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SNA Press Releases

Jarrett J. Krosoczka, School Nutrition Association and Random House Children’s Books Celebrate School Lunch Hero Day!

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

Jarrett J. Krosoczka, School Nutrition Association and Random House Children’s Books Celebrate School Lunch Hero Day!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD (April 22, 2014) – On Friday, May 2nd, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, author and illustrator of the popular LUNCH LADY graphic novel series, is teaming up with the School Nutrition Association and Random House Children's Books to host the second annual School Lunch Hero Day, a celebration offering students nationwide an opportunity to give thanks to the school nutrition professionals who feed 30 million students every day.

Inspired by his own childhood school lunch hero, Jean J. Cariglia, Jarrett J. Krosoczka created the popular LUNCH LADY series of graphic novels for kids, starring a crime-fighting school nutrition professional and her faithful sidekick, Betty. "Over the years since the Lunch Lady books made their debut, I've seen so many wonderful acts of kindness brought on by kids for their school lunch staff," says Krosoczka. "I'm thrilled to establish an annual holiday when kids across the country can let their school lunch staff know how much they appreciate what's being done for them on a daily basis."

School Lunch Hero Day encourages schools to honor the women and men working in their cafeterias and show their appreciation with cards, bouquets and special recognition for their kind service.  Creative ideas, posters, aprons, downloads in English and Spanish, and details are available at www.SchoolLunchHeroDay.com.

"School nutrition professionals offer students so much more than healthy meals," said School Nutrition Association President Leah Schmidt, SNS.  "School Lunch Hero Day gives students and schools an opportunity to thank their school nutrition staff for the many ways they serve students and how they make the cafeteria a fun and welcoming place for kids."

School lunch heroes have taken on a new challenge in recent years.  Updated federal nutrition standards for school meals require cafeterias to offer larger servings and a wider variety of fruits and vegetables, switch to whole grains and limit the sodium, calories and saturated fat in each meal.  School nutrition professionals have been mixing up the menu and getting students excited about eating healthier choices in school cafeterias, all while navigating students' special dietary needs.

The School Nutrition Association reports countless ways in which school lunch heroes show their strengths:

  • At Mead High School in Washington, Mary Brown's soft voice, kind words and wonderful smile make every student feel special.  Her manager reports that Mary is just as thoughtful in her food preparation.  "She is always very careful with the set up of her line, making sure it looks appetizing and eye-catching for our students.  Her veggie trays are colorful and so nicely presented."
  • Brenda Thompson of Raymond Cree Middle School in California has worked for years as a silent partner with the school guidance counselor to help kids in need.  As students come through the cafeteria she looks out for any with broken eyeglasses or worn out backpacks or shoes so these students can be discretely connected with special assistance programs.  She also collects books, blankets and jackets for a local home benefiting needy children.
  • Sailorway Middle School (Ohio) Cafeteria Manager Evie Hess is always experimenting with different fruit and vegetable recipes to find new student favorites, but recently she launched SNAC, the Student Nutritional Advisory Council, as a way to help students make healthier choices.  Evie hosted taste tests with the SNAC team to identify student favorites for the new cafeteria salad bar, including quinoa salad, kale chips and toasted chickpeas.  Up next?  Evie is bringing in a local chef to meet with the team. 
  • At Windham Raymond School District (RSU # 14) in Maine, students love to see Chef Samantha Gasbarro setting up her taste-test station in the cafeteria.  Chef Sam whips up delicious new recipes for school lunch, like BBQ made with locally raised chicken, and she's always working to get students involved in the process.  Chef Sam teaches a popular afternoon "Cooking Club" and is a frequent guest in classrooms to teach kids about healthy choices.  Chef Sam also oversees the district's Weekend BackPack program, which provides students in need with food for the weekend.

The latest title in the LUNCH LADY series, LUNCH LADY AND THE SCHOOLWIDE SCUFFLE, is available now.

About Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Jarrett J. Krosoczkais a two-time winner of the Children's Choice Book Award for the Third to Fourth Grade Book of the Year, and is author and illustrator of twenty books including the Lunch Lady graphic novel series and the Platypus Police Squad middle-grade novel series. Jarrett's TED Talk on his journey from boy to artist can be viewed on the TED website. He is also the host of The Book Report with JJK on SiriusXM's Kids' Place Live, a weekly segment celebrating authors, books and reading. His work has been recommended by national publications such as NPR, Newsweek, The New York Times and USA Today and his Punk Farm picture book and Lunch Lady series are in development to be feature films. Jarrett lives in Western Massachusetts with his wife, two daughters, and their dog, Ralph Macchio.

About School Nutrition Association
School Nutrition Association 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.  School Lunch Superhero Day will kick off SNA's annualSchool Nutrition Employee Week (May 5-9, 2014), recognizing the many contributions of school nutrition professionals. To find out more about today's school meals, visit www.TrayTalk.org.

Random House Children's Books is the world's largest English-language children's trade book publisher. Creating books for toddlers through young adult readers, in all formats from board books to activity books to picture books, novels, ebooks, and apps, the imprints of Random House Children's Books bring together award-winning authors and illustrators, world-famous franchise characters, and multimillion-copy series. The company's website, Kids @ Random (www.randomhousekids.com) offers an array of activities, games, and resources for children, teens, parents, and educators. Random House Children's Books is a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.

MEDIA CONTACTS
Diane Pratt-Heavner / media@schoolnutrition.org / 301-686-3124
Director of Media Relations, School Nutrition Association

Deb Shapiro / deb@debshapiroandcompany.com / 212-496-5808

Aisha Cloud / acloud@randomhouse.com
Senior Publicist, Random House Children's Books

 

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School Nutrition Professionals Discuss School Cafeteria Challenges at SNA’s Legislative Action Conference

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

School Nutrition Professionals Discuss School Cafeteria Challenges at SNA’s Legislative Action Conference

Washington, D.C. (March 2, 2014) – Approximately 1,000 school nutrition professionals from across the country have gathered in Washington, D.C., for the School Nutrition Association’s (SNA) 42nd annual Legislative Action Conference (LAC). Attendees are urging Congress to protect school meal programs as part of Child Nutrition Reauthorization 2015.

LAC comes at a crucial time as school nutrition professionals struggle to manage the cost of meeting new nutrition standards for school meals. Since the standards were implemented in 2012, more than 1 million fewer students chose school meals each day and meal programs have experienced rising food costs with declining program revenue.

To ensure the long term sustainability of child nutrition programs, LAC attendees will discuss the need for regulatory flexibility to help manage costs, increase student participation and ease administrative burdens for school menu planners.

LAC features a “Charge to the Hill” on Tuesday, when attendees head to the US Capitol to meet their members of Congress and discuss these concerns and the reauthorization priorities outlined in SNA’s 2014 Position Paper. The “Charge to the Hill” will culminate in an SNA Capitol Hill Reception in Rayburn Cafeteria (March 4, 5:30 pm).

LAC attendees will also participate in General Session discussions on competitive food standards, called Smart Snacks in School, and proposed professional standards for school meal program personnel. USDA will provide an update on recent and upcoming regulatory changes as well. Click here for a schedule of events.

School Nutrition Association’s (SNA) 42nd annual Legislative Action Conference (LAC) runs from March 2-5, 2014, at the JW Marriott Hotel, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. Media wishing to attend LAC must contact Diane Pratt-Heavner at (703) 576-7526 or media@schoolnutrition.org to register.

For more information on SNA’s 2014 Position Paper, click here.

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. To find out more about today’s school meals, visit www.TrayTalk.org.

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School Cafeterias to Celebrate National School Breakfast Week (March 3-7)

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

School Cafeterias to Celebrate National School Breakfast Week (March 3-7)

Take Time for School Breakfast Campaign Promotes the Benefits of the School Breakfast Program

National Harbor, MD (February 27, 2014) – Next week, school cafeterias across the country will celebrate National School Breakfast Week (March 3-7) by hosting “Take Time for School Breakfast” celebrations designed to highlight how eating a balanced school breakfast contributes to academic achievement.

The majority of Americans feel breakfast is important, and research shows students who eat breakfast score better on standardized test, yet hectic mornings make it difficult to fit the meal in every day. In fact, 40 percent of moms say that their child does not eat breakfast daily, according to Kellogg’s recent Breakfast in America survey.

The 2014 National School Breakfast Week theme, “Take Time for School Breakfast,” encourages parents to consider the school breakfast program as a time-saving option for busy mornings. School breakfast choices include protein, grains, fruit or 100% fruit juice and low-fat milk and new nutrition standards for school meals mean more whole grains and more fruit at breakfast, while fat, sodium and calories are limited.

Schools are getting creative with breakfast service options that help students make time for breakfast despite late bus arrivals and early morning class schedules. Grab-and-go options, breakfast in the classroom service, breakfast carts and kiosks around the school building are becoming more prevalent in schools.

As part of next week’s campaign, schools will celebrate the benefits of school breakfast with cafeteria events including an art contest, activities for students and special menus. To get parents in on the fun, the School Nutrition Association will host a National School Breakfast Week giveaway contest on www.Facebook.com/TrayTalk.

“Take Time for School Breakfast” was created by the non-profit School Nutrition Association with support from Kellogg’s Foodservice. Celebrating its 25th Anniversary, National School Breakfast Week was launched in 1989 to raise awareness of the availability of the School Breakfast Program (SBP) to all children and to promote the links between eating a good breakfast, academic achievement and healthy lifestyles.

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SNA to Comment on Proposed Rule on Professional Standards

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

SNA to Comment on Proposed Rule on Professional Standards

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD (January 31, 2014) – The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released proposed regulations on professional standards for all school nutrition employees. USDA’s announcement and a link to the proposed regulations can be found at this link.

The School Nutrition Association (SNA), representing 55,000 school nutrition professionals working in school cafeterias nationwide, has already mobilized a representative task force of SNA members to review the details of the proposed rule. The task force will assess the impact of the rule on school nutrition professionals and school meal programs, gather extensive input from SNA members and craft SNA’s official comments in response to the rule.

"School nutrition professionals work tirelessly to provide well balanced, nutritious school meals that support improved healthy and academic achievement for America’s students,” said SNA President Leah Schmidt, SNS. "School Nutrition Association (SNA) supports the development of professional standards to further elevate the quality and efficacy of school meal programs and enhance the public’s confidence in school nutrition professionals. We look forward to reviewing the details of USDA's proposed rule and providing SNA member feedback."

SNA has been at the forefront of advancing professional development opportunities for school nutrition professionals. The Association offers educational conferences, webinars and top notch Certification and Credentialing programs.

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. To find out more about today’s school meals, visit www.TrayTalk.org.

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