October 2014

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October 2014
View Digital Edition here

Jumpstart Your Operation With School Nutrition

Breathe new life into your school nutrition program with the help of the October issue of School Nutrition, the flagship publication of the School Nutrition Association (SNA). Each feature article in this month’s issue is devoted to assisting you in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of your operation.

In “Taking the Reins,” nine school nutrition professionals who recently took on a new challenge—either moving to their first role as a director or to a new, different school district—sat down at the 10th annual Roundtable of Leaders at the 2014 Annual National Conference in Boston. Each operator encountered various challenges that had to be overcome with a change in mindset, creative thinking, hard work or all of the above.
Bonus Web Content: See additional reflections from the Roundtable, including what they have learned about themselves in taking on a new role, resources that have proven invaluable, initial achievements and advice for others starting as a district’s new director.

Many directors, new or seasoned, know the importance of using data to improve their operation—are you tapping into this valuable resource? In “Get Into the Numbers Game,” writer Patrick Writes digs deeper into how the details of data can help you better manage food costs, make hiring decisions and even increase your free/reduced-priced applications. Learn more about why you can’t manage what you don’t measure.
Bonus Web Content: Review expert reflections on how to sell the importance of data to your entire team, data collection strategies and a list of resources that can help you gather even more data to take your program to the next level.

If you’re not quite sure where to get that all-important data, check out “Do You Hold Keys to Success?,” in which SN Managing Editor Kelsey Casselbury clues you into SNA’s revamped online benchmarking tool, Keys to Excellence. In this article, glean how SNA is making it easier than ever to compare your school or district’s data against past performance—and against other districts around the same size or in the same geographical area. The results can direct you where to invest efforts for improvement, make the case for change or prove your achievements to various stakeholders.

When you have that data, what else will you do with it? “Ready, Aim…What’s Your Target?” by Susan Davis Gryder, looks at why you should set goals for your school nutrition operation, the best ways to go about it and why you should think SMART. This article includes brainstorming exercises to create specific steps to creating goals and, of course, achieving them.

October’s issue of School Nutrition also offers up details on 30 products that Secret Shoppers found in the Exhibit Hall at July’s Annual National Conference in Boston. These products might be just what you need to improve participation or make your operation more effective, so don’t miss the full review! Lastly, in “A Fine Kettle of Fish,” Patricia L. Fitzgerald and Contributing Editor Cecily Walters share their experiences in touring commercial trout and pollock fisheries, two fish often served in K-12 facilities. This article also features four fish recipes just right for your lunchroom.
Bonus Web Content: If four recipes just aren’t enough, get three more online—SchoolNutrition.org features recipes for two types of fish tacos and a sole “burger.”

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