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Apply for an SNF Equipment Grant!

February 28, 2024

Applications for School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) Equipment Grants are now open! Thanks to our generous industry sponsors, the total value of equipment grants being awarded this year to selected SNA members is over half a million dollars. SNF Equipment Grants offer an opportunity for your school or school district to be awarded new kitchen equipment, cafeteria furniture or decor for a total upgrade of your school's current kitchen or dining areas. Learn more and apply now! The deadline is March 29.


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More #NSBW resources have come ashore!

February 24, 2024

Catch the wave! National School Breakfast Week (#NSBW24) is almost here -- March 4 to 8. Additional resources have recently dropped, including a Social Media Toolkit and an Activity Guide & Coloring Sheets. Dive into SNA's #NSBW24 resources for an unforgettable celebration of the power of a nutritious breakfast!
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Budget Challenges in Colorado

March 1, 2024

A surge in K-12 students accessing universal meals in Colorado, a result of the 2022 voter-approved Proposition FF, is facing financial strains as the program promised not only free meals to all students but additional initiatives, leading to potential shortfalls of up to $49 million. With high-income tax revenues falling slightly short of projections, lawmakers in Colorado's Joint Budget Committee are grappling with funding decisions, potentially postponing programs like purchasing local food, raising wages and reducing reliance on processed products.
 Full Story: KUSA-TV (Denver) 

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Md. considers legislation on universal school meals

February 28, 2024

Maryland lawmakers are considering legislation aiming to offer free breakfast and lunch to all public school students starting in the 2025-'24 school year. The bill, requiring $180 million annually, highlights the need to address hunger and support student success, though funding sources remain uncertain in a challenging budget year.
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Iowa lawmaker proposes universal school lunch program

February 24, 2024

State Rep. Matthew Rinker is championing a bill in Iowa that calls for every public and private school to provide free lunches to students, aiming to address food insecurity challenges. The initiative seeks to ensure students' nutritional needs are met, emphasizing the importance of access to meals for academic success, despite facing initial hurdles in the legislative process.
 Full Story: KIMT-TV (Mason City, Iowa) (2/22) 
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Hawaii bill would establish universal school meals

February 23, 2024

Legislation introduced in Hawaii aims to provide free breakfast and lunch for all students, addressing food insecurity and its impact on health and learning. While widely supported, the main obstacle is the estimated $32 million annual cost, prompting calls for funding to ensure students can focus on education without hunger.
 Full Story: KHON-TV (Honolulu)

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Ohio weighs proposal for universal school meals

February 16, 2024

Lawmakers in Ohio have introduced two education bills, one ensuring free school meals for all students while the other aims to increase the statewide base teacher salary to $50,000 per year. The universal school meal proposal also includes mandates that meals cannot be thrown away after being served to students with meal debt and that the district cannot "publicly identify or stigmatize a student" with meal debt.

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Free school meal effort fails to pass in S.D.

February 15, 2024

South Dakota legislators rejected a bill aimed at covering school meal costs for families near the poverty line who are not eligible for federal programs, despite support from advocacy groups emphasizing the importance of nutrition for students' learning. This marks the second failed attempt, following the rejection of a similar bill, as critics argue against the state subsidizing federal programs.
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Momentum builds for universal school meals in N.Y.

February 15, 2024

Advocates and lawmakers convened at the New York state Capitol to seek increased funding for programs addressing food insecurity, including funding for a universal school meal program, SNAP benefits, Nourish New York and the Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program. The collaboration aims to secure additional resources, emphasizing the importance of supporting programs to make a substantial impact on the community.
 Full Story: Spectrum News

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Minn. mulls minimum seat time for school lunch

February 15, 2024

A proposed bill in Minnesota aims to mandate a minimum of 15 minutes of seat time for students in the national school lunch program to eat their lunch. The legislation, if approved, would exclude transition time and be effective from July 1, for the following school year.
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Apply today for SNF professional development scholarships

February 14, 2024

Achieve your school nutrition educational dreams! The School Nutrition Foundation's (SNF) professional development scholarships provide SNA members with funding for tuition and books for the following school year. For details on eligibility, visit the SNF website. The deadline for all professional development scholarships is March 29. Apply today!

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Ill. advocates seek to fund universal school meal program

February 14, 2024

Coalitions in Illinois are urging the General Assembly to allocate funding in the 2025 state budget for the Healthy School Meals for All program, aiming to provide free breakfast and lunches to all students. Despite passing the bill last year, the initiative requires proper funding to address child hunger, affecting over 315,000 children in the state.
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Hawaii considers providing universal school meals

February 14, 2024

Hawaii is considering legislation that would offer free meals to all public school students, potentially reducing child food insecurity and enhancing academic performance. While the state Department of Education expresses concerns about the estimated cost, advocates emphasize the potential positive impact on students' well-being and educational outcomes.
 Full Story: Hawaii Public Radio

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SNA's 2024 Awards: Nominate a colleague today!

February 13, 2024

The nomination period for SNA's 2024 Awards is open. The SNA Awards program highlights the outstanding and important work of SNA members and state affiliates. Directors, Managers, Employees and Industry members are eligible for national and regional awards recognizing their achievements in school foodservice, leadership, membership recruitment and professional development. Click the links for more information, including eligibility requirements and then nominate a colleague -- or yourself -- today! Don't delay -- the submission deadline is March 1
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School Meals for All NC advocates for universal access

February 13, 2024

The School Meals for All NC coalition -- aiming to provide cost-free school meals to all students in North Carolina public schools -- has released resources, including a video featuring educators supporting the initiative. With monthly virtual meetings for advocates and a hunger leaders conference scheduled, the coalition emphasizes the importance of universal school meals in enhancing student performance and nutrition.


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Register for this week's SNA webinar

February 12, 2024

Join SNA's School Meal Advocacy in 2024 webinar (Feb. 14, 3:00 pm ET) to hear experienced school nutrition advocates discuss the SNA 2024 Position Paper. Gain insider tips for advocating on behalf of school meal programs at the 2024 Legislative Action Conference (#LAC24) and throughout the year! All members are encouraged to participate -- especially those attending #LAC24. Register here!
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Proposed bill prohibits cell-based meat in school lunches

February 12, 2024

A recent bill introduced in the US Senate that aims to ban the use of cell-cultured meat in school lunches has been referred to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. The office of Sen. Mike Rounds, who co-sponsored the bill, highlighted the food safety risks associated with a "lack of demonstrated research on cell-cultivated protein" as well as a lack of existing guidance from the USDA on the use of cultivated meat in the National School Lunch Program or the School Breakfast Program.
 Full Story: Food Safety Magazine
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School districts prepare for financial challenges

February 8, 2024

As temporary funding sources dwindle and states face worsening financial pictures, school districts are facing familiar challenges such as resource disparities and hiring difficulties, alongside fresh issues like diminishing revenue and the expiration of federal and state relief efforts. Top concerns for school finance officials include the ongoing need for mental health investment, potential staffing cuts as pandemic aid winds down and the increasing complexity of audits for federal relief spending.
 Full Story: Education Week
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Minn. voters support universal school meal program

February 7, 2024

Over 70% of Minnesota voters, spanning various demographics, approve of the legislature's decision to offer free school meals to all students across the state, regardless of income levels. However, the KSTP/SurveyUSA poll finds some concerns about unexpected costs.
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Colo. universal school meals ease financial strain

February 7, 2024

Proposition FF, known as the Healthy School Meals for All program, has been positively impacting local families in Colorado, providing free lunches to all public school students and saving money for families. The initiative, funded by higher taxes on some residents, has received positive feedback from families, alleviating concerns about children going hungry at school and fostering equality among students.

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SNF professional development scholarships are open!

February 6, 2024

Achieve your school nutrition educational dreams! The School Nutrition Foundation's (SNF) professional development scholarships provide SNA members with funding for tuition and books. For details on eligibility, visit the SNF website. The deadline for all professional development scholarships is March 29. Apply today!

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Okla. lawmakers consider universal school meals

February 6, 2024

In response to the escalating school lunch debt in parts of Oklahoma, lawmakers are advocating for a $30 million state-funded universal meal program to ensure that all K-12 students have access, aiming to alleviate financial burdens on families and prevent the debt from going to collections. The proposed initiative seeks to cover the costs and streamline school lunch programs in several districts.
 Full Story: KOKI-TV (Tulsa, Okla.) 
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Minn. school nutrition pros advocate for longer lunchtime

February 6, 2024

The Minnesota School Nutrition Association is urging the state legislature to mandate at least 15 minutes of seat time for all students during the lunch period, aiming to ensure adequate time for meals and reduce food waste. Additionally, they seek state reimbursement for providing free milk to students.

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Check out the newly dropped #NSBW24 resources

February 1, 2024

Hang ten and catch the wave of excitement! National School Breakfast Week (#NSBW24) is hitting the shores from March 4 to 8! Are you ready to bask in the sunshine and share the aloha spirit across your school? SNA has everything you need to make this year's NSBW the best one ever! Paddle over to the SNA website to find all these amazing resources and more.

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Ark. targets childhood hunger in summer

February 1, 2024

Arkansas is set to address childhood hunger by participating in the USDA's Summer EBT program, aiming to provide grocery-buying benefits to over 300,000 eligible children during the summer months. With 1 in 5 Arkansas children facing hunger, the state anticipates an economic impact of over $68 million from the program, while the Non-Congregate Summer Meal Program helps reach families in rural communities.
 Full Story: Public News Service


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Get advocacy tips with SNA's upcoming webinar

January 31, 2024

Don't miss SNA's upcoming webinar "School Meal Advocacy in 2024" on Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 3 p.m. ET, for advocacy tips from school nutrition experts. The webinar will feature a panel of experienced advocates who will review the SNA 2024 Position Paper and accompanying resources and equip participants to effectively champion school meal programs. Plus, if you're attending SNA's upcoming 2024 Legislative Action Conference (#LAC24), it will help you make the most of the conference! And if you're unable to attend the conference--this webinar is designed to ensure your advocacy efforts are impactful throughout the year. Register today.

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N.Y. lawmakers seek full funding of universal school meals

January 30, 2024

N.Y. legislators, in a bipartisan effort, are pushing for an additional $90 million to achieve full funding for universal school meals. Despite a proposed $11 million increase in the governor's budget, advocates stress the importance of ensuring that every student, regardless of income, has access to nutritious meals in schools.
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Foundation to wipe out $1M in school meal debt

January 29, 2024

The Arby's Foundation has initiated a $1 million program to settle unpaid lunch balances for students across the US. With $203,534 already donated to 7,413 students in four metro Atlanta public school districts, the remaining funds will benefit over 47,000 students nationwide, addressing the prevalent issue of unpaid student lunch debts.
 Full Story: Good Morning America
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Conn. lawmakers seek $16M extension for free K-12 meals

January 27, 2024

Connecticut lawmakers Rep. Moira Rader and Sen. Ceci Maher plan to introduce a bill allocating $16 million to extend the free K-12 meal program through June 2025. The initiative, initially funded with federal COVID-19 relief, aims to provide nutritious meals for over 177,000 students.

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NYC school budget cuts slash cafeteria menus

January 24, 2024

New York City Mayor Eric Adams' $60 million cut to the school foods budget is expected to result in the removal of popular items from school cafeteria menus, including cookies, chicken dumplings, and bean and cheese burritos. Students and parents are concerned about the impact on nutrition and the possibility of increased spending outside of schools.
 Full Story: Chalkbeat 

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Conn. advocates seek funding for free school meals

January 25, 2024

School nutrition directors and anti-hunger advocates in Connecticut plan to lobby for ongoing funding in the state legislature to provide free school meals for students. The $16 million allocated for this initiative last year is set to expire, and advocates stress the importance of addressing food insecurity without stigmatizing low-income students.
 Full Story: WNPR-FM (Hartford, Conn.) 
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Va. lawmakers consider free school meal legislation

January 24, 2024

The Virginia House Education Subcommittee unanimously referred a bill that would make school meals free for all public elementary and secondary school students to the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee. If enacted, the bill would require schools to participate in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.
 Full Story: WRIC-TV (Richmond, Va.) 
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SNF professional development scholarships are open!

January 23, 2024

Achieve your school nutrition educational dreams! The School Nutrition Foundation's (SNF) professional development scholarships provide SNA members with funding for tuition and books. For details on eligibility, visit the SNF website. The deadline for all professional development scholarships is March 29. Apply today!

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Senate debates whole milk for schools

January 23, 2024

The Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act, which seeks to reintroduce whole milk in schools, faces resistance from the USDA, which argues it contradicts established health guidelines. The bill, previously approved by the House, aims to exempt fluid milk from saturated fat calculations, emphasizing bipartisan support and potential nutritional benefits.
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Wash. lawmaker proposes universal school meal program

January 21, 2024

A Washington state lawmaker is proposing legislation to provide free school meals for all K-12 students in the state regardless of income levels, citing the positive impact on student performance and reduced disruptions in the classroom. The estimated cost of $110 million per year is viewed as a worthwhile investment, aligning with the success of similar programs in eight other states.
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Free school meals linked to fewer suspensions

January 21, 2024

A recent study reveals that free school meals significantly reduce the risk of student suspensions. The research, conducted by the University of North Carolina and the US Census Bureau, indicates a 10% decline in suspension likelihood -- 22% among high school students.
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Unlock SNA's Conference Video Series

January 19, 2024

Jumpstart your learning this year with SNA's Conference Video Series! Get the best of the Association's conferences on demand with 10 insightful sessions led by esteemed school nutrition professionals who share their expertise and knowledge on a variety of topics. Learn more.
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Apply for an SNF Equipment Grant

January 18, 2024

Applications for the School Nutrition Foundation's (SNF) Equipment Grants are now open! Thanks to our generous industry sponsors, the total value of equipment grants being awarded this year to selected SNA members is over half a million dollars. SNF Equipment Grants offer an opportunity for your school or school district to be awarded new kitchen equipment, cafeteria furniture or décor for a total upgrade of your school's current kitchen or dining areas! Apply now before the March 29 deadline.
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Dive into the #NSBW24 Shop!

January 12, 2024

The #NSBW24 Shop is open! The sun is rising on the 2024 National School Breakfast Week (#NSBW24), March 4 to 8, and for this event, we're catching the wave with the theme "Surf's Up with School Breakfast." Check out the themed decor, giveaways and merchandise. Start shopping today.
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School Nutrition magazine: Read the January/February 2024 issue

January 11, 2024

Many of us see the new year as an opportunity to commit to bettering ourselves. Each year, the first of January provides a metaphorical fresh start, with new opportunities, experiences and changes on the horizon. Of course, that also paves the way for new challenges and turmoil down the road -- but what if you could get ahead of those future stressors before they overwhelm you? In this issue of School Nutrition, we're focusing on exactly that. You'll find tips on stress prevention, so you can head into the new year prepared to overcome or avoid potential stressors before they drag you too far down. Read the January/February 2024 issue.
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USDASummerProgram

Jan. 8, 2024

The USDA's Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer program, launching this summer, is set to provide $40 per child each month to eligible families during the summer -- potentially benefiting 29 million school-aged children. While over 30 states plan to enroll, some, including Iowa and Nebraska, have declined, citing costs and existing programs.
 Full Story: K-12 Dive (1/4) 
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Join this week's webinar: Recruitment, onboarding and retention strategies

Jan. 8, 2024

Start off the new year with a joint webinar (2 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Jan. 10) hosted by the School Nutrition Association (SNA) and the Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals (ANFP). Staffing continues to be a challenge for foodservice professionals no matter the setting. Join four industry professionals as they discuss their experience in the staffing areas of recruitment, onboarding and retention. Learn more and reserve your spot.
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Dive into the #NSBW24 Shop

Jan. 5, 2024

The #NSBW24 Shop is open! The sun is rising on the 2024 National School Breakfast Week (#NSBW24), March 4 to 8, and for this event, we're catching the wave with the theme "Surf's Up with School Breakfast." Check out the themed décor, giveaways and merchandise. Start shopping today.
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Catch up on professional development with the SNA Conference Video Series

Jan. 4, 2024

With the SNA Conference Video Series, you'll get the best of the Association's conferences on demand at your fingertips! This series features 10 insightful sessions led by esteemed school nutrition professionals who share their expertise and knowledge on a variety of topics. And you can bundle and save! In this bundle, you have the flexibility to access all 10 videos and earn 7.75 CEUs at a discounted price. Access the bundle of all 10 videos here. You also have the option to buy the sessions individually.
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Unleash your creativity in 2024 with SNA's Promotion Calendar

Jan. 3, 2024

Attention, SNA members! Let your imagination run wild with SNA's Promotion Calendar -- designed to take your school meal program promotions to a whole new level of fun and appeal. Sponsored by Conagra Foodservice and presented by School Nutrition magazine, this amazing resource is bursting with fantastic events, commemorations and celebration ideas that will transform your school's dining experience this year.
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Ind. schools transform students' meal experience

Jan. 2, 2024

The Patachou Foundation initiated a new school meal program in two Indianapolis charter schools, focusing on providing freshly made, high-quality breakfast, lunch and snacks at no cost to the students. The initiative aims to enhance student learning by improving the quality of school meals, resulting in increased student satisfaction, improved attendance rates and reduced behavior issues, as part of a model that involves restaurant-style kitchens and renovations in participating schools.
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Give yourself the gift of SNF's LEAD training

Dec. 19., 2023

Did you hear? There's a new LEAD to Succeed™ training on "Influence & Persuasion." Hone your leadership skills and earn CEUs with "Influence & Persuasion," the latest training from the School Nutrition Foundation's LEAD to Succeed™ program. Available to SNA members and non-members at no cost! Visit the SNA TrainingZone to log in to your account, or create a free non-member account to access the training.
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Survey highlights drug use among US teens

Dec. 19, 2023

Results from the Monitoring the Future survey revealed that adolescent substance use in 2023 stayed below pre-pandemic levels, highlighting that abstaining, or not using, marijuana, alcohol and nicotine increased for 12th graders, with 62.6% reporting abstaining from any use of these substances. Researchers also noted that the percentage remained stable for 8th and 10th graders, with 87% and 76.9% reporting abstaining from any use of marijuana, alcohol and nicotine over the past month.
 Full Story: Healio (free registration) (12/14) 

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N.Y. lawmakers push for universal school meals

Dec. 19, 2023

Legislators and other childhood hunger advocates in New York are promoting adding the Healthy School Meals For All program to the state's Fiscal Year 2025 budget. The move would fund and mandate free school lunches for all students, regardless of their family's income, and the law aims to ensure that all students have access to healthy meals during the school day.

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Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act passes House

Dec. 18, 2023

The House of Representatives passed the Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act, allowing the reintroduction of whole milk in school cafeterias and overturning regulations implemented in 2012. The bill, which permits a variety of milk options, now moves to the Senate for consideration.
 Full Story: The Hill (12/13),  Lancaster Farming (Pa.) (12/13) 

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Catch up on research and best practices with JCN&M

Dec. 16, 2023

The Journal of Child Nutrition & Management (JCN&M), SNA's peer-reviewed academic publication, is back with its Fall 2023 issue, now available on SNA's website. JCN&M features scholarly articles that will keep you up to date on the latest child nutrition research and best practices.
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Legislation would expand milk choices in schools

Dec. 12, 2023

Congress is expected to take up the Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act of 2023, which would amend existing nutritional guidelines for schools to allow more whole milk to be served. Advocates say whole milk is nutritious and should be a choice in school cafeterias.
 Full Story: DairyReporter (12/11) 
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Federal government looks at ways to reduce food waste

Dec. 12, 2023

A new food waste reduction draft strategy from the FDA, USDA and EPA sets four objectives and potential measures to support the goal of cutting food waste and food loss in half by 2030. Strategies include investing in transportation optimization technology, whole crop purchasing, consumer education, expanded food donation programs, improved organic waste recycling infrastructure and growing the market for products that make use of recycled organic waste.

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Make a splash with #NSBW24 merch

Dec. 4, 2023

It's time to begin your plans for 2024 National School Breakfast Week (#NSBW24). The #NSBW24 theme "Surf's Up with School Breakfast" is intended to inspire you to create a celebration of delicious and nutritious meals. Plus, don't forget to check out the official #NSBW24 shop -- you'll find a sea of giveaways for students and staff, decor for your foodservice space, official merchandise and more.

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Help spotlight the importance of school lunch

Nov. 30, 2023

Did you know 1 in 8 kids in America lives in a household without consistent access to adequate food? School lunches don't just keep kids healthy-they keep kids from being hungry so they can learn. The Made with School Lunch campaign, from SNA and National Dairy Council, brings awareness to the massive need for school meals -- and how school meals make it possible for all kids to do the most important thing of all... grow up! Check out the videos, graphics, posters and social media posts to help you get the word out. Learn more.
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State News

Nov. 28, 2023

?? Colorado Senate bill SB002 establishes Colorado’s participation in Summer EBT and designates the state Department of Human Services as the lead agency responsible for its administration.
  • The bill also designates a partnership with the Department of Education to develop outreach plans and offer technical assistance to SFAs.
?? Wisconsin Senate bill SB720 provides additional state funding for schools that offer free school breakfast and lunch to all students.
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Secret Shoppers' top product picks at #ANC23

Nov. 17, 2023

School Nutrition magazine sent K-12 operators (our "Secret Shoppers") into the Exhibit Hall at this year's Annual National Conference in Denver, Colo., to scope out their favorite K-12 products on the show floor. These volunteers represented districts and schools from Portland, Ore., to central Florida. Armed with the knowledge of what kids crave and what solutions schools need, they brought back their top picks for 2023. Check out this year's Secret Shopper picks (make sure to log into your SNA account!).
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Read the Fall issue of the Journal of Child Nutrition & Management

Nov. 14, 2023

The Journal of Child Nutrition & Management (JCN&M), SNA's peer-reviewed academic publication, is back with its Fall 2023 issue, now available on SNA's website. JCN&M features scholarly articles that will keep you up to date on the latest child nutrition research and best practices.
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Wis. coalition proposes universal school meal legislation

Nov. 8, 2023

The Healthy School Meals for All Wisconsin Coalition has introduced Assembly Bill 805, which seeks to provide free breakfast and lunch for all students in the state and enable schools to receive state reimbursement for these meals. This initiative aims to address food insecurity among students and ensure they have their basic needs met to enhance their educational potential.

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SN magazine: Discover fresh strategies for your cafeteria

Nov. 8, 2023

Get inspired! In the November/December 2023 issue of School Nutrition, we're taking a look at fresh strategies you can take to improve your foodservice space, incorporate new products or resources, or simply rethink your approach to how you've always done things. Log into your SNA account and start reading the November/December 2023 issue today!

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SNA Position Paper Survey

Nov. 8, 2023

Don’t forget to take the survey! On October 24, all SNA members received an email with a unique link to the SNA 2024 Position Paper Survey. Your input is critical in shaping a strong school nutrition advocacy agenda in the upcoming BIG policy year. Participants could win one of two FREE trips to #LAC24!

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How does Biden executive order address AI in schools?

Nov. 4, 2023

An executive order on AI signed this week by President Joe Biden has several directives that address the use of the technology in schools, requiring US Department of Justice officials to work with federal civil rights officials to prevent potential tech-driven discrimination. The order also requires equity-focused AI-use guidance from the US Department of Education -- including an AI tool kit -- as well as requirements that tech companies test their products for safety and data privacy, particularly products that can monitor online activity.


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Unleash your creativity with the 2023-24 Promotion Calendar

Nov. 4, 2023

Attention, SNA members! Let your imagination run wild with the 2023-24 Promotion Calendar -- designed to take your school meal program promotions to a whole new level of fun and appeal. Sponsored by Conagra Foodservice and presented by School Nutrition magazine, this amazing resource is bursting with fantastic events, commemorations and celebration ideas that will transform your school's dining experience.
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USDA: Child food insecurity rises in US

Oct. 30, 2023

Food insecurity in US households with children rose to 17.3% in 2022, with child food insecurity specifically increasing from 6.2% in 2021 to 8.8% in 2022, according to research from the USDA. The uptick in food insecurity coincided with the scaling back of pandemic-era safety measures, like the child tax credit and universal school meals.
 Full Story: K-12 Dive (10/27) 

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Report: After-school meal participation falls 23%

Oct. 30, 2023

Participation in the federal Afterschool Meal Program dropped by 23% between October 2021 and October 2022 -- the first decrease since the program began in 2010 -- according to a report by the Food Research & Action Center. Over 1.6 million low-income children missed after-school meals, resulting in $116.5 million in missed federal reimbursements, FRAC noted, advising that Congress lower area eligibility requirements, increase federal funding and streamline the program to boost access.
 Full Story: K-12 Dive (10/26) 

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KANSAS SENATOR CONFRONTS BIDEN OVER SCHOOL LUNCHES

Oct. 28, 2023

Sen. Roger Marshall, R-KS, spearheaded an ultimately unsuccessful resolution to stop the implementation of a Biden administration policy to withhold school lunch funding from schools that reject pro-”trans” policies. “This administration is using school lunches to attack our youth to implement their ‘transgender’ policies,” Marshall said. "I would ask the White House to leave our kids alone.”  READ
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Number of food-insecure households in US increasing

Oct. 27, 2023

The number of Americans living in households dealing with food insecurity jumped from 33.8 million in 2021 to 44.2 million last year, while the percentage of households with very low food security rose from 3.8% to 5.1% during the period, according to a report from the Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service. Food insecurity was more prevalent in rural areas than urban areas, and Black and Latino households were more likely to experience food insecurity.
 Full Story: The Hill (10/26),  The Washington Post (10/25) 


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Take your career to new heights: SNS Credentialing Program

Oct. 28, 2023

Are you ready to take your career to new heights and join the ranks of esteemed SNS Credential holders? Don't miss the chance to further enhance your knowledge and skills in school nutrition management. Learn more about the SNS Credentialing Program and sign up for an upcoming exam in your area.
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Fla. students enlisted to taste-test school menu

Oct. 27, 2023

With the hopes of increasing school meal participation, Florida's Miami-Dade County Public Schools is turning to the student taste-testers for its menu items. Roughly 50 students in the district tried several new recipes and provided feedback to the school nutrition staff via an online survey.
 Full Story: WLRN-TV/WLRN-FM (Miami) (10/26)  
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Farm-to-school programs bring fresh food to cafeterias

Oct. 26, 2023

A growing number of communities are participating in the farm-to-school movement that connects local farms with school cafeterias, providing fresh food for students and economic support for regional agriculture. While federal funding of these programs from the USDA has increased in the past year, there is a significant need for more culinary training and cafeteria staff with the skills to prepare unprocessed food.
Full Story: National Public Radio (10/24) 
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Bill aims to increase federal school meal reimbursements

Oct. 26, 2023

Three senators are hoping to address food insecurity in children with the Healthy Meals Help Kids Learn Act, which will increase the federal reimbursements available to schools that provide breakfast and lunch. The hope is that the extra money given to schools can be used for more meals or to invest in higher-quality produce, kitchen equipment and school nutrition staffing.
Full Story: Las Cruces Sun-News (N.M.) (10/26) 
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Join the #ANC24 speaker lineup!

Oct. 24, 2023

Share your expertise in school nutrition and submit an education sessional proposal for SNA's Annual National Conference (#ANC24), taking place from July 14 to 16, 2024, in Boston, Mass. This premier event for K-12 school nutrition professionals serves as a launching pad for thought leaders like you to catalyze meaningful change. We're excited to see how your ideas will shape #ANC24! Submit your proposal by 11:59 p.m. ET on Nov. 6, 2023.
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Legislation update: School Meals for All

Oct. 24, 2023

SNA has continued to advocate for school meals at no cost for all students, as part of its 2023 Position Paper. In May of this year, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced the "Universal School Meals Program Act," providing breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack to all students at no cost. The bill revives the success of meals at no cost provided during the COVID-19 pandemic. SNA has joined 18 allied organizations to form the Healthy School Meals for All Coalition and continue supporting these efforts. Learn more.


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Friday fun: Check out #ANC23 highlights!

Sept. 29, 2023

Take a look back at the amazing time everyone had this past July at SNA's 2023 Annual National Conference (ANC) in Denver. Thanks to all that attended and "reached higher" through education sessions, exhibits, networking and of course plenty of fun, too. We invite you to join us in Boston for #ANC24! Mark your calendars now for July 14 to 16, 2024.
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USDA expands free school meals for low-income students

Sept. 27, 2023

The USDA has lowered the threshold for schools to qualify for free breakfast and lunch programs, making millions of additional students in low-income communities eligible. The federal government will now cover the cost of free meals for all enrolled students in schools where 25% of families participate in income-based public benefits -- down from the previous threshold of 40% -- benefiting approximately 3,000 additional school districts and more than 5 million students.
 Full Story: The Associated Press (9/26),  K-12 Dive (9/26) 
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SN magazine: Teaching & reaching adult learners

Sept. 26, 2023

A new school year comes with tons of new experiences and opportunities -- and not just for students! The September/October issue of School Nutrition explores the world of adult learning, and how you can (and should) commit to being a lifelong learner, with features including an overview of SNA's LEAD to Succeed™ initiative, training tips and tricks from several members of SNF's Cadre of Trainers, primers on adult learning principles and professional development opportunities and much more. Read SN's September/October 2023 issue.


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Alaska districts receive federal nutrition grants

Sept. 26, 2023

Two rural school districts in Alaska have been awarded federal grants of over $100,000 each by the USDA to improve student nutrition. The funds will be used to reduce sugar and sodium, increase locally sourced foods and support initiatives like hydroponic farming and school gardens.
 Full Story: KFSK-FM (Petersburg, Alaska) (9/24) 


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Learn to LEAD with intelligence!

Sept. 25, 2023

Three new CEUs await! The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) has introduced a brand-new module in the LEAD to Succeed™ Leadership Growth series. With "Leading with Emotional, Conversational, and Cultural Intelligence in the Leadership Series" you can earn 3 new CEUs! LEAD to Succeed™ is high-quality, turnkey professional development training created specifically for school nutrition professionals, at no cost.


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Minn. district faces lunch challenges

Sept. 22, 2023

Hawley Public Schools in Minnesota is grappling with lunch challenges, including food shortages, high demand for specific items and record participation, despite legislation providing universal school meal service. Superintendent Phil Jensen reported that the district is working to provide nutritious and satisfying meals amid these issues.
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Take your career to new heights: SNS Credentialing Program

Sept. 22, 2023

Are you ready to take your career to new heights and join the ranks of esteemed SNS Credential holders? Don't miss the chance to further enhance your knowledge and skills in school nutrition management. Learn more about the SNS Credentialing Program and sign up for an upcoming exam in your area.


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S.D. representative aims to curb school meal debt

Sept. 22, 2023

South Dakota State Rep. Kadyn Wittman is working on legislation to reduce the cost of school lunches for families in the state, following the rejection of previous legislation. South Dakota has approximately $6.3 million in school meal debt, and Wittman believes offering free school lunches can create a healthier community.
 Full Story: KELO-TV (Sioux Falls, S.D.) (9/21) 


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Survey: Students need longer school lunchtimes

Sept. 21, 2023

A survey by the EdWeek Research Center reveals that more than 90% of educators believe students require at least 30 minutes for lunch, yet over three-quarters of teachers claim their students have less time. Some states are exploring legislation to extend minimum lunch periods, aiming to promote better nutrition and overall student well-being.
 Full Story: Education Week (9/20) 


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La. schools face challenges providing free meals

Sept. 21, 2023

St. Tammany Parish Public Schools officials are facing challenges providing free meals to all students due to rising food and labor costs, coupled with reduced federal pandemic relief funds. Despite offering free breakfast and lunch to all students through the Community Eligibility Provision, the reimbursements have not kept pace with increased meal costs.
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Your #NSLW23 arsenal: Resources for a legendary School Lunch Week!

Sept. 18, 2023

National School Lunch Week is almost here... Oct. 9 to 13! Have you crafted your master plan yet? Check out the newly dropped SNA-provided resources, including the official #NSLW23 Toolkit; Activity Guide & Coloring Sheets, #NSLW23 merchandise, infographics and more. Get ready to conquer #NSLW23 and make it an epic week!


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Fall produce rounds out a heart-healthy diet

Sept. 15, 2023

Fresh fall produce including pumpkin, apples, pomegranates, beets, kale, okra, Brussels sprouts, cranberries and sweet potatoes can offer lots of options for heart-healthy cooking and eating, say registered dietitians. Autumn vegetables and fruits are known for their high levels of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that support cardiovascular health.
Full Story: Verywell Health (9/13) 
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RD shares go-to nutritious, budget-friendly recipe

Sept. 15, 2023

Registered dietitian nutritionist Sara Haas offers a recipe that hits all the marks for a quick, budget-friendly, nutritious dish. Haas' Cheesy Sweet Potato Black Bean Casserole can be easily and quickly assembled with cost-effective pantry staples, is packed with plant-based nutrients and is a rich source of fiber and protein. It also is versatile, Haas says, "if you don't have one of the items listed, swap in something else or leave it out."
Full Story: EatingWell (9/12)  

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N.Y. allocates $134M to expand school meal access

Sept. 15, 2023

New York state has allocated $134 million to expand free school meals in an effort to provide breakfast and lunch at no cost to students in high-poverty schools. While this funding aims to alleviate financial burdens on families, advocates are calling for the establishment of a universal school meal program to ensure all students have access to meals at no cost.
 Full Story: Spectrum News/New York State (9/14) 
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Officials want schools to offer Medicaid services

Sept. 14, 2023

The US Department of Education wants to bring Medicaid services into schools to help keep students healthy and will push for legislation that would allow schools to serve as health care centers. HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said if students are going to learn, they need to be healthy.
 Full Story: KSDK-TV (St. Louis) (9/11) 


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Md. district offers free, reduced-price meals

Sept. 14, 2023

Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland is participating in federally funded programs like the National School Breakfast Program and National School Lunch Program to provide free or reduced-priced meals to students facing food insecurity. Eligibility is determined based on annual income requirements, and meals will be offered without discrimination based on various factors, ensuring access for all enrolled participants.
 Full Story: WUSA-TV (Washington, D.C.) (9/12) 

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Support builds for universal school meal legislation in N.J.

Sept. 11, 2023

As New Jersey students returned to classrooms this week, the number of them eligible for free or reduced school breakfast and lunch jumped — and hunger insecurity advocates are eyeing ways to make those meals free for all children.

“We are hopeful — since New Jersey has done so much and really led the way in addressing hunger and food insecurity — that in this next legislative session, they can get a school-meals-for-all bill passed,” said Lisa Pitz of Hunger Free New Jersey.

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States adapt to funding changes for school meals

Sept. 11, 2023

The federal government's funding for free school meals during the coronavirus pandemic came to an end in 2022 after USDA waivers expired, leading to different responses from states. While most states reverted to their pre-pandemic school meal systems, some, like Michigan, continued to provide free meals for all students, recognizing the importance of addressing food insecurity among children.
 Full Story: PBS 

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Poll: Majority of Americans back universal school meals

Sept. 11, 2023

A recent YouGov poll indicates that the majority of Americans believe public schools should offer free breakfast and lunch to all students, regardless of family income. The results show strong bipartisan support, with 60% of adults favoring free lunch for all students and 57% supporting free breakfast.
 Full Story: Chalkbeat 

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More states provide universal school meals

Sept. 11, 2023

Several states have established permanent universal free school meal programs, ensuring that all students can access breakfast and lunch without charge with the intention of reducing child hunger, minimizing meal debt and creating a positive cafeteria environment. "Research has shown if kids are hungry, they're not going to be ready to learn," said Chris Derico, president of the School Nutrition Association and child nutrition director for West Virginia's Barbour County Schools.
 Full Story: CNN 
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SN Plus: The dollars and sense of unpaid meal charges

Sept. 7, 2023

Unpaid meal debt in school nutrition operations had reached a crisis point even before the rise of COVID-19. Start the new school year on a firm financial footing by reviewing your meal charge policy, stepping up collection of meal applications and other strategies suggested in "Managing the Problem of Meal Debt," a digital bonus article from School Nutrition magazine. Thanks to Basic American Foods for its generous support in making this article available.

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4 states require opioid, fentanyl education

September 5, 2023

Illinois, Mississippi, Oregon and Texas have passed legislation requiring students to learn about the dangers of opioids and fentanyl. These measures aim to address the increasing rates of youth overdoses, and experts say they expect more states will propose opioid education in schools as awareness grows about the risks associated with these drugs.
Full Story: K-12 Dive (9/1)  
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Make every day a celebration in the school cafeteria!

September 1, 2023

Attention, SNA members! The highly anticipated 2023-24 Promotion Calendar is here, and it's a feast for your creativity. Packed with exciting monthlong, weeklong and single-day holidays and events, this calendar will make every day in your cafeteria a celebration! Sponsored by Conagra Foodservice and presented by School Nutrition magazine, it will transform your school's dining experience. Learn more.

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USDA grants bring more fresh produce to schools

September 1, 2023

The US Department of Agriculture has extended its produce grant program for another year, with awards to 139 Idaho elementary schools ranging from $8,475 to $35,625. The grants are part of the state's Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program which encourages healthier food choices among students, and the funding will provide fresh fruits and vegetables as afternoon snacks on Wednesdays and Thursdays to eligible schools.

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Ky. district offers free meals to all students

August 29, 2023

All students in Jefferson County Public Schools in Kentucky are now eligible for free breakfast and lunch, removing the stigma of receiving free meals and providing greater access to nutritious food. The program, available for four years, benefits families struggling financially and helps ensure students have access to healthy meals.
Full Story: WFPL-FM (Louisville, Ky.) (8/28)  
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Free school meals provided to students in Ga. district

August 28, 2023

Thirty-one schools in Georgia's Fulton County School are now offering free breakfast and lunch to all students through the USDA's Community Eligibility Provision. Families at other schools in the district can apply online to check their eligibility for free or reduced-price meals based on income and other criteria.
 Full Story: Georgia Public Broadcasting (8/28)
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More states make school meals permanently free

August 28, 2023

Several US states -- Minnesota, New Mexico, Colorado, Vermont, Michigan and Massachusetts -- are joining California and Maine this school year in providing free school breakfasts and lunches to all students regardless of family income. The move aims to alleviate hunger among students and promote better learning outcomes, with advocates pushing for nationwide extension of the program as other states consider similar changes.
 Full Story: The Associated Press (8/26) 
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Step into a world of learning with the SNA Podcast

August 28, 2023

Turn your podcast listening experience into a holistic wellness activity! Say hello to the power of walking while listening to SNA's podcast, "School Food for Thought," all while utilizing the STEPs app to track your progress! Don't forget about STEPs August challenges and finish the month strong with a meditation practice.

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New SNA State Legislative Report

August 25, 2023

Check out SNA's Third Quarter State Legislative Report which provides a summary of key school nutrition state legislation that was introduced between Jan. 1 and July 30, 2023. Current trends include the expansion of school breakfast and lunch programs, provisions related to unpaid meal debt and efforts to reduce administrative burdens. Eight states have passed permanent healthy school meals for all legislation. Read the report.


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SNA's Food Allergy Resource Center

August 24, 2023

Did you know that an estimated 13% of school-aged children in the US have one or more food allergies? Find the answers to common food allergy questions and much more on SNA's Food Allergy Resource Center, brought to you by the National Peanut Board. Learn more.
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How school nutrition pros adapt to USDA sodium limits

August 24, 2023

The USDA has implemented lower sodium limits in school meals for the 2023-2024 academic year with reductions ranging from 120 mg to 135 mg depending on grade level. School cafeterias are adapting by incorporating herbs, spices and healthier alternatives, aiming to encourage students to make healthier dietary choices from a young age, according to Kathleen Britton, the Utah State Board of Education's director of child nutrition.
Full Story: KSTU-TV (Salt Lake City) (8/23)


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Membership Starts with ME: Annual recruitment campaign

August 23, 2023

SNA is kicking off the 2023-24 membership year with the Membership Starts with ME campaign to celebrate our top recruiters. Show your support for school nutrition and get a chance to win great prizes. Recruiting at least one new member during any month through May 2024 automatically enters you to win one of our exciting prizes -- from a year of free membership to free training zone classes. Need some help recruiting? Check out the variety of membership campaign materials for a quick and easy way to explain the benefits of SNA membership to potential new members.
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Earn while you learn! Gain CEUs with SNA's podcast

August 22, 2023

Earn SNA CEUs when you tune into episode two (and pass a short quiz linked with each episode), "Engaging the Whole World in the Cafeteria." You'll hear from E. Nichole Taylor, Chichester School District (Penn.), and Lindsay Aguilar, RD, SNS, Tucson Unified School District (Ariz.) as they discuss their experiences catering to diverse communities, supporting refugee families and creating a cafeteria environment that's welcoming to all students by serving foods that will remind some of home and invite others to partake in a global culinary adventure. SNA's podcast is available on Apple Podcasts as well as SpotifyGoogle Podcasts and SchoolNutrition.org.

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Mich. allocates $160M for free school meals

August 21, 2023

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed a bipartisan education budget, providing $160 million to offer all 1.4 million public school students in the state free breakfast and lunch for one school year, aiming to eliminate meal stigma and address food insecurity. School districts and food pantries are welcoming the move, highlighting its positive impact on students' well-being and learning.
 Full Story: WXMI-TV (Grand Rapids, Mich.) (8/20) 
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S.C. considers reinstating free school meals

August 21, 2023

Efforts are underway in South Carolina to reinstate a federal program that provided free meals at public schools, with the Child Food and Nutrition Services Study Committee examining the benefits, costs and potential shift to a farm-to-lunch table approach. While considering potential costs and benefits, lawmakers are studying the feasibility of transitioning nutritional programs from the Department of Education to the Department of Agriculture, focusing on improving child well-being and addressing food insecurity.
 Full Story: WCIV-TV (Charleston, S.C.) (8/18) 

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Experts: School lunch vital for student focus

August 18, 2023

A balanced lunch with fruits, protein and fiber is crucial for students' focus and overall health, as unhealthy options can lead to mood swings and distraction, according to experts. Providing healthy snacks at home further supports students' energy levels and nourishment.
Full Story: KTVO-TV (Kirksville, Mo.) (8/17) 
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Minn. district to forgive student debt amid universal meals

August 23, 2023

Minnesota's universal school meals program ensures all students receive free breakfast and lunch without paperwork, with an option for additional assistance if parents apply. St. Cloud School District 742 offers reimbursable meals with specific components, while also forgiving lunch debt to ensure students' nutritional needs are met.
Full Story: KNSI-AM/FM (St. Cloud, Minn.) (8/18)
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Workers are more loyal to themselves than the company

August 18, 2023

Younger workers who want their company's values to match theirs as well as a drive for more of a work-life balance means fewer employees are feeling loyal to their employer, and are more focused to their own ambitions, even if that means job-hopping, say workplace experts. "There is much less emphasis on staying loyal and 'sticking out' for a job and much more emphasis on finding a job that matches workers' own needs and preferences," says Aaron Taylor, head of school for human resource management at Arden University, UK.
Full Story: BBC (8/16)  
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Download printable "Made with School Lunch" posters

August 18, 2023

America is Made with School Lunch. To help you promote the incredible benefits and value of school meals, SNA and the National Dairy Council (NDC) have partnered for a new educational awareness campaign with plenty of resources and tools, including a brand-new video that debuted to acclaim at SNA's Annual National Conference in July. Don't miss the five downloadable posters available in both English and Spanish, ready to be printed and displayed in your cafeteria and school. Bookmark the webpage -- more videos and resources will be added in the coming months.

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SNF resources from the Breakfast in the Classroom Project

August 17, 2023

Look to the School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) for a wealth of resources from their years of work on the Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom (PBIC) project, including:
 
  • The PBIC Operations & Equipment Guide is designed to help you choose the right equipment for your breakfast after the bell program, regardless of delivery model or grade level.
  • Are you considering implementing a breakfast-after-the-bell program? SNF, along with our Partners, created filterable resources by audience or resource type -- to help you find videos, research, white papers and more. The PBIC developed these resources and tools to provide guidance for everything from menus to student activities to make your program a success.


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Pa. enacts universal school breakfasts

August 17, 2023

Pennsylvania has established the Universal Free Breakfast Program, allocating an additional $46.5 million in the state budget. The program ensures that all 1.7 million public school students in the state have access to free breakfast, leveling the playing field, addressing hunger barriers, and promoting better focus and performance in schools.
 Full Story: Trib Total Media (Tarentum, Pa.) (8/8)  
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Study shows benefits of school nutrition standards

August 17, 2023

A recent study suggests aligning K-12 nutrition standards with the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans could lead to improved children's diets, lower blood pressure, reduced body mass index and potentially prevent thousands of deaths long term. However, logistical challenges related to food supply chains and labor shortages continue to pose difficulties for schools trying to implement stricter nutrition standards proposed by the USDA.
Full Story: K-12 Dive (8/15)  
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Number of children losing Medicaid since April hits 500K

August 16, 2023

The number of children who have lost Medicaid coverage since states resumed checking eligibility after COVID-19 administrative protections ended has exceeded 500,000, with 21 states documenting declines. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is taking several steps as procedural complications have made it more difficult to maintain enrollment, such as suspending coverage denials in six states and directing resources toward outreach as children return to school.
 Full Story: Bloomberg Law 
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Mass. families find relief via universal school meals

August 16, 2023

Massachusetts has become the eighth state to enact a permanent universal school meals program, ensuring that all students, regardless of household income, will continue to receive breakfast and lunch at no charge. The move aims to address household food insecurity and remove barriers to learning caused by hunger, benefiting both students and families.
 Full Story: WBUR-FM (Boston) 
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More Texas students will receive free school meals

August 16, 2023

Round Rock Independent School District students are set to benefit from expanded free and reduced-price lunch program offerings, now including free breakfast for qualifying students. This program extension, initiated by the Texas legislature, will be in effect for two years, ensuring more students have access to nutritious meals based on eligibility criteria.
 Full Story: Community Impact Newspaper (Texas) (8/15) 


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Spread the word: America is Made with School Lunch!

August 15, 2023

Join the "Made with School Lunch" movement! To champion the incredible benefits and value of school meals, SNA and the National Dairy Council (NDC) have collaborated on an educational awareness campaign, featuring a brand-new video that received rave reviews at SNA's recent Annual National Conference. Take advantage of the official social media kit, designed to inspire and inform educators, students, and the community about the positive outcomes facilitated by nutrient-rich school lunches.
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Minn. SNA conference embraces universal school meals

August 14, 2023

More than 650 school nutrition professionals gathered at the Minnesota School Nutrition Association's 66th Annual Conference, coinciding with the recent implementation of the state's new law providing free school breakfast and lunch to all students. The event highlights strategies to enhance meal options, improve nutrition and create an ideal learning environment while addressing the state's $400-million investment in the initiative.


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How schools entice students to eat lunches

August 12, 2023

Even schools that can offer free meals to all students are working to make cafeteria offerings more appealing to students. Efforts include using healthier ingredients, exploring plant-based options, offering eco-friendly packaging and addressing competition from off-campus eateries -- all with the goal of encouraging students to stay on campus and consume a nutritious meal.
 Full Story: National Public Radio (8/6) 

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$6.3M Ga. grant keeps meals free for qualified families

Aug. 8, 2023

The federal pandemic-era waivers that enabled universal school meal service have expired, but families in Georgia that qualify for reduced-price meals will not have to pay this school year due to a $6.3 million state grant. Georgia is also among 14 states that the USDA has authorized to use Medicaid data as a certification mechanism for free- and reduced-meal eligibility.
 Full Story: WSB-TV (Atlanta) (8/7) 

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Free school meals expanded in Conn. for upcoming year

Aug. 8, 2023

Eligibility for free breakfast will be extended to more than 177,243 students in roughly 114 Connecticut districts this school year and around 13,197 more students in approximately 128 districts will have access to free lunch, according to Gov. Ned Lamont and Department of Education Commissioner Charlene Russell-Tucker. The state is using $16 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to enable students that qualified for reduced-price meals to receive those meals for free.


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Universal School Meals

Aug. 7, 2023

Colorado is one of 7 states offering Universal Jree Meals 
 All students in the Colorado Springs School District 11 will be eligible for free breakfast and lunch this school year. The universal meal service is available through the state's Healthy School Meals for All program.
 Full Story: KRDO-TV (Colorado Springs, Colo.) (8/4)  


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Looking for a smarter way to Smart Snack?

August 5, 2023

"Get Smart About Scratch Cooking," from SN magazine, has top tips -- straight from a school chef -- for incorporating scratch-cooking into Smart Snacks-compliant menu items. Don't forget to also check out the SNA Recipe Library for new Smart Snack recipes (use the Cuisine drop-down to filter to Smart Snack recipes only).
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States reinstate free school meals -- some permanently

August 4, 2023

Several states -- California, Colorado, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico and Vermont -- have passed legislation to bring back free school meals for all students on a permanent basis after federal pandemic-era waivers expired. The move comes as the School Nutrition Association reports that many school districts have to raise meal prices due to inflation.
Full Story: CNBC (8/3) 
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Mass. extends free school meals

August 4, 2023

Massachusetts lawmakers passed a budget agreement, allocating $172 million to continue the pandemic-era program that offers free school meals to all K-12 students, ensuring access to essential nutrition and removing social stigma. Gov. Maura Healey is expected to sign the budget, freeing up funds for schools as they prepare to reopen in the upcoming weeks.
Full Story: Axios (8/1) 
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Download printable "Made with School Lunch" posters

August 1, 2023

The US is Made with School Lunch. To help you promote the incredible benefits and value of school meals, SNA and National Dairy Council (NDC) have partnered for a new educational awareness campaign with plenty of resources and tools, including a brand-new video that just debuted to acclaim at SNA's recent Annual National Conference. Don't miss the five downloadable posters available in both English and Spanish, ready to be printed and displayed in your cafeteria and school. Bookmark the webpage -- more videos and resources will be added in the coming months.


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High school employs students to fill staffing gaps

August 1, 2023

Wayzata High School in the Minneapolis suburbs turned to students to fill staffing gaps in the food services department, building on the success of previous student involvement in managing social media accounts. About 25 students were hired to work in the cafeteria, earning the same wage as adults and course credit while gaining valuable project management and interpersonal skills.
 Full Story: Education Week (7/28) 
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Students advocate in D.C. for school meal changes

August 1, 2023

High school and college students recently advocated in Washington, D.C., for more plant-based options in school meals. Students say they want more healthy options that reflect how they eat at home and also more environmentally-friendly options.
 Full Story: FoodNavigator (7/31)  
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Save your spot at this week's free leadership training

July 31, 2023

Make the 2023-24 school year the time when you grow personally and professionally by enhancing your leadership skills -- and you can start in August with free LEAD to Succeed™ training from the School Nutrition Foundation. Register now for two upcoming webinars ("Conflict Style Inventory" and "How Are Your Listening Habits?"). Each webinar will be held at 3 p.m. ET and 6 p.m. ET, so you can pick the session that works best for your schedule.
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Colo. schools launch universal meals program

July 31, 2023

Public and charter schools in Colorado, including those in Colorado Springs, are preparing to implement the "Healthy School Meals for All" program. Passed as part of Proposition FF, the initiative will provide free nutritious meals to all participating students, aiming to promote equity, reduce stigma, and improve academic performance by ensuring students are well-fed throughout the school day.


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Start listening: SNA's new podcast is here!

July 26, 2023

Hungry for the latest scoop on school nutrition? Look no further! "School Food for Thought," SNA's brand-new podcast, will keep you connected to a vibrant community of school nutrition superstars. This podcast will be your source of insights and knowledge about school nutrition, K-12 foodservice and the latest industry trends -- plus a way to earn CEUs! Start listening today on: SpotifyGoogle Podcasts, Apple Podcasts (coming soon) or on the SNA website.
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Pa. considers universal school meals

July 24, 2023

Bills introduced in the Pennsylvania General Assembly aim to establish a Universal School Meal Fund and provide free breakfasts and lunches for all public school students. While the effort gained momentum earlier this year, it now faces challenges as the governor's budget is dominating legislative conversations.

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N.M. signs universal school meals into law

July 24, 2023

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has officially signed into law legislation providing over $4 million to offer free, nutritious breakfast and lunch to all public school students in New Mexico. The universal meals program aims to alleviate financial burdens on families and ensure students are ready to learn without hunger as a barrier.
 Full Story: KOAT-TV (Albuquerque, N.M.) (7/24) 
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National universal school meal movement grows

July 20, 2023

Minnesota has joined five other states -- California, Maine, Colorado, New Mexico and Vermont -- in passing universal school meal legislation. The measure is part of a growing national movement to ensure all students have access to nutritious meals at school, aiming to improve student health, behavior, attendance and academic performance while ending lunch shaming and reducing the stigma associated with receiving free or reduced-price meals.
 Full Story: The 19th (7/18) 

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Read the latest SN Plus: Creative SN staff development for the win!

July 20, 2023

"Connecting the Dots," a new SN Plus article, spotlights Austin Independent School District's innovative Cafe Manager Development Days program, a series of six day-long experiences for the district's 114 cafeteria site managers. If you're looking for new ways to develop staff, this digital bonus article from School Nutrition magazine might just provide you the inspiration to try something new. Read the latest SN Plus. School Nutrition thanks the California Dried Fruit Coalition for its generous support in making this article available.
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Kan. senator advocates for whole milk in schools

July 20, 2023

Senator Roger Marshall is advocating to include whole milk in federal government programs, challenging nutritional guidelines that prioritize low-fat dairy. Marshall's efforts coincide with Congress' debate over the farm bill, with the aim to increase milk consumption and benefit dairy farmers, but faces opposition and funding challenges.

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N.C. district expands free meal access under CEP

July 20, 2023

The Wilson County Board of Education unanimously approved a plan to offer free breakfast and lunch to all students in North Carolina's Wilson County Schools, including those enrolled at the two early college high schools, using the USDA's Community Eligibility Provision. The move ensures that all students will have access to meals without charge, promoting inclusivity and eliminating the need for free or reduced lunch applications.
 Full Story: The Wilson Times (N.C.) (7/19) 

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Become an SNA subject matter expert (SME)!

July 20, 2023

SNA's professional development department is continuing to look for new subject matter experts (SMEs) in a variety of topics. By being an SNA SME, you're supporting your fellow SNA members by offering your knowledge to help develop webinars, courses, trainings, magazine article topics, media inquiries and more. At the same time, you'll be helping SNA diversify our pool of SMEs so we can ensure we're being as inclusive as possible and effectively sharing the voices of our diverse membership. To see the full list of SME topics and apply, fill out this interest form.
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N.D. moves to expand free school meals

July 20, 2023

The North Dakota state Senate voted to approve funding for free school meals for students whose families earn 200% or less than the federal poverty level. The measure initially did not pass but was later added to a larger education funding bill that was approved.
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GAO report highlights Food in Schools challenges

July 18, 2023

A new report from the Government Accountability Office reveals schools across the country experienced difficulties procuring food through the federal Food in Schools program, resulting in last-minute menu substitutions, repeated meals and delivery delays. The GAO report highlights the lack of a systematic mechanism within the USDA to identify and address issues, potentially compromising the program's objective of providing nutritious meals to students.
 Full Story: Education Week (7/17) 
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Advocates seek return of whole milk in school meals

July 17, 2024

The absence of whole milk from school cafeterias is attributed to a 2010 National School Lunch Program revision that banned whole milk to reduce childhood obesity. Lobbyists for the milk industry are now advocating for its return, supported by a bipartisan House effort and studies questioning the negative health effects of whole milk.
 Full Story: KFF Health News (7/13) 
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2022 N.C. Teacher of the Year advocates for universal meals

July 14, 2023

Leah Carper, a high-school English teacher and the 2022 North Carolina Teacher of the Year, advocates for federally funded free school meals for all students to eliminate stigma and ensure food security. As the state considers school meals in its upcoming budget, Carper recalls her personal experience of receiving reduced-price lunch and the humiliation she felt when her classmates discovered her financial situation.
Full Story: WUNC-FM (Chapel Hill, N.C.) (7/13)  
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ANC prepares school nutrition pros for universal meals

July 14, 2023

School nutrition directors from across Colorado attended the School Nutrition Association's national conference in search of new recipes, portable equipment, and shelf-ready milk to accommodate the district's increased meal demand. With the launch of the state's Healthy School Meals for All program, many Colorado districts are expecting to serve meals to more students, and they aim to change the perception of school lunch and provide nourishing options that appeal to students.
 Full Story: Colorado Public Radio
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Mich. implements "Healthy School Meals for All"

July 6, 2023

Michigan public schools will offer free breakfast and lunch to all students starting this fall, making it the fifth state in the US to implement a universal meals program. The initiative, called "Healthy School Meals for All," aims to address food insecurity and improve student concentration and performance, with advocates highlighting the elimination of stigma associated with receiving free and reduced lunch.
 Full Story: WOOD-TV (Grand Rapids, Mich.) (7/3) 
Mich. implements "Healthy School Meals for All" 
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Minn. prepares for universal school meals

July 6, 2023

A new state law in Minnesota provides free school breakfast and lunch for all students, making permanent the universal meal service that was enabled via federal waivers during the coronavirus pandemic. The program, beginning in the fall, will be funded by the state and federal government and aims to alleviate food insecurity and ensure proper nutrition for students, with Minnesota joining a few other states in taking this step.
 Full Story: WCCO-TV 
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