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Spring (Tex.) ISD Named First District of the Year in School Nutrition

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For Immediate Release
Contact: Erik Peterson
(703) 739-3900, ext. 124

epeterson@schoolnutrition.org

Spring (Tex.) ISD Named First District of the Year in School Nutrition

School Nutrition Association Recognizes Spring Child Nutrition Department as the Outstanding School Nutrition Program for 2008

PHILADELPIHA, July 23, 2008 – Spring (Tex.) Independent School District was named the District of the Year in School Nutrition today on the final day of the School Nutrition Association’s Annual National Conference. The District’s Child Nutrition Department was recognized for serving an increasing number of healthy school breakfasts and lunches and for superior financial and program management. Child Nutrition Director Melanie Konarik SNS accepted the award along with Assistant Superintendent Christine Porter on behalf of the district.

From student taste testing and increasing participation through the use of creative marketing of low fat and flavored milk, to making fruits and vegetables available in the classroom and focusing on training and certification of over 300 nutrition staff members, Spring’s Child Nutrition Department has raised the bar in exceeding the Keys of Excellence, the national standards for operating school nutrition programs. In an environment when food prices are challenging all foodservice operations, Spring’s Child Nutrition Department has been able to remain fiscally sound and maintain nutrition integrity while staying on the cutting edge with cafeteria décor and advanced equipment and staff training. Spring ISD became the first recipient of the award, for which eligibility is limited to those school nutrition programs that have earned the District of Excellence Distinction in School Nutrition.

As the District of the Year in School Nutrition, Spring ISD was awarded $25,000 to further improve and enhance their school nutrition program operations. The funds will be utilized to establish a nutrition resource lending library, a “leading by example” staff wellness program, promoting the nutritional quality of school meals to key community stakeholders, expanding the Coordinated Approach To Child Health (CATCH) program in the district and conducting nutrition education promotions for students featuring the “Food Power Hero.”

Whether offering low fat milk, whole grain items, making fresh fruits and vegetables available on every lunch line, keeping costs down, or menuing multiple options every day, it is evident why “nutrition, value and variety” are the three words that Spring’s Child Nutrition Department  uses to describe the breakfast and lunch fare offered daily. The staff is dedicated to providing quality food and service to Spring ISD students and faculty at all times. School meals are healthy and based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Spring ISD has a history of excellent reviews on state audits of the operation and nutritional integrity of the meals. Low fat entrees, a variety of milk flavors in kid-appealing plastic bottles and fresh fruit and vegetables are offered daily. Elementary students may choose from several entrees at each meal service while secondary schools offer eight or more entrees daily. The healthy meals may be the best value in town at 90 cents for an elementary breakfast and $1 for a secondary breakfast; and $1.50 for an elementary lunch and $1.75 for a secondary lunch. 

Spring ISD was one of six districts nationally awarded the District of Excellence Distinction. This recognition highlights school districts that complete a thorough self-assessment in all four “key” areas in the Keys to Excellence program then demonstrate that the national best practice standards that make up the “Keys” are met through a comprehensive application packet. The comprehensive application documents knowledge and application of national best practices in nutrition and nutrition education, communications and marketing, administration, and operations. By being named the District of the Year, Spring, Texas, rose above the District of Excellence applicants in 2008 by best reflecting the Keys Express national best practice standards. The district was also evaluated on the integration of their programming into the community and demonstrated dedication and commitment to setting examples for both students and other staff and faculty.

SNA 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.

The School Nutrition Foundation, established in 1964, is a non-profit corporation that provides high-quality professional development, financial aid and research programs to child nutrition professionals and members of the SNA.  The Foundation’s commitment to the child nutrition community is integral to implementing positive changes in school meals and, ultimately, to the health of school children.

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Katie Wilson, Ph.D, SNS Named President of School Nutrition Association

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For Immediate Release
Contact: Erik Peterson
(703) 739-3900, ext. 124
epeterson@schoolnutrition.org

Katie Wilson, Ph.D, SNS Named President of School Nutrition Association

PHILADELPHIA (July 23, 2008) – During the closing session of the School Nutrition Association’s 62nd Annual National Conference, over 6,000 members and participants welcomed a new president of the Association.

Katie Wilson, Ph.D, SNS, Director of School Nutrition for the Onalaska School District in Onalaska, Wis. became the 61st  president of the Association.  Wilson holds a doctorate in Foodservice and Lodging Management from the Child Nutrition Program Leadership Academy at Iowa State University.  She is also credentialed a School Nutrition Specialist.  In addition to her work as a school nutrition director, Wilson has taught at the University of Wisconsin.

Wilson began her career in school nutrition almost 20 years ago and currently serves as the Director of School Nutrition for the Onalaska School District in Onalaska, Wis. As President of SNA, Wilson is making the creation of national nutrition standards and uniformity in the school nutrition programs a primary focus.  Wilson is also dedicated to raising the professionalism of the school nutrition programs and increasing membership in the association.

Wilson is active in many professional and volunteer organizations.  She has served in numerous local, state, and national leadership roles leading up to her new position as President.  Wilson served on her first national SNA (formerly ASFSA) Committee in 1996 and as the 1994-1995 president of the School Nutrition Association of Wisconsin. Wilson succeeds Mary Hill, SNS, and will serve one year as the elected president of the School Nutrition Association.

Wilson was named president at the final session of the SNA conference in Philadelphia. The SNA Annual National Conference, July 20-23, 2008, featured over 6,000 school nutrition professionals and school foodservice industry members participating in over 100 workshops, the school nutrition industry’s largest exhibit hall and guest speakers including Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts.

The School Nutrition Association (SNA) 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.  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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From the Lunchroom to the Legislature:A Chronicle of the Recent History of School Meal Programs in America

 Permanent link

For Immediate Release
Contact: Erik Peterson
(703) 739-3900, ext. 124

epeterson@schoolnutrition.org

From the Lunchroom to the Legislature:
A Chronicle of the Recent History of School Meal Programs in America


ALEXANDRIA, Va. (July 21, 2008) – Sliced kiwi, turkey wrap on a whole-grain tortilla and a bottle of fat-free milk: school lunch has changed a lot in 20 years, and no organization knows this better than the School Nutrition Association (SNA).  Today, the nation’s leading authority on school nutrition released a new book detailing the recent history of the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program by recounting its own organizational challenges and triumphs.

A Measure of Excellence: The History of the School Nutrition Association, 1988-2008, chronicles the history of the Association from its move from Denver to the Washington, DC, area in 1988 to the present-day drive for uniform, national school nutrition standards.  The book offers a unique look at the one federal program nearly every American has participated in. Some of the historical highlights include:

  • Defeating the 1995 Congressional effort to eliminate the federal school nutrition programs.  In trying to reduce the size of government, the Contract with America plan included a provision that would eliminate the entitlement status of the federal school nutrition programs in favor of block grants to the states.  Association members fought a tough, difficult battle to defeat the provisions and maintain a national program that remains rooted in nutrition integrity. A legacy of that time, the struggle continues today to ensure that adequate funding is made at the local, state and federal levels in order to allow districts to offer healthy school meals.
  • Rebranding the Association with a new name.  In 2004, the American School Food Service Association became the School Nutrition Association.  The name change reflected the growing professionalism of Association members and the emphasis on providing well-balanced, nutritious meals to over 30 million children every school day.
  • Expanding the mission of school nutrition beyond U.S. borders. In 1997, the Association began hosting an annual forum for child nutrition officials working in different nations to share and learn new strategies for creating self-sustaining programs in their countries.  In 2006, the Global Child Nutrition Forum became the premier event held by SNA’s newly established Global Child Nutrition Foundation (GCNF). 
  • Creating nutrition standards and developing school wellness programs.  During much of the past 20 years, the Association continually has sought to improve the quality of school nutrition programs. Among its efforts, SNA was a driving force in the addition of a provision to the 2004 Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act mandating that school districts create local school wellness policies.  In 2008, the Association released a set of model school nutrition standards, ensuring that quality meals for students would be based on the latest nutrition science.

“During the last 20 years, the Association has met (many) challenges… with an unwavering commitment to excellence,” write SNA past presidents Karen Johnson, SNS and Donna Wittrock, SNS, in the book’s introduction. “We have recorded these events here to help future leaders build on these achievements. And we hope that, in doing so, we help to preserve the rich history and legacy of our Association.” The book is available for purchase online through the Association website at www.schoolnutrition.org 

The School Nutrition Association (SNA) 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.  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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