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May 2007

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Critical Issues/LAC Wrap
May 2007

So much to do, so little time. Since the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) was “born” in 1946, school foodservice has played an integral role in the health and nutrition of American children, long remaining one of the key safety nets in place to alleviate childhood hunger and malnutrition in the United States. Student participation in the federal child nutrition programs continues to climb steadily (30.1 million children in the NSLP; 9.8 million in the School Breakfast Program, according to FY 2005 government figures).

But oh, the complexity that has accompanied this rise! In the May 2007 issue of School Foodservice & Nutrition, learn more about the critical issues facing school nutrition operations, the controversy over indirect costs and the efforts of child nutrition professionals to comply with HACCP—as well as the progress made at the Legislative Action Conference of the School Nutrition Association in March 2007.

Respected leaders in the school nutrition profession gathered for SNA’s third annual Roundtable of Leaders to discuss the challenges and rewards of this profession. From debating strategies for local school wellness policy implementation to lamenting financial struggles to sharing innovative labor solutions, their lively conversation is recorded in the article, “Speaking Their Minds.”

Next, discover an obscure pitfall in balancing that bottom line. The costs of operating a school meal program fall into two main categories: direct or indirect. While some school nutrition operations do not pay their own indirect costs, many are struggling to define their overhead expenses distinctly from the school district’s budget. In fact, what is considered an indirect cost in one district might be labeled direct at a neighboring system! Learn more in “The Hidden Costs of Feeding Young Minds.”

Meanwhile, the development of food-safety plans based on HACCP principles is now required of all districts across the country. In “On Closer Inspection,” SF&N checks with numerous operators about their efforts. It’s apparent that school meal programs are following HACCP principles diligently—but they continue to get a handle on the voluminous paperwork and to find roadblocks to receiving the required inspections.

And at SNA’s Legislative Action Conference, March 4-7, 2007, more than 750 school nutrition professionals, partners and advocates were eager to greet the new Congress and request legislative help in meeting current challenges. Read statistics about their progress—and view photos of the exciting events—in “Let Me Tell You About...” As you take on a hero’s task of balancing your budget, providing good nutrition, educating kids and much, much more, you are never alone!

May 2007 coverSpeaking Their Minds lock
Participants in School Foodservice & Nutrition’s third annual Roundtable of Leaders open up about the challenges and rewards of a profession that never gets dull.

The Hidden Costs of Feeding Young Minds lock
Since the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) was “born” in 1946, school foodservice has played an integral role in the health and nutrition of American children, long remaining one of the key safety nets in place to alleviate childhood hunger and malnutrition in the United States.

On Closer Inspection lock
After adding up the scores for new food-safety regulation implementation, schools clearly are making the grade.  But there is room for improvement.

Let Me Tell You About... lock
At SNA’s 2007 Legislative Action Conference, school nutrition advocates were eager to greet the new Congress and request legislative help in meeting current challenges.

 


 
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