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View the Task force Recommendations
Posted: Wednesday, October 28, 2:49 PM
Joined: 2/7/2008
Posts: 3

View the Task force Recommendations, then return to this forum to join the discussion!

Darrel Davis
Posted: Wednesday, October 28, 4:04 PM
Joined: 10/28/2008
Posts: 7

 I don't believe in forcing school foodservice employee's to belong to SNA is ethical or following these guidelines it says we have to belong and pay dues to SNA, isn't that just a way to pad SNA's member enrollments? I am a SNA member but I don't believe an employee who works two hours per day serving needs to be a SNA member and you are saying they have to be! Are we now a formal UNION??? because that is what it sounds like your pushing for! I'm very unhappy with SNA for this push to pad their enrollment!

Darrel Davis
SNA member!

Vicky Kirby
Posted: Wednesday, October 28, 4:07 PM
Joined: 8/12/2008
Posts: 1

 I was present at the mega-issue discusion at the Nationail Conference. I do not remember hearing or discussing the Standards as they are proposed and being presented to Congress. I represent a very Rural State and am afraid if these Standards become law it will be impossible for most of us to find personel to fill the positions, plus finding the funding for training and continueing education. Most of our School Systems are operating on bare minimum now. I am adding to this blog a comment sent to me by one of our new Chapter Presidents, I think this sums up most of the opinion of our South Dakota members.
"What defines professionalism, a name on a piece of paper hanging on a wall or coming to work everyday at 5:30 to make homemade bread, standing over a 60 gallon steam kettle calculating number of servings, counting whole grains, packing up enough food to feed 250 elementary children and loading it on a truck to take across town, hoping you didn't forget the yogurt and pbj sandwiches that some children ordered for that day, etc? Or is it behaving in a way that evokes your character and integrity, displaying both strictness and unconditional care for the 1800 children in your district, some of who will only get to eat what you prepare for them at school.
Standard have been put in place for order, they deterimine where you should be, but the trip there shouldn't be unobtainalbe for the dedicated employee who gives 110% every day. Make professionalism realistic and obtainable and this includes funding for and availability for training."

Barbara Mechura
Posted: Wednesday, October 28, 4:08 PM
Joined: 8/12/2008
Posts: 1

 I had read the blog replies just hours before the expiration for open comments and I remember that almost all were negative about the proposal of these professional standards, as they continue to be here - so I think a large number of the membership is the best interest of the membership being kept in mind by the leadership of this Association or are personal agendas being pushed forward, regardless of what membership's thoughts are on the subject? Will our main mission of “Advancing good nutrition for All Students” be well served by this initiative? Many think not. Many think that it is just the proverbially ’feather in the hat’- something to brag about, that it will do little, if anything, to advance our mission. As so eloquently stated above, a piece of paper is not going to determine the quality of a program – but the determination, perseverance and passion for healthy kids, as displayed by the backbone of this association’s general membership, will. Albeit, knowledge is power, but there are many ways of acquiring knowledge; often times some of the best knowledge is that which we gain through our years of work experience, information sharing amongst colleagues and workshop/conference attendance (which is why many colleges actually grant working adults credit for these things now).
Furthermore, these standards should not be a focus or topic of this organization at this time; we have bigger concerns to place our collective energy on right now i.e., funding, nutritional standards and healthy school environments. This drains our membership of the trust and support this organization needs to continue to do the IMPORTANT work we need done to keep moving forward. This type of effort will not make a positive impact on child nutrition programs where they need it the most right now – however, it could quite likely be harmful in attracting viable future leaders to our profession if passed and losing some of those dedicated backbone members I mentioned above, not to mention the added costs to our student meal programs. Many members that I've spoken with about this think this effort should end right away – no back burner, no we’ll think about it. You’ve “explored” the idea and the majority of your membership thinks it’s a bad idea. Please find another way to increase and maintain your membership base – such as listening to the voice of your general membership. Respectfully submitted,

Darrel Davis
Posted: Wednesday, October 28, 4:10 PM
Joined: 10/28/2008
Posts: 7

 Instead of finding ways to increase fees to our already low paid workforce, maybe SNA should find ways to get the pay for these very important workers increased and work to get the reimbursment rates the schools recieve increased. This is what I believe my association should be working on. Not making sure you have a piece of paper with your name on it to make yourself feel better.

Frances Arnold
Posted: Tuesday, November 3, 11:04 AM
Joined: 8/26/2008
Posts: 1

SNA has made so many changes in the last few years.   You are making it harder for employees to become certified.   You say it is easier now because they only need 20 hours instead of 30.   But you have made it imposible for many to become certified.   Many of us that were qualified to conduct classes can no longer do so.   We do not have certified people to train our employees.   I have provided training to Mill Creek Schools and members from other schools for years and will continue to train my ladies.   Many of our employees have been certified.   We have had a turnover of employees and at this time only six of us are still certified.   I have 13 staff members that have wanted to be certfied.   I continue to train, but it does not count toward SNA certfication.   In fact several have dropped their SNA membership since SNA is not meeting their needs.  One member came to me recently and was upset with the additional cost of certification.   I have a problem supporting an organization that has lost touch with the membership.

Frances Arnold

Posted: Tuesday, November 3, 11:19 AM

I agree with several of the other posts about whether or not this organization represents me or it's own agenda.  I am insulted that the long hours and summers off that I have spent doing nutrition research and implementation is belittled because I don't meet some artificial "standard".  I work in a rural community, and hardly make enough money as it is; to insinuate that I am not capable of doing my job because I don't meet your "standards"  on paper saddens me.   I am seriously considering letting my membership lapse, since I am no longer up to the standards of this group and it no longer represents me.


Sarah Spero
Posted: Tuesday, November 3, 11:54 AM
Joined: 7/15/2008
Posts: 1

I, too, was disappointed with the final recommendations.  I understand the pressure to improve professionalism and act before others act for us.  What concerns me is that the standards are so narrow and confining and especially no weight is given to years of experience or SNA approved training.  For example, we have a staff member who has worked in child nutrition for over 20 years, knows everything, has done everything, CAN do everything, dedicated in every way, certified, credentialed, over 500 hours of SNA-approved training.  But this person's college degree (given back in 1978 by the way) is in political science.  Not qualified to move up to director?  I don't think any reasonable person would conclude so.

I continue to feel that the people making the hiring decision, with knowledge of the position, with the qualifications of the candidates laid out in front of them, are the best judge of who is right for the position.  I don't believe that an arbitrary chart can replace this important human judgement.


Sara Gasiorowski
Posted: Tuesday, November 3, 2:37 PM
Joined: 7/18/2008
Posts: 1

I was a member of the Professional Standards Task Force, and I support the efforts of SNA in moving our organization forward with professional standards.


The demands of our positions – at any level – have become increasingly complex and demanding. As professionals, we need to be proactive in responding to changes rather than having outside groups dictate them to us.  I have been in school foodservice for almost 30 years, and our programs are nothing like they were when I started!  Food safety, HACCP, special needs diets, allergies – these are just a few of the complexities we deal with on a daily basis, and shouldn’t all child nutrition employees be trained in these areas….no matter what position they work in?


Professional standards will allow child nutrition employees to become more knowledgeable and skilled in their profession – which can translate into increased pay!  But, why should a district pay employees, managers and directors more in salary when we are not willing to step up to the plate and engage in learning and improving our professional skills?? 


I too often hear complaints that our positions are not respected.  Professional standards will provide us the opportunity to who we are and what we do for children – let’s toot our own horn!!  I want to proudly share with teachers, parents, administrators and school boards that ALL of my employees receive training and continuing education so we can best serve the children in our district.


No one is requiring these standards or forcing someone to belong to SNA – these are proposals.  If Professional Standards do become a part of the Child Nutrition Reauthorization, then everyone will then have to comply!!  But whether the standards are a part of Reauthorization or not, SNA has the opportunity to offer professional standards to our membership and school districts to create programs of high distinction.  Many districts and state affiliates already offer the training opportunities that would be required with professional standards – the task force did not reinvent the wheel with the recommendations, but found ways to meet the professional needs of our members with the many programs already available.  


SNA needs to be the leader in advocating the professional development of our employees.  We are the leaders in child nutrition and it’s important that as an organization we grow and adapt to opportunities that move our profession forward.

Sara Gasiorowski


Darrel Davis
Posted: Thursday, November 5, 2:59 PM
Joined: 10/28/2008
Posts: 7

Sara have you talked to your district administration about this?  I did talk to mine and told them we would have to pay our employee's more since they will have all this training required to work in these positions....would you like to know what they said?? 

"Where is this money supposed to come from to pay higher salaries?"  I would like to know the answer to that question myself!  Schools are struggling balancing their budgets as it is and most school foodservice operations don't make money.  I would like to know what his "big increase" in pay is supposed to come from and who is going to pay for all this training that is supposed to be taking place.  Why would a 2 hour server at a satlite school take all this training that will cost them over a weeks worth of work each year want to keep this job? 

I think this task forces ideas of what they want and what can really happen in the schools is totally different, not even on the same page!  Our schools are not going to pay us more money, because they don't have the money to pay us more!  Our employee's are not going to pay to go to this training and the schools will not pay for it because they don't have the funds! 

Just like most of my employee's don't belong to SNA because they CAN'T AFFORD the DUES!!!  So you guys want to pass guidelines that say we have to get this training and pay for it or have the schools pay for it but there is no money for this! 

There are numerous posts on here from current members saying SNA is not representing them in the way they want and talk out about passing these guidelines but what does SNA do....they pass them anyway....I guess only the top people in SNA get to call all the shots and the members have no voice at all since they are not being listened to by our so called leaders!

I guess this will be my last year to be a SNA member also if we are not going to be taken seriously and have our voices heard!  I believe you will have many more that are in the same boat our schools here in South Dakota are in.



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