that kid favorites served through the National School Lunch Program must meet federal nutrition standards limiting fat, and schools have taken steps to make these items more nutritious.  Many schools have eliminated fryers and now bake French fries and offer sweet potato fries.  Pizza is often prepared with whole grain crusts, low fat cheese and low sodium sauce.  And these items are rarely offered on a daily basis – the report found that only 1 percent of schools surveyed offer fries “most or every day” and in only 5 percent of schools is pizza a choice “most or every day.”

“School nutrition programs have made tremendous strides, even in the last two years since this data was collected, to improve the nutrition, variety and taste of the healthy food choices offered under the National School Lunch Program,” said School Nutrition Association President Dora Rivas, MS, RD, SNS, and executive director of Food and Child Nutrition Services for the Dallas Independent School District in Texas.  “Every day, despite financial constraints, school nutrition programs are ‘bridging the gap’ between breakfast and dinner with more fruits and vegetables and healthy lunch options.  Each year, these programs are becoming more innovative from new nutrition education initiatives to locally sourced foods.”

School nutrition professionals do support the study’s policy recommendations as a way to build on the success of school meals programs.  To offer an even greater variety of fresh produce, low-fat dairy products and whole grains, Congress must increase the federal reimbursement rate for school meals. 

School Nutrition Association also supports consistent national nutrition standards for all foods sold in schools during the school day.  While local school wellness policies have encouraged school administrators to switch to healthy vending, federal policy should be established to ensure students receive the same messages about healthy food choices when they step outside the cafeteria.

School Nutrition Association and its members are working to promote healthy school environments and are proud partners of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign.

About School Nutrition Association:
The School Nutrition Association (SNA), www.schoolnutrition.org, is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 53,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country.  The Association and its members are dedicated to feeding children safe and nutritious meals.  Founded in 1946, SNA is the only association devoted exclusively to protecting and enhancing children’s health and well being through school meals and sound nutrition education.


 

 

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SNA Member Chefs Join First Lady for Chefs Move to School Event

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner
301-686-3124 Ext.
media@schoolnutrition.org

SNA Member Chefs Join First Lady for Chefs Move to School Event

Washington DC (June 4, 2010) – Today, SNA members Chef Brad Trudeau, Dallas Independent School District, Texas, Chef Tony Geraci, Baltimore City School District, Maryland, and Chef Tim Prosinski, Berlin Public Schools, Connecticut, joined First Lady Michelle Obama on the White House lawn for the official kick-off of Chefs Move to School. 

The event, drawing nationally renowned chefs from across the country, will celebrate the new Let’s Move! initiative to encourage chefs and school nutrition programs to join forces in providing children with healthy school meals and nutrition education.   Administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Chefs Move to Schools will allow chefs to share their expertise with schools - from developing menus that meet the USDA’s dietary standards within budget, to educating children about making healthy food choices.

“The School Nutrition Association is a proud partner of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! campaign, and we are excited to be a part of the Chefs Move to School initiative,” stated Dora Rivas, MS, RD, SNS, SNA President and Executive Director for Food and Nutrition Services in the Dallas Independent School District.  “Many school nutrition programs, including my own, are already benefiting from the expertise of highly trained food professionals including Chefs, Registered Dietitians and School Nutrition Specialists.  With the First Lady’s leadership, many more Chefs and schools will have the opportunity work together to promote healthy lifestyles for America’s children.”

Chefs and schools interested in participating can sign up by visiting www.letsmove.gov and clicking on the “Chefs Move to Schools” button.

SNA with Whitehouse Chef

Chefs Tony Geraci, Baltimore City School District, MD, Danny Seymour, SNA Dean of Education and Brad Trudeau, Dallas Independent School District, TX attend the Chefs Move to Schools event on the White House Lawn.

 

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