May 2006


Critical Issues/LAC Wrap
May 2006

Each of you is part of a fantastic federal program that provides school lunches to nearly 30 million children every school day. That’s an incredible number—and there may be days when you feel like you have served all those meals single-handedly! In the meantime, how do you deal with critical issues affecting your work, including legislative concerns? School Foodservice & Nutrition is here to help, with this month’s primer on issues ranging from rising energy costs to local school wellness policies.

The May magazine features a review of SNA’s Legislative Action Conference, an exploration of how school nutrition professionals are coping with rising gas prices and a preview of new computer technologies that may ease your job duties. This issue also includes the magazine’s second annual Roundtable of Leaders, who discuss everything from local school wellness policies to nutrition education.

The Roundtable showcased what most of America’s universities fail to promote: consummate professionals committed to a rewarding mission, invigorated by the challenges and opportunities inherent in this unique, school foodservice profession. In “Voices of School Nutrition,” child nutrition experts conduct a lively conversation about the multitude of issues facing this field today: Wellness policies. Nutrition standards. HACCP plans. Commodity processing. Multiple serving sites. Bid-based procurement. Standardized recipes. Reimbursement paperwork. Internal competition sources. Federal, state and local regulations. Marketing and promotion. Cafeteria and classroom education. It’s all here.

Next, learn how districts nationwide are dealing with high energy costs. Fuel surcharges and trash bag price tags aren’t the only consequences of rising national fuel costs. Even if they haven’t seen fuel surcharges (yet), many schools may be contending with the increased costs of operating department delivery trucks, increased utility costs and any number of other costs that can be attributed to higher fuel costs.

But not all the news is bad news. Barry Sackin, SNA’s former staff vice president of public policy, provides a sneak peek of exciting new technology in “Seeking the Holy Grail.” The holy grail for information management in school foodservice is having data entered once by the persons closest to taking the information--and never needing to enter it again. Sackin traces the evolution of this dream from the early days of bulky, troublesome, slow computers to the cutting-edge School Interoperability Framework, which may make that dream finally come true.

Lastly, be inspired by the rousing battle cry of those who attended SNA’s Legislative Action Conference, March 12-15, 2006. Enjoy photos and quotes from leaders who rallied school nutrition professionals to lobby Capitol Hill. And remember, even if you weren’t at the conference, America’s children still need your help. Marshall Matz, SNA's Washington counsel, provides quick tips on simple steps you can take to influence the politics affecting school nutrition. This month’s issue of SF&N is a smorgasbord of critical issues in one slim, convenient volume for easy reading—and quick solutions.

May 06 coverVoices of School Nutrition lock
Discourse, discussion and dialogue from School Foodservice & Nutrition’s second annual Roundtable of Leaders.

Invest in the Future lock
“If we do not invest in children today, the United States will not be the number-one economy in the next century.”  School nutrition advocates took this message to Capitol Hill during SNA’s 2006 Legislative Action Conference.

Seeking the Holy Grail lock
How far are we on the quest for good information management in school nutrition? The author, a tech-lover of long standing, sees success almost within our grasp.

Cruel Fuel lock
Rising oil prices aren’t just causing pain at the pumps. How are school nutrition operations coping? A few “postcards” from across the United States tell a varied tale.




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