SNA News

Plan a Patriotic NSLW Celebration with Resources and Merchandise from SNA!

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August 27, 2013 – National School Lunch Week (NSLW) is right around the corner: October 14-18, 2013. It’s the perfect opportunity to promote your program and increase participation! This year’s theme, “School Lunch Across the USA” is a celebration of the flavors and ingredients from all over the country. Visit for downloadable tools like:


  • A toolkit with 10+ pages of ideas and tips
  • Customizable PR & marketing resources – just plug in your district’s information
  • Regional recipes to serve – sourced from SNA members!
  • Logos and art for your menu or website (even a Facebook cover photo for your page)
  • …and much more

Don’t forget to check out official “School Lunch Across the USA” merchandise at SNA’s Emporium. Visit to shop for posters, aprons, t-shirts, balloons, buttons, pencils, and more. Don’t delay! Order soon so your products arrive in time for NSLW!

The NSLW 2013 resources are made possible by McCormick for Chefs and MilkPEP.

The School Nutrition Foundation, in partnership with the National Dairy Council, presents, “Building Partnerships between Schools and Chefs.”

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August 21, 2013 – If you are thinking about working with a chef or are curious how a chef could assist your program, this presentation is for you!

Join us as we follow Jefferson County Public Schools (KY), Knox County Public Schools (TN) and Charleston County School District (SC) to hear how collaborative school-chef partnerships have enhanced these child nutrition programs.

Join us for a 20-minute tour and have a better idea of how to:

  • Get started and find the right chef for your program
  • Set realistic goals for working with a chef
  • Learn how to build lasting partnerships that result in creating a positive environment for change

By working with a chef, these three districts have seen measurable results including increased participation, staff acceptance and engagement, as well as district wide change in education efforts and the perception of school nutrition.

To learn more about how to view the presentation, visit the Beyond Breakfast blog!

Breakfast in the Classroom: A Case Study

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August 13, 2013 – The School Nutrition Foundation in partnership with the National Dairy Council is proud to bring you: “Breakfast in the Classroom: A Case Study of Dallas and Memphis.”

Join us as we follow two districts for an inside look of how the Breakfast in the Classroom program has resulted in increased breakfast participation. Learn about steps that were taken to increase the overall success, including:

  • Menu related changes
  • Decision making processes including staff training and development
  • Different operation models used to implement breakfast in the classroom

This pilot was funded by the Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom (PBIC), a partnership of four national organizations, Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), National Association of Elementary School Principals Foundation (NAESPF), National Education Association Health Information Network (NEA HIN) and the School Nutrition Foundation (SNF), funded by the Walmart Foundation.

To learn more or to view the case studies, please visit the Beyond Breakfast blog.

A Message from SNA President Leah Schmidt

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August 9, 2013 – As I begin my year as SNA president, I’d like to tell you how fortunate I feel to be leading the Association, which is fresh from a transformative year under the leadership of Sandra Ford, SNS. Sandy has helped guide me toward the position I now hold, partnering with me to serve the members and advance the mission of SNA.

As I think about the word, “partner,” particularly in the context of this year’s theme, “Positive Partnerships for Healthy Results,” I continue to be appreciative of SNA’s powerful and impressive partners. They include a wide base of extraordinary school nutrition operators and industry members, as well as SNA state affiliates, state agencies, USDA and the National Food Service Management Institute (NFSMI), the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), and other allied organizations including the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Share our Strength and the PEW Charitable Trusts. It’s through the cooperative efforts of these integral partners that it is possible to achieve the healthy, successful results that we all desire for our nation’s children.

As I look to the upcoming year, I am excited about what lies ahead. In particular, I am looking forward to additional opportunities for enhancing our existing partnerships with the recent addition of legislative and lobbying counsel Barnes & Thornburg, LLP. As we move ahead, we should continue to remind ourselves that SNA’s commitment to our policy positions and advocacy efforts never wavers—and with this, our strong partnerships and a solid plan, we can realize meaningful and healthy results for our school nutrition programs and the students we serve.

As we gear up for Child Nutrition Reauthorization in 2015, the Association is in the process of developing a comprehensive three-year legislative strategic plan—a road map for the near future, of sorts—so we can continue to advocate for our child nutrition goals. However, I must ask for your involvement, too. During the course of the upcoming year, I challenge each of you to develop and strengthen different partnerships throughout your community and state. When we each rise to this challenge, we work toward the outcomes of the five pillars of our strategic framework.

  • Education and Public Image: By encouraging professionalism at all levels of your operation and making every effort to enhance the public image of school meals and the professionals who serve them, you help to strengthen our position that school meals are integral to educational achievement;
  • Advocacy and Community: By strengthening your relationships with legislators, allied organizations and other potential supporters, you will create new and lasting community ties and position yourself to be a more effective advocate for your program and the students you serve; and,
  • Membership: By encouraging your colleagues to become members and invigorating your relationship with other SNA members, everyone wins, supporting one another in the challenges and achievements of this business.

I consider each and every one of you my partner in school nutrition, and it is truly an honor to serve as SNA president. Already, I see the Association and its allies working together as a team, embodying the spirit of this year’s theme. I look forward to working together with you, so that we achieve the best for our students, for one another, for our communities and for our Association.

Leah Schmidt, SNS
2013-14 SNA President

Related Link

2013-14 Annual Plan: Positive Partnerships for Healthy Results (pdf)

The Journal of Child Nutrition & Management Announces New Editor

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August 7, 2013 – The Journal of Child Nutrition & Management, SNA’s twice-yearly, peer-reviewed research journal, is pleased to announce its new editor, Carolyn M. Bednar, PhD, RD/LD, CFCS, professor in the Department of Food & Nutrition Sciences at Texas Woman’s University. Bednar also has served as a member of SNA’s Research Committee from 2007-12 and as the associate editor for Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal since 2006.

SNA extends its appreciation to Marilyn Briggs, PhD, RD, SNS, co-director, Center for Nutrition in Schools, Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis, and Sheri Zidenberg-Cherr, PhD, University of California Cooperative Extension specialist and lecturer, who have served as the Journal’s editor and executive editor, respectively, since 2011.

For more information on the current issue, issue archives or contributor guidelines, visit

Related Link

The Journal of Child Nutrition & Management

CDC Reports that Obesity Rates Declined Among Low-Income Preschoolers

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August 6, 2013 – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that obesity among low-income preschoolers dropped slightly in 19 states and U.S. territories from 2008 to 2011.

According to the CDC, obese children are more likely to become obese adults and suffer lifelong physical and mental health problems. Obesity rates in low-income preschoolers, after decades of rising, began to level off from 2003 through 2008, and now are showing small declines in many states. The report found that the obesity rate in Florida, Georgia, Missouri, New Jersey, South Dakota and the U.S. Virgin Islands declined at least one percentage point. Rates in 20 states and Puerto Rico held steady, and rates in several states—including Colorado, Tennessee and Pennsylvania—increased. Researchers said the states where obesity rates have declined have taken action to incorporate healthy eating and active living into children’s lives. 

To read the article found in The Washington Post, click here. For more statistics on childhood obesity, visit the CDC website

School Nutrition Highlights Inspiring Mentors and Mentor Programs

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August 5, 2013 – School nutrition often is an unsung profession that tends to fly under the radar until one has been “awakened” to its many rewards. Many operators come to the profession indirectly, perhaps inspired by the influence and passion of a memorable mentor. The August issue of School Nutrition, SNA’s award-winning flagship publication, explores these valuable relationships and also offers a look at mentoring programs, as well as introduces SNA members to new President Leah Schmidt, SNS.

For new SNA President Leah Schmidt, SNS, her past, present and, presumably, future reaffirm her singular commitment to feeding our nation’s school children. Meet this dynamic leader and learn about her goals for SNA in “A Profile of Passionate Purpose.” Bonus Web Content: A Spanish translation of this article also is available.

Let the enthusiasm expressed by the directors interviewed for “Guiding Lights” serve as motivation for you to give thanks for those who helped shape and nurture you—and to follow their example and do the same for the future leaders in your midst.

In “All It Took Was a Cook With a Book,” learn how one local SNA chapter demonstrated how their commitment to kids and their district’s goals goes far beyond the school cafeteria.

Last year, more than 3,500 SNA members made a commitment to stepping up their efforts to prioritize their personal health and overall wellness through participation in the STEPS Challenge program from SNA and Jennie-O Turkey Store. “The Right STEPS Forward” highlights what’s to come for Year Two as a new school year begins.

Is livening up the cafeteria experience, offering more creative menu items and/or increasing student participation among your goals for the new school year? If so, you should give serious thought to making the most of various promotional occasions and activities! The out-of-the-box ideas and practical planning tips shared by school nutrition professionals in “Celebrate Good Times” may inspire some celebratory efforts for your own operation. Bonus Web Content: One school nutrition program shares the keys to success for coordinating a Dr. Seuss’ birthday celebration. Also, if you can’t get enough holiday-themed recipes, don’t miss the additional online-exclusive recipe content!

Related Links

School Nutrition—August 2013

Mobile Device or Tablet Version—August 2013 (for iOS devices only; Android version forthcoming)

Looking Back at ANC 2013 and Ahead to 2014!

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August 5, 2013 – All good things must come to an end and, unfortunately, so did last month’s Annual National Conference (ANC) in Kansas City. Were you among the 5,900+ school nutrition professionals, industry partners and advocates in attendance? If so, you know that this year’s conference was filled with plenty of fresh and innovative ideas, new and old friends and exceptional learning opportunities—as well as the chance to have some fun in the “Heart of the Nation.”

This year, you can view photos of your favorite conference moments on SNA’s Flickr page. To take a photographic stroll down memory lane, featuring hundreds of images of ANC 2013 by EZ Event Photography, visit

If you didn’t make it to every session you wanted to at ANC, handouts of many of this year’s education session presentations are now available online for download. To print handouts for your favorite sessions or ones you missed, click here.

Also, if you attended one of this year’s education sessions and left feeling inspired to share your own expertise, innovations and ideas with the school nutrition community, consider submitting a proposal to present at ANC 2014 in Boston. For more information about the “Call for Proposals” or to learn how you can submit a presentation for consideration, visit The deadline for proposals is September 30, 2013.

Be sure to mark your calendar now for ANC Boston, July 13-16, 2014, and prepare to join us as we make history together!

Related Links

ANC 2013 Photos

ANC 2013 Session Handouts

ANC 2014 Call for Proposals

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