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School Nutrition Professionals to Raise Awareness about Childhood Hunger with Grassroots Student Drive

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Erik Peterson 703-739-3900

epeterson@schoolnutrition.org

School Nutrition Professionals to Raise Awareness about Childhood Hunger with Grassroots Student Drive

SNA Announces Global Child Nutrition Month to Take Place April 2008

ALEXANDRIA, VA. (December 21, 2007) - This spring, the School Nutrition Association (SNA) and its members invite students nationwide to bring some extra change to school with them.  In conjunction with the Global Child Nutrition Foundation (GCNF), school nutrition professionals are encouraged to take one day, one week or all month in April 2008 to partner with students and teachers in raising funds for the fight against global hunger.

As part of SNA’s first-ever Global Child Nutrition Month in April, the grassroots fundraising goal is to collect coins from schools across the country to total a one million dollar donation.  The donation will be used by GCNF or other local and international hunger organizations to raise awareness about the ravages of hunger among children worldwide and here in the United States and to help fund solutions to global hunger and poverty.

As many as 300 million of the world’s children are trapped in the grinding cycle of poverty and hunger.  According to the World Food Programme, 170 million of these children attend school, but most do not receive meals there.  Because a hungry child cannot learn or thrive, a society whose children live in hunger will never prosper. GCNF works to help nations build and sustain school feeding programs to nurture and educate children - the most effective means of breaking the cycle of poverty.

Whether helping with fundraising or with efforts to raise awareness, school nutrition professionals are taking important steps toward ending childhood hunger in the US and abroad.  SNA industry members are also taking action to be part of the solution to global hunger.  Schwan’s Food Service Inc. has developed the “Change Our World” program to promote students’ awareness of global hunger. During designated days and weeks, students will have numerous giving opportunities, including the invitation to bring 25 cents to school to give to GCNF.  With the new “Change Our World” Web site, www.changeourworldonline.org, students and staff will be able to track their success and compete with other schools in their area and around the US.

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 country.

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Edward M. Cooney to Receive 2008 Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award

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For Immediate Release
Contact: Julie Curtis
Global Child Nutrition Foundation
(703) 739-3900, ext. 145

Edward M. Cooney to Receive 2008 Gene White
Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (December 11, 2007) – The 2008 Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition will be awarded to a leader who has spent over thirty five years combating hunger in the U.S. and internationally. Edward M. Cooney, Executive Director of the Congressional Hunger Center (CHC), will be honored as a champion of child nutrition at the 5th annual A Possible Dream Gala on March 4, 2008, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC.

Mr. Cooney has spent his professional career dedicated to the cause of feeding hungry children.  His work began as a legal services attorney in Connecticut in the early 1970’s and progressed to state, national and now international programs. He has worked with nutrition and public assistance program participants, faith-based groups, local and state officials, and anti-hunger groups. His work through public and private sectors has set policy and promoted child nutrition programs worldwide. He has been an ardent supporter of child nutrition programs and has stood with the School Nutrition Association as they have lobbied relentlessly on behalf of these programs throughout the years.
 
Mr. Cooney has served as the chief lobbyist and political strategist for the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC).  In this capacity, he worked on every major federal food assistance program bill from 1979 to 1996, including legislation which led to full funding of the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program, increased participation by low-income children in the School Breakfast Program and improved access to and significant benefit increases in the Food Stamp Program.

As the Deputy Administrator for Special Nutrition Programs with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Mr. Cooney’s primary responsibilities included the development of policy, legislation and regulations for all child nutrition programs, WIC, The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and other commodity assistance programs.  As the chief architect of the 1998 Child Nutrition Program Reauthorization bill, he was able to create new entitlements for nutritious snacks for at-risk youth in after school programs and meal service for young children in homeless families.

As the Executive Director of 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.

Mr. Cooney will be the sixth recipient of the award, created to honor the woman for whom it was named – Gene White, an extraordinary woman who dedicates her life to children and the benefits that good nutrition can provide them.  Other recipients of this award include Senators Bob Dole and George McGovern, Dr. Josephine Martin and Catherine Bertini. 

The A Possible Dream Gala will take place during SNA’s Legislative Action Conference, which will be held from March 2-5, 2008.  This year marks the 5th anniversary of this gala event which was designed to honor champions of childhood hunger and raise awareness and funds for the Global Child Nutrition Foundation’s efforts to combat global child hunger through sustainable school feeding programs.  During the gala, two other champions of child nutrition will be honored. Geri Dee, SNS, the 2007 National Outstanding Director of the Year, and Mimi Ford, the 2007 SNA Industry Member of the Year, will be recognized for their tremendous contributions to child nutrition.

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 country.

 

Strawberries, Watermelon, Grapes, Oh My!

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

Strawberries, Watermelon, Grapes, Oh My!
Study Finds Students Will Opt for Healthy Foods in the Lunch Line

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (December 7, 2007) Strawberries, grapes, and yogurt are just some of the healthier food items children prefer, researchers argue in a new study released this week. Kent State University researchers surveyed 1,818 students in grades 3 through 12, asking them what their favorite foods were.  The study, included in the Fall 2007 issue of the Journal of Child Nutrition & Management, found that items such as strawberries, watermelon, white milk, and string cheese ranked among the “Top 20” foods, demonstrating that children will eat fruits, vegetables, and dairy products.

The researchers also found differences in taste between grade levels. Elementary school students were more likely to rank fruits much higher than older children, while “fast and familiar” foods such as chicken nuggets and hamburgers were less preferred by middle school and high school students.

Although healthy items made the “Top 20” list, children still consider pizza, French fries, and chicken nuggets among their favorite foods.  The researchers attribute this to the influence of culture on students.  On average, approximately 30% of students consume fast food on any given day, making it more likely that students will eat these foods at school.  To accommodate their tastes, school nutrition professionals offer these items, but use healthier ingredients such as whole grains, low-fat cheese, and lean meats and prepare the foods with healthier cooking techniques such as baking.

“School foodservice professionals and dietitians have been promoting the consumption of a wide variety of foods for a healthy diet,” concluded researchers .  “Menu planners should consider the inclusion of these selections (favorite foods) in their menus as means to improve nutritional quality as well as satisfaction.”

The Journal of Child Nutrition & Managementis the premier research journal for school nutrition professionals andis a publication of the School Nutrition Association

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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