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SNA Press Releases

School Nutrition Experts Call for Child Nutrition Funding and Uniform Nutrition Standards

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Erik Peterson
703-739-3900 ext 124
epeterson@schoolnutrition.org

School Nutrition Experts Call for Child Nutrition Funding and Uniform Nutrition Standards

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (March 28, 2008) –- Early next month, more than 700 school nutrition professionals will discuss the crisis in funding for school meal programs and urge the Congress to require science-based, yet practical, uniform national school nutrition standards to govern the sale of all foods and beverages available during the school day. The School Nutrition Association’s (SNA) 36th annual Legislative Action Conference in Washington, DC, March 2-5, 2008, will bring together school nutrition directors and supervisors, nutritionists, state child nutrition directors and foodservice industry representatives.

The emphasis on nutrition standards will build from efforts related to the drafting of the Farm Bill last year. This year however, as the national economic picture becomes more uncertain, school nutrition professionals will also provide lawmakers with the facts on school meal costs. The child nutrition programs are both under pressure to serve nutritious meals to more low-income children while being pinched by increased food, labor and milk costs.

“The federal government currently reimburses schools $2.47 for each balanced, healthy meal provided to children from families making 130% of poverty or less. A latte costs more. This is not adequate to cover the cost of producing a school meal,” said Mary Hill SNS, president of SNA. The costs of food, transportation, labor and benefits, training, equipment and indirect expenses, are all increasing rapidly and meal charges as well as federal, state and local financial support for the child nutrition programs have not kept pace.

The key legislative issues the School Nutrition Association (SNA) is advocating for this year are:

  • Giving the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to regulate and enforce the sale of food and beverages outside of the cafeteria.
  • Requiring all a la carte and competitive food sales to be consistent with the Dietary Guidelines, as is required for school meals.
  • Requiring national uniformity for the school meal pattern throughout the country. Children in all states and local districts need the same nutrients to grow and be healthy. The current lack of uniformity is increasing the cost of the programs.
  • In the face of record food, labor and milk process, calling for adequate funding to support healthful meals being offered through school nutrition programs.

Activities of the 36th Annual Legislative Action Conference at the J.W. Marriot Hotel in Washington, DC will also include:

  • Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee Chair Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Ranking Member Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) as well as House Agriculture Committee Chair Colin Peterson (D-Minn.) Noted political commentator Amy Walter will give the opening keynote address.
  • Panel discussions will include SNA’s 2008 legislative priorities, perspectives on the need for national nutrition standards, the school nutrition funding crisis and an update on child nutrition activities from the USDA.
  • SNA members will take their message to Capitol Hill, sharing the nutritional value of school meals and the need for key policy changes with members of Congress on March 4, 2007.
  • On Tuesday, March 4, 2007, SNA president Mary Hill, SNS is scheduled to testify at a hearing held by the House Committee on Education and Labor.   
  • The Global Child Nutrition Foundation and SNA will honor the Executive Director of the Congressional Hunger Center Ed Cooney with the 2008 Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award at the “A Possible Dream Gala” on Tuesday evening, March 4, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.  Other award recipients will be Geri Dee, SNS, 2007 Outstanding School Nutrition Director of the Year and Mimi Ford 2007 Individual Industry Member of the Year.  Proceeds from the evening will benefit the Global Child Nutrition Foundation’s initiatives to promote sustainable school feeding programs worldwide.

The School Nutrition Association 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. 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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Global Child Nutrition Foundation Gala to Recognize Achievements in International School Feeding

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Alexis Steines
(703) 739-3900, ext. 175
asteines@schoolnutrition.org


Global Child Nutrition Foundation Gala to Recognize Achievements in International School Feeding

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (February 27, 2008) -- The Global Child Nutrition Foundation’s 5th annual A Possible Dream Gala will take place Tuesday, March 4, 2008, and honor several champions of child nutrition, including the 2008 recipient of the Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award. The gala supports the Foundation’s mission to raise awareness about the global epidemic of child hunger and the school feeding programs that are stopping its spread.  Events begin at 7:00 pm at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC

All proceeds from the gala benefit the Global Child Nutrition Foundation (GCNF), an organization striving to ensure that children worldwide have a better future through effective and sustainable school feeding programs.

Edward Cooney, Executive Director of the Congressional Hunger Center, is this year’s recipient of the Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award.  Mr. Cooney has spent his professional career dedicated to the cause of feeding hungry children.  At the Congressional Hunger Center, a nonprofit anti-hunger training organization which exemplifies a bipartisan approach to ending hunger, Mr. Cooney oversees the Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellows Program which provides year-long leadership development for emerging leaders in the fight against hunger in the United States.  He also oversees the Mickey Leland International Hunger Fellows Program which sends talented US citizens to the world’s poorest countries to continue the fight against hunger.

Previous gala honorees have included former Senator George McGovern, former Senator Robert Dole and Catherine Bertini, former executive director of the U.N. World Food Program.  The award is named for GCNF founder and board president Gene White, an extraordinary woman who dedicates her life to children and the benefits that good nutrition can provide them.

Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and current Motion Picture Association of American chairman and CEO Dan Glickman will serve as master of ceremonies for the event.  Several members of Congress are also expected to attend as is Emmanuel Ohene Afoakwa, a professor at the University of Ghana and a leader in international school feeding program development. 

“The A Possible Dream Gala is a wonderful event that showcases the efforts made by child nutrition advocates and the school nutrition community, “ said GCNF Board member and past School Nutrition Association President Janey Thornton, Ph.D, SNS.   “Through the gala, we can raise awareness about the necessity of international school feeding programs to provide children in developing countries with good nutrition and an education.”

The Global Child Nutrition Foundation (www.gcnf.org) is a nonprofit corporation whose mission and vision are to help the nations of the world nurture young bodies and advance young minds through the time-tested practice of school-based nutrition.  The School Nutrition Association (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 United States.

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School Breakfast Fuels Kids' Imagination

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Erik Peterson
703-739-3900 ext 124
epeterson@schoolnutrition.org

School Breakfast Fuels Kids' Imagination

ALEXANDRIA, VA (February 19, 2008) – Before lifting off on a space mission or sitting down to write a story, astronauts and authors alike must eat a balanced breakfast. To help boost breakfast participation in schools and excite students about fueling their bodies to power their minds, the School Nutrition Association (SNA) has launched the “Fuel Your Imagination” campaign.
 
School breakfast provides the necessary fuel to start a day of learning and achievement, providing 25 percent of the recommended daily allowance of protein, calcium, iron, vitamins A and C and calories and meeting the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  Research has shown that children who eat breakfast at school:

  • Score better in standardized tests    
  • Have fewer health issues    
  • Behave better in class  

Furthermore, research indicates that kids who skip breakfast rarely make up for missed nutrients later in the day so skipping breakfast could also affect students’ performance in after-school activities.

For National School Breakfast Week, March 3-7, 2008, school cafeterias nationwide will be transformed into rocket launch pads and students will be writing and sharing their creative short stories about how nutritious school breakfasts fuel their days.  The three winning stories from the “Fuel Your Imagination” creative writing contest, along with the results of an ongoing ‘rocket race’ between three popular breakfast items, can be found at the official “Fuel Your Imagination” Web site:  http://www.schoolbreakfast.org.

From breakfast-themed classroom door-decorating contests to celebrity servers on the breakfast line, schools are celebrating the power of school breakfast. Special breakfast menus featuring “Blast Off Burrito with Rocket Wedges” and “Molten Space Cereal with Asteroids and Space Dust” and out-of-this-world décor in the cafeteria set the stage for important nutrition education messages about the positive impact school breakfast has on concentration and test scores.  
 
School meals are served in age-appropriate portion sizes and schools have many different serving techniques - from ‘grab and go’ bags and hallway kiosks to breakfast in the classroom and traditional cafeteria service.  Many schools are offering breakfast at no cost to students because of the proven value of eating breakfast. School breakfast today includes whole grains found in cereal, cereal bars and bagels, as well as fruit and low fat dairy including milk and yogurt.

The positive effects that eating breakfast has on students’ performance in school continues to grow as more schools are serving breakfast.  The School Breakfast Program has been in place for about 40 years and today about ten million children eat school breakfast everyday.  
 
The School Nutrition Association launched NSBW in 1989 to raise awareness about the availability of breakfast for all students at school and to draw attention to the link between eating a good breakfast and cognitive growth. SNA’s National School Breakfast Week promotions are made possible with support from the National Dairy Council and General Mills Foodservice.

The School Nutrition Association 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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South Carolina School Cooking Up Success

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Erik Peterson
703-739-3900 Ext. 124

epeterson@schoolnutrition.org

South Carolina School Cooking Up Success
School Nutrition Foundation and Winston Industries Announce Equipment Award Winner

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (January 31, 2008) – North District Middle School in Varnville, South Carolina, was selected from more than 60 applicants nationwide to receive the first-ever School Nutrition Foundation’ Winston Industries Equipment Award.  The school kitchen, serving the only middle school in Hampton School District One, will receive quality commercial kitchen equipment including Holding Cabinets, Holding Drawers and a Steamer from Winston Industries, Inc. - a leading foodservice equipment manufacturer located in Louisville, Kentucky.

School nutrition coordinator Mozelle Murdaugh applied for the Equipment Award for North District Middle School to update the 40-year-old kitchen equipment that often needs expensive repairs. “Having this equipment would allow students to receive another daily choice of healthy entrees,” said Murdaugh.  “The new steamer will be used to steam more foods and fresh vegetables.”  Funds that would have been spent to purchase the needed equipment will now go to improving services and giving students even more healthy options for lunch.

As school nutrition programs nationwide provide healthy school breakfasts and lunches to students at a national average of less than $2.00 per balanced meal, costs to upgrade and replace kitchen equipment are often difficult to cover. For this reason, the School Nutrition Foundation’ Winston Industries Equipment Award was created in 2007 to assist school nutrition programs to secure the equipment they need to continue to offer quality, nutritious meals.  "With the trend towards more fruits and vegetables, whole grain items and less fried foods in schools, the need for modern kitchen equipment becomes even greater. The School Nutrition Foundation is proud to work with Winston Industries to make this much needed Equipment Award possible to North District Middle School," said SNF President Janey Thornton, PhD, SNS.  

“With the assistance of the School Nutrition Foundation we feel we have identified a very real economic situation and need in school foodservice.  This type of assistance is going to provide North District Middle School the opportunity to make a great nutritional impact on their community and serve students quicker and more efficiently. Winston Industries is delighted to be able to offset the total costs of renovation and equipment upgrades,” said Jill Conklin of Winston Industries. “It is our opportunity to give back to a dedicated group of foodservice professionals and truly help provide solutions in child nutrition programs.” North District Middle School will receive the ten pieces of new kitchen equipment this spring.  Plans are currently underway to offer the School Nutrition Foundation’ Winston Industries Equipment Award again this summer.

About the School Nutrition Foundation
The School 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 School Nutrition Association (SNA.) 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. SNA 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.

About Winston Industries
Winston Industries, LLC is an international manufacturer and distributor of foodservice equipment. Founded in Louisville, Kentucky in 1969, the company manufacturers Collectramatic® and CVap foodservice equipment. Additional information about Winston Industries is available at www.winstonind.com.

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