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SNA Press Releases

SNA Launches Personal Wellness Initiative

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DENVER, CO (July 18, 2012) – The School Nutrition Association (SNA) has launched the STEPS Challenge, a new personal wellness initiative designed to help its 55,000 member school foodservice professionals improve their quality of life, while embracing the healthy habits they promote in school cafeterias. The initiative, sponsored by Jennie-O Turkey Store, was announced before more than 6,300 attendees at SNA’s 66th Annual National Conference.

The STEPS Challenge stands for: Set your goals; Track your progress; Embrace new habits; Promote healthy eating; and Share your success. SNA members are invited to sign up for the program on SNA’s website, where they will have access to a wellness toolkit, healthy recipes, fitness ideas, wellness tips, and an email newsletter with healthy living resources.

Each participant will take on a new, achievable challenge each month, like eating breakfast, switching to whole grains and exercising with a friend or colleague. Participants track their progress and earn points for eligibility to enter drawings for prizes, including a gift certificate to a sports store, a subscription to a health magazine, or nutritious cookbooks. Those who participate in each monthly challenge for a year are entered in the grand prize drawing for a trip for two to Los Angeles, all expenses paid, to see a finale taping of NBC’s The Biggest Loser!

Members are also encouraged to submit their success stories so their colleagues can share inspiration and ideas for achieving success. SNA will promote the program to members throughout the year.

“Sometimes school nutrition professionals are so busy making sure our students are eating right, that we fail to make the time to establish healthy habits for ourselves,” said SNA’s new president, Sandra Ford, SNS, Director of Food and Nutrition for Manatee County School District (Florida). “The STEPS Challenge provides School Nutrition Association members with realistic, achievable steps and goals that provide a recipe for a healthier, happier lifestyle. SNA is thrilled to have the generous support of Jennie-O Turkey Store to help our members take the Challenge for better health.”

Members can sign up for the program at www.schoolnutrition.org/steps.

About School Nutrition Association:
The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing 55,000 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.

Sandra Ford Named 2012-2013 President of the School Nutrition Association

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner
703-576-7526 Ext.
media@schoolnutrition.org

Sandra Ford Named 2012-2013 President of the School Nutrition Association

DENVER, CO (July 18, 2012) — Sandra Ford, SNS, Director of Food and Nutrition for Manatee County School District (Florida), has become the 65th President of the School Nutrition Association (SNA), representing 55,000 school nutrition professionals nationwide. SNA members welcomed Ford to her new role during the closing session of SNA’s 66th Annual National Conference in Denver, CO.

Sandra Ford has held a distinguished career in field of school nutrition, successfully managing school meal programs in both Florida and Kansas. During her eight years with Manatee County, Ford turned around the district’s school meal program, putting the program on strong financial footing while providing students a wider variety of healthy choices in the cafeteria.

Ford also served 10 years as Director of Food and Nutrition Services for Blue Valley School District in Kansas, eight years at the Kansas Department of Education’s Nutrition Services department, and four years managing the school food service program at Avila College. Previously, she worked for the Dairy Council of Kansas City and as a high school teacher and adult education instructor. Ford earned her Bachelor of Science and Master’s Degree from Kansas State University.

Throughout her career, Sandra Ford has held numerous leadership roles with SNA, the School Nutrition Foundation and SNA’s Florida and Kansas state affiliates. She has been frequently recognized for her work, including being named Florida Director of the Year in 2009 and earning the FAME Silver Spirit Award in 2000, and the Thelma Flanagan Gold Award in 1994.

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About School Nutrition Association:
The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing 55,000 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.

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School Nutrition Professionals Honored for Extraordinary Achievements

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner
703-576-7526 Ext.
media@schoolnutrition.org

School Nutrition Professionals Honored for Extraordinary Achievements

DENVER, CO (July 15, 2012) – The School Nutrition Association (SNA) recognized three of its own today at the 66th Annual National Conference, in Denver, CO.  In addition to state and regional award winners, three SNA members received national recognition for their superior accomplishments in the school nutrition arena:

The National Louise Sublette Award of Excellence was awarded to Mitzi Marshall, cafeteria manager for Southern Elementary School, Georgetown, KY.  Marshall’s innovative and nutritious menu improvements have helped steadily increase the number of students and faculty choosing healthy school lunches and breakfasts each day.  Students love Marshall’s fresh fruit and vegetable smoothies at breakfast, and she’s even juicing vegetables and adding them to spaghetti sauce, chili and lasagna.  Marshall designed a “Student Spotlight” program to encourage students to make healthier food choices, and she has educated parents in her community about the nutrition and value of school meals.  

The 2012 National Outstanding Director of the Year is Sherri Knutson, Student Nutrition Services Coordinator for Rochester Public Schools, MN.  Knutson’s hard work, determination and commitment to bringing nutritious meals and innovative programs to Rochester’s school cafeterias are just a few of the many traits that have earned her recognition.  With over 20 years of experience in the school foodservice industry, she oversees cafeteria operations in 16 elementary schools, four middle schools, and three high schools as well as programs at alternative school sites. Recognizing student need and the importance of eating a healthy and well-balanced breakfast, Knutson worked with district administration to develop and implement a “Breakfast in the Classroom” pilot program.  She’s also been the driving force in developing a nationally recognized gluten-free menu, creating a wellness coordinator position and piloting a fresh fruit and vegetable initiative in the district.

This year’s National Heart of the Program Award goes to Kathie Sardeson, of Lassen View Elementary in Redding, CA.  Sardeson embodies the extraordinary commitment of school nutrition professionals to the students they serve.  She eagerly took on new tasks when her school began offering free breakfast for all students and launched a new mid-morning, healthy snack cart for students.  Sardeson enjoys experimenting with new recipes that add nutrition, color and taste appeal to the menu.  Kids love her “Fear Factor Smoothie” made with fruit, yogurt and leafy greens, and she even convinced students to try Kale Chips during a recent “Harvest of the Month” taste test.  Sardeson’s supervisor writes that “Kathie is always going the extra mile for her students, staff, and school community.  Kathie is the ‘Heart of the Program’ at Lassen View Elementary.”

About School Nutrition Association: 

The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing 55,000 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. 


 

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School Nutrition Professionals to Taste-Test Foods, Preview Equipment & Services

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner
703-576-7526 Ext.
media@schoolnutrition.org

School Nutrition Professionals to Taste-Test Foods, Preview Equipment & Services

School Nutrition Association’s ANC 2012 to feature nation’s largest exhibit of healthy trends in school meals

DENVER, CO (July 13, 2012) – On Monday, July 16, school nutrition professionals from across the country will sample healthy foods and beverages and preview equipment and services to help school cafeterias meet required new federal nutrition standards for school meals this fall.

Over 6,300 school nutrition professionals are gathering at the Colorado Convention Center for School Nutrition Association’s (SNA) 66th Annual National Conference (ANC), featuring the largest exhibit floor in school nutrition with more than 850 exhibit booths showcasing healthy, tasty, kid-friendly and energy-efficient products.

Six interactive Culinary Demonstrations will highlight innovative, nutritious recipes and the Cutting-Edge Complex will feature new equipment to help school cafeterias lower energy costs and prepare healthier meals. Attendees will find a number of exciting trends on display, including:

  • More Fruits and Vegetables: single-serve packages of sliced fresh fruits and vegetables for students on-the-go; allergy-free trail mix made with seeds and dried fruit; unsweetened apple and pear sauce; 100% fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies; baked sweet potato “fries” and puffs; falafel and hummus
  • Whole Grain Rich Foods: whole grain pretzels, crackers, bagels and bread, whole wheat pancakes and waffles, brown rice, barley, and even wheat berries
  • Lower-Sodium Foods: reduced sodium sauces for Asian stir fry and wraps; reduced sodium salsa and pasta sauce; low sodium, low fat meatballs; reduced sodium turkey sausage for breakfast
  • Kid Favorites Made Healthy: pizzas made with whole grain crust, low fat cheese and reduced sodium sauce; macaroni and cheese prepared with whole grain pasta and reduced fat and sodium cheese; reduced fat and lower sodium turkey burgers; low sodium, low fat ham for deli sandwiches
  • Healthy On the Go Breakfast and Snacks: fat-free yogurt parfaits and Greek yogurt cups; oatmeal bowls; whole grain, organic granola bars
  • Equipment, products and services that increase efficiency, sustainability and food safety: energy-efficient ovens and steamers; breakfast carts, milk coolers, salad bars and sneeze guards; biodegradable lunch trays; online meal payment systems; nutrition education resources and more.

Attendees will peruse the popular Produce Row, Dairy Way, USDA Lane and the eco-friendly Green Aisle. In the Wellness Village, attendees will gather health tips and undergo screenings from the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association and other organizations.

About School Nutrition Association:
The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing 55,000 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.

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Thousands Gather for School Nutrition Industry’s Largest Event

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

Thousands Gather for School Nutrition Industry’s Largest Event

 

SNA’s Annual National Conference 2012, July 15-18 in Denver, to feature healthy trends in school meals

DENVER, CO (July 11, 2012) – As school cafeterias nationwide prepare to meet new nutrition standards for school meals, the School Nutrition Association’s (SNA) Annual National Conference will allow school food service professionals to sample healthy new foods and innovative recipes, and learn methods and tips for strengthening meal programs from colleagues and experts across the country.

Over 6,300 school nutrition professionals are gathering in Denver, Colorado this weekend for SNA’s 66th Annual National Conference (ANC).  ANC 2012 offers more than 90 education breakout sessions, networking opportunities and the largest exhibit hall in school nutrition, featuring 850 exhibit booths packed with nutritious and tasty foods and beverages, services, equipment and technology.  

ANC 2012 provides members of the media an opportunity to understand trends and challenges facing school nutrition programs nationwide:

  • The largest exhibit hall in the school foodservice industry featuring 850 booths on approximately 289,000 square feet of space.  Exhibitors include suppliers of food, beverages, equipment, software/hardware technology and nutrition education resources.  On display will be a wide variety of whole grain products, low fat and low sodium items, fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy foods, nutritious snacks and much more. 
  • Six culinary demonstrations featuring innovative school recipes like Roast Asian Style Chicken.
  • Education sessions on topics including scratch cooking, school nutrition standards, Farm to School, food allergies, food safety, nutrition education, managing costs and more.
  • General session speakers include:  Sam Kass, White House Assistant Chef & Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives; Phil Lempert, food advocate & media personality; fitness expert Denise Austin; and the first female winner of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” Ali Vincent.  National awards of excellence in school nutrition will also be presented.
  • Video welcomes from former President Bill Clinton, founder of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, NBA Star Shaquille O'Neal, and Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock.

SNA offers complimentary press registration for credentialed media.  To register to attend ANC 2012, contact Diane Pratt-Heavner at media@schoolnutrition.orgor 301-686-3124.  Cameras and interviews are permitted only with permission and advanced press registration.

About School Nutrition Association: The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing 55,000 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 www.schoolnutrition.org/anc. 


 

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