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MD Distrct Meets High Demand For Meal Kits

January 21, 2021

School nutrition professionals in Maryland's Washington County Public Schools quickly scaled up plans to offer free winter-break meal kits for students after receiving about 3,000 online orders -- expecting only 1,000 orders -- said Michael Embly, the district's food and nutrition services supervisor. He described how staff quickly acquired the needed food and handled distribution.
Full Story: Food Management (1/20) 

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New Virtual Programs for 2021

January 20, 2021

This is the year to experience live online programs at Harvard Business School Executive Education. We've added new virtual programs to our growing portfolio of timely offerings. Designed with the same rigor as our on-campus programs and led by our world-class HBS faculty, these programs provide a timely, demanding curriculum; a global perspective; and practical, immediately actionable solutions to business challenges. You will also have the opportunity to recharge, rethink, and refine your skills during dynamic, real-time exchanges with faculty and peers.
View our program portfolio to explore our full schedule, including these new program offerings:
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LAC21 Speakers and Sessions You Don't Want to Miss

January 20, 2021

You have the power to shape national policies relating to school nutrition, and it starts at the 2021 Legislative Action Conference. With this year’s conference going virtual, school meals advocates have unprecedented access to all that LAC has historically offered, including the amazing opportunity to hear from Washington, D.C., insiders, as well as vital professional development opportunities in these challenging times. 
 
#LAC21’s agenda is jam-packed with can’t-miss speakers and sessions, including:  
 
  • The Opening General Session (Monday, March 8) features keynote speakers Andrew H. Card, Jr., and Leon Panetta. A politician and academic administrator with the second-longest tenure as White House Chief of Staff, Card has served in senior government roles under three U.S. presidents. Panetta, a former U.S. Representative from California, has served in a number of high-ranking government roles, including Secretary of Defense, Director of the CIA, White House Chief of Staff and Director of the Office of Management and Budget. 
  • The USDA 2021 Update Session (Tuesday, March 9) will look at what 2021 may bring with a new administration, a new Secretary and a new set of priorities and initiatives. Top officials from the Department will share their insights and plans to address the challenges facing school meal programs in light of COVID-19.  
  • The Lessons Learned from COVID: Best Practices session (Tuesday, March 9) during which a panel of school nutrition directors, state agency members and industry representatives will look at what they learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and what strategies they’ll continue to implement in the future.  
  • The Presentation of the SNA 2021 Position Paper (Wednesday, March 10), which will officially unveil SNA’s roadmap and advocacy plan that will guide conversations with the new 117th Congress—vital information for all school nutrition professionals to hear and understand.  
 
The role of school nutrition—and school nutrition professionals—is more important than ever, and effective advocacy is vital to the sustainability and success of school meals programs. #LAC21 is a can’t-miss event—register now for three impactful afternoons of advocacy (early bird rates end February 5!)
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National School Breakfast Week

January 13, 2021

NSBW Toolkit Is Your Essential Playbook
Use the toolkit to expand the campaign message, “Score Big With School Breakfast," which encourages one’s best effort, teamwork, courage and perseverance, not just in sports-related activities but in all pursuits. Find decorating and costume ideas, menu suggestions and ways to engage parents and the media. The simple DIY planner will get you started. Learn More
 
Visit the SNA NSBW Shop
SNA is kicking off 2021 with new merchandise for National School Breakfast Week (NSBW). Visit the NSBW SNA Shop—now open with budget-friendly merchandise—to bring your ideas to life!
 
Register for the NSBW Marketing Ideas Webinar
NSBW partner Kellogg’s will present a free webinar with a panel of experts, Marketing Ideas to Help You SCORE BIG for Breakfast, on January 21. You’ll glean a full range of ideas to run with, build on or use to jump-start your team’s own imagination—register now.
 
New Activity Sheets to Engage Students
The NSBW 2021 activity sheets include coloring pages, games and puzzles to encourage students to have fun working through NSBW-themed activities with classmates. 
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Webinar Wednesdays

January 13, 2021

SNA is kicking off 2021 with brand new webinars and content. Start the new year off right with training for you and your team! SNA webinars are always free for members and take place at 3:00 pm EST unless otherwise noted. 
  • We will kick things off on January 19 with   Advocating for SNA's 2021 Position Paper.  Join SNA and the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) to hone messaging strategies and prepare for a successful 2021 Legislative Action Conference (LAC) and advocacy- filled year!
  • National School Breakfast Week (NSBW) is also right around the corner, and SNA has teamed up with Kellogg's to present you with  Marketing Ideas to Help You SCORE BIG for Breakfast. On January 21, get ready for an exciting panel discussion with operators from across the country to discuss how they have overcome obstacles while still striving to promote school breakfast this year. 
  • Join us for our last webinar of the month,   Making the Most of USDA Foods, on January 27, when ACDA and SNA representatives will show you how to make the most of USDA Foods as you plan for the next school year. 
  • We are delighted to announce our first-ever Black History Month webinar as part of SNA's new Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Series, made possible with sponsorship from Titan-A LINQ Solution! On February 4, hear from SNA leaders who have shaped the school nutrition profession in  Celebrate Black History Month with SNA.
These are only a few of the many webinars we have planned this year. You can register for all of these sessions on the  Events Page of the Training Zone. Be sure to check in regularly to take advantage of your membership and keep your calendar full of SNA training resources!
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SNA Releases 2021 Position Paper

January 13, 2021

SNA calls on Congress to permanently offer school meals to all students at no charge through the expansion of the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs and to take additional steps to ensure school meal programs' long-term sustainability. Read More
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Oregon School Installs Dividers in Cafeteria

January 12, 2021

Students at Mazama High School in Oregon noticed a few changes intended to prevent the spread of the coronavirus as they returned to in-person learning recently. Changes include the installation of dividers at school lunch tables to help stave off student-to-student transmission of the virus.
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Lidder Machine

January 7, 2021

Dayton Public Schools in Ohio purchased a "lidder" machine that seals meals and provides instructions for students and their families to heat the meals at home. The machine was intended to help the district expand access to school meals during the coronavirus pandemic.
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SNF is Hosting Another Fun Raffle! Don’t Miss your Chance to Win the Grand Prize!

January 7, 2021

Why not kick off 2021 looking and feeling your best? You could win a Kate SpadeTM Designer Purse and the coolest pair of Ray BanTM Aviator Sunglasses by entering the School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) “Looking Good” Fashion Fun Raffle. 
 
  • Anyone may enter and you may enter as often as you like. 
  • Winner MUST possess receipt of ticket purchase along with a valid form of ID.
  • The ticket cost is not tax-deductible. *
SNA School Nutrition Industry Conference co-advisors Dan Ellnor and Carol Weekly will announce the lucky winner during SNIC on Thursday, January 14, 2021, around 3:15 pm EST. Details will be provided on the SNF website.

Have you registered for SNIC yet? It's not too late!
SNIC 2021 presents a unique opportunity to bring your toughest challenges to the best and brightest minds for answers. Join conference co-advisors Dan Ellnor and Carol Weekly for the school nutrition leadership and innovation event of the year next week, January 12-14! Register now

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Emergency Cost for CNP

January 7, 2021

SNA applauded Congress for passing a stimulus bill which includes critical funds to offset some of the losses school nutrition programs have incurred during the pandemic. School meal program revenue has been slashed due to COVID-19 school closures and other challenges. A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found that in March and April 2020, schools served almost 400 million fewer meals than in the same time frame in 2019, resulting in a drastic drop in federal reimbursements. Learn more.
 
See below:
SEC. 722. EMERGENCY COSTS FOR CHILD NUTRITION PROGRAMS DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC
 
Provides emergency relief to help school meal and child and adult care food programs, which are in dire need of financial assistance, to continue serving children and families. Provides as much funding as necessary to carry out these payments.
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Insulated Bags that Safely Deliver Meals

January 7, 2021

Keeps meals HOT or COLD from the kitchen to your kids 
Whatever your meal service method; delivery or drive-thru, classroom or grab n’ go, our Premium Insulated Bags allow you to keep food, snacks, and drinks hot or cold for extended periods of time. Our tear-resistant, antimicrobial liner prevents spills from leaking into the insulation foam and causing unpleasant odors, mold, and bacteria. Made in the U.S.A. using high quality materials for a long-lasting bag! 
Call 1-800 523 8715 to order now
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US Space Force celebrates School Lunch Week

January 5, 2021

During National School Lunch Week, service members from the US Space Force recorded video messages about the day's menu for the class with the greatest boost in school meal participation in Texas' Copperas Cove Independent School District. The collaboration with the space service branch of the US Armed Forces was part of the week's theme of "Blast Off with a Healthy School Lunch."
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SNA 2021-22 Committee Openings

January 4, 2021

Interested in serving on a SNA Committee or Council?
 
Serving on a SNA national committee or council offers exciting opportunities to grow professionally, develop new skills, work on issues from a national perspective, and contribute to the school nutrition profession.
 
We are looking for members like you who want to play an active role in shaping the future of school nutrition programs. Visit www.schoolnutrition.org/LeadershipOpp to learn about the committees and councils and fill out a Committee Interest Form. 
 
All forms are due by Friday, February 19, 2021. Open positions for the 2021-22 year are as follows:
 
Membership Committee
    •   1 Chair
    •   1 Member from each Region listed below:
          Midwest, Northeast, Northwest
 
Nutrition & Research Committee
    •   1 Chair
    •   2 Members with Nutrition Expertise
    •   1 Member from a University with Foodservice Management focus
    •   1 Member from a University with Nutrition focus
    •   1 Industry Representative
 
Professional Development Committee
    •   1 Chair
    •   3 Members from various SNA membership categories from each Region listed below:
          Mideast, Southeast, and West
 
Public Policy & Legislation Committee
    •   1 Chair
    •   1 Member from each Region listed below:
          Mideast, Northeast, Northwest, Southwest
 
Resolutions & Bylaws Committee
    •   1 Member from the Northwest region
    •   1 Industry Representative
 
Membership Section Advisors
    •   1 District Director/Supervisor & Specialist Section member
    •   1 Major City Director/Supervisor & Specialist Section member
 
Industry Advisory Council
    •   1 Equipment Company representative
    •   1 Software Company representative
    •   1 Food Company representative
 
State Agency Advisory Council
    •    4 State Agency Member Openings – 1 from each USDA Region listed below:
          Northeast, Mountain Plains, Southeast, Southwest
 
Please note you must have an active SNA membership and a SNA certificate or credential in order to be eligible for committee consideration, except for the Industry Advisory Council.
 
For questions, please contact nominations@schoolnutrition.org
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Dietary Guidelines

January 4, 2020

THE NEW DIETARY GUIDELINES, TRUMP-ERA EDITION: The Trump administration over the holidays published its formal guidance for healthy eating — and decided to buck the advice of external scientific advisers who recommended that men drink less alcohol and that everyone cut down on added sugars, our Helena Bottemiller Evich reports.
The official Dietary Guidelines for Americans, updated every five years, influence federal nutrition programs and nutritional messaging for millions of American (though most people don’t follow the government’s advice). Before USDA and HHS unveiled the final blueprint last week, an advisory group of dietary experts weighed in over the summer and recommended several notable changes to the existing advice:
— The panel proposed changing the definition of “moderate drinking” to just one alcoholic beverage per day for men, down from the previous limit of two. That prompted sharp blowback from the alcohol industry, and the agencies ultimately declined to change the advice.
— USDA and HHS also ignored the advisers’ call for stricter limits on added sugars, instead sticking with the Obama administration’s advice that individuals get no more than 10 percent of their calories from added sugars. (The advisory committee recommended lowering the limit to 6 percent.)
So what’s new? The updated guidelines are the first to include dietary advice for infants, toddlers and pregnant women. They also have a broader theme of encouraging consumers to “make every bite count” by choosing nutrient-rich foods and beverages, with five categories — fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy and protein — accounting for 85 percent of daily calories.
Why it matters: Nearly three in four adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese, and about 60 percent have a diet-related disease. Childhood obesity is also a big problem, with 40 percent of children and teens overweight or obese.

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New Website and Resources: Start Simple With MyPlate Today

December 29, 2020

Did you hear? The USDA and HHS just released the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025 – our nation’s leading nutrition advice to help all Americans lead healthier lives. 
MyPlate is here to help you and your family put the Dietary Guidelines into action with new digital tools and resources available starting today! Start Simple with MyPlate offers free, personalized resources based on your eating needs and habits.   
Follow these simple steps and get started with these MyPlate resources:
  1. Find your starting point: Take the quick MyPlate Quiz to see how your eating habits stack up against the MyPlate recommendations. Based on your answers you’ll receive tailored resources and a personal quiz results code to sync with the Start Simple with MyPlate app.
  2. Set simple goals based on your personal needsUse the Start Simple with MyPlate app to help you set daily meal- and snack-based goals to help you eat healthier. Sync your results from the MyPlate Quiz for a personalized experience.  Join challenges, see progress, and earn badges to celebrate successes.
  3. Learn how much you should eatTo find out what and how much to eat from each of the food groups, get your own personalized MyPlate Plan.
  4. Put your plan into action: Discover recipes on MyPlate Kitchen. Check out hundreds of healthy, budget-friendly recipes that provide detailed nutrition and food group information to help you choose recipes that fit your needs.
  5. Save money and eat healthy: Use Healthy Eating on a Budget to help you save money at the store by making a shopping plan, shopping smart, and preparing healthy meals to stretch food dollars.
  6. Keep up the good workOne big change is that we’ve officially changed our website from ChooseMyPlate.gov to MyPlate.gov. Explore MyPlate’s new website – MyPlate.gov – with streamlined information for you to find tips, tools, and recipes that will fit your healthy eating needs.
The benefits of healthy eating add up over time, bite by bite. Small changes matter. Start Simple with MyPlate.
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USDA and HHA Just Released the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025

December 29, 2020

12/29/2020 12:26 PM EST
Today, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) released the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025.
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Montgomery County Public Schools

December 23, 2020

Montgomery County Public Schools and dozens of other local organizations in Maryland are working to ensure students have access to food over winter break. The school district provides breakfasts and lunches, and those meals are supplemented by other items, such as beans and pasta, from food bank Manna Food Center so families can prepare more meals.
Full Story: WJLA-TV (Washington, D.C.) (12/23)  
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Prioritize School Employees For Vaccine

December 23, 2020

Teachers and others who are essential to school operations, including school nutrition professionals and bus drivers, should be prioritized in COVID-19 vaccine distribution plans, according to Andre Perry, a David M. Rubenstein Fellow at The Brookings Institution. In this commentary, Perry writes that focusing on school employees will help schools to reopen safely and help the country to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
Full Story: The Hechinger Report (12/22) 
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Farm to School Grants

December 22, 2020

School Nutrition Association
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced its Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) will seek to award $10 million in Farm to School Grants in 2021. Each grant helps implement farm to school programs that increase access to local food in eligible schools, connect children with agriculture for better health and inspire youth to consider careers in agriculture. Applications are due January 8, 2021. Check out FNS's website for Farm to School Grant resources, such as Frequently Asked Questions.
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Critical Advocacy Updates

December 22, 2020

U.S. Congress Passes Funding Bill
The U.S. Congress passed a stimulus bill which includes critical funds to offset some of the losses school nutrition programs have incurred during the pandemic. The stimulus bill distributes emergency relief funds to school meal programs based on a formula that takes into account the level of reimbursement a program received in 2019 and the reimbursement received during the pandemic. The text of the bill is available here. A division-by-division summary of the coronavirus relief provisions is here
SNA is currently combing through the over 5,000 page bill and will provide updates on the comprehensive impact on school nutrition programs soon. Read more in SNA's press release.
 
SNA Files Comments on Proposed Rule to Restore Flexibilities
On Friday, December 18th, SNA filed comments on USDA's proposed ruleRestoration of Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium Flexibilities, published in the Federal Register on November 25, 2020.
We urge all school nutrition advocates to submit comments in support of the proposed rule prior to the December 28th submission deadline. For additional guidance on submitting comments read SNA's news story.
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Safe Schools Act

December 22, 2020

U.S. Representative Jesus G. "Chuy" García (IL-04) introduced H.R. 8664, the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Safe Schools Act. This act provides $17 billion to school districts to pay for PPE, cleaning supplies, technical training and additional staff support needed to keep students, educators and communities safe during COVID-19. This bill has been referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor. Read Congressmen García's full press release.
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Restore Meal Pattern Flexibilities

December 9, 2020

On November 25, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) released proposed regulations to restore flexibilities for milk, whole grain and sodium requirements in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. SNA is currently drafting the Association’s comments in support of this proposed rule and will share them with members as soon as they are submitted. Read more.

In times like these, it is especially important that you make your voice heard on behalf of school nutrition programs and the children they nourish. TAKE ACTION
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Virtual Training

December 9, 2020

Catch up on some of the best training available to help you and your team navigate this school year. Don’t forget that, as an SNA member, all webinars are free! And we offer great members-only pricing for our virtual conferences and online courses. Learn More
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Now Available On Demand: Fall Innovative Solutions Showcase

December 9, 2020

This past fall, SNA launched the first ever Innovative Solutions Showcase, offering a virtual opportunity for industry partners to demonstrate several exciting new products designed to address the unique challenges facing school nutrition operators in SY2020-21 due to COVID-19.  
 
More than 1,000 people attended 29 different presentations on everything from new grab and go and individually wrapped products to mobile packaging, equipment and software solutions. Videos of these 30-minute presentations, indexed by company, are now available on demand for SNA members in the Presentations & Papers Library on the SNA website, along with contact information for the company representatives. 
 
Missed a session, want to rewatch or connect with a rep? Check out the Innovative Solutions Showcase presentations today!

SAVE THE DATE: The next round of Innovative Solutions Showcases are scheduled to launch on Monday, February 1, 2021. Stay tuned for more information.
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Proposed Rule to Restore Flexibilities

December 9, 2020

The USDA's FNS has announced proposed regulations to restore flexibilities for milk, whole grain and sodium requirements in the school meal programs. These proposed regulations were issued directly following the rescission of flexibilities previously provided in 2018. Submit your comments urging USDA to restore flexibilities. TAKE ACTION!
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USDA Seeks Nutrition Flexibility for School Meals

December 9, 2020

The USDA is pursuing enacting more "flexible" nutrition guidelines for public schools. Officials say the potential changes -- including a 50% whole-grain requirement and eliminating sodium-reduction goals -- if enacted, could be reversed by the incoming administration, but it would likely be in place for the remainder of the school year, said Geri Henchy, director of nutrition policy for the Food Research & Action Center.
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Take Advantage of Virtual Training from SNA

December 4, 2020

“Great speakers!” “Exactly what I was looking for!”  This is just some of the feedback our members have shared with us after attending our sessions.
 
In case you missed some of the best virtual training available to help you and your team navigate this school year, you can still catch up! And even if you joined us for the live session, you can consolidate your learning by watching all these sessions on-demand, at your convenience. Below are links to several highly rated sessions.
 
Don’t forget that, as an SNA member, all webinars are free! And we offer great members-only pricing for our virtual conferences and online courses.
 
Webinars Recommended for Directors and Managers
 
 
Webinars Recommended for the Entire Team
 
 
Food Safety Series
 
SNA series of Food Safety Webinars with experts at Kansas State University’s Center for Food Safety in Child Nutrition Programs
 
 
Featured Virtual Conferences and Online Courses
 
 
Check our upcoming events page for new and exciting webinars and virtual conferences.
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Submit Your Comments on the Proposed Rule to Restore Flexibilities

December 2, 2020

In times like these, it is especially important that you make your voice heard on behalf of school nutrition programs and the children they nourish. TAKE ACTION
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School Breakfast Week

December 2, 2020

Why Participate in #NSBW21?
Recognizing National School Breakfast Week in your school and district helps you:
  • Increase student participation
  • Spread the message to parents that you’re serving healthy breakfasts
  • Earn media coverage from local papers, TV stations, and bloggers
  • Connect with teachers and administrators to spread the word that school breakfasts are healthy and integral to student learning
?
Give your breakfast program a boost with SNA tools and resources designed to help you promote it to parents and students. Download the artwork today to get started creating winning campaign materials to “score big” with your school breakfast week celebration!
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Grants for Emergency Feeding

December 2, 2020

The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) has been awarded an additional $100,000 from No Kid Hungry to support the Foundation’s COVID-19 emergency feeding grant program. Are you interested in applying? Learn More
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The Journal

December 2, 2020

The Journal of Child Nutrition & Management (JCN&M) is your source for credible resources of research and evidence to support informed decision-making in all aspects of child nutrition. Read the Fall 2020 edition. It covers alternative breakfast models, students' in-school meal experiences, school wellness and much more.
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School Start Times

December 2, 2020

A study in Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain found that teens with migraines who start school before 8:30 a.m. had an average of 7.1 headache days a month after adjusting for risk factors such as use of migraine medication, homework volume, gender, skipping breakfast and sleep loss, compared with 5.8 headache days among those who start school later in the morning. The findings are based on data involving over 1,000 high-school students.
Full Story: HealthDay News (11/29),  United Press International (11/25)  
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Last Chance to Submit Nominations to SNA for USDA Political Appointees

December 2, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden is currently appointing individuals to high-level positions at various departments and agencies – including the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). During past Administrations, SNA has participated in this process by suggesting names for appointed positions at USDA. As the Biden Administration continues to develop, SNA will again be putting forth candidates for consideration.
 
We would like SNA members to help identify these individuals who should be considered by the Biden Transition Team for appointed positions. Please check out the full announcement for more information on how to submit your application. Applications are due by December 4, 2020. Interested individuals should send their application and resume to Cathy Schuchart, SVP of Government Affairs and Media Relations, at cschuchart@schoolnutrition.org.
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Universal Free Meals

December 2, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted the USDA to issue waivers to allow all schools to provide students with free meals through the end of the school year. Advocates for childhood nutrition say universal, free meals are the optimal offering and help to curb food insecurity, improve outcomes for students and remove the stigma that often accompanies meal assistance.
Full Story: The Hechinger Report (11/24)  
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Bulk Feeding 8 to 11 meals for pickup

December 1, 2020

Colorado's Pueblo School District 60 recently launched a meal distribution program that will run through Dec. 18. Dana Elkins-Greene, the interim nutrition services director, says that, based on high participation rates, the district may opt for bulk distribution of eight to 11 meals.
 Full Story: KOAA-TV (Colorado Springs, Colo.) (11/30)  
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Submit Your Comments on the Proposed Rule to Restore Flexibilities

December 1, 2020

In times like these, it is especially important that you make your voice heard on behalf of school nutrition programs and the children they nourish. 
 
USDA Food and Nutrition Service has announced proposed regulations to restore flexibilities for milk, whole grain and sodium requirements in the school meal programs. These proposed regulations were issued directly following the recission of flexibilities previously provided in 2018. Read more details on this Proposed Rule in SNA’s news story
 
USDA established a 30-day comment period for the proposed rule and “intends to issue a final rule in spring 2021 to ensure that stakeholders can continue to rely on the operational flexibilities proposed in this rule.” As school nutrition professionals on the front lines your expertise and insight is critical. Please take a few moments to submit comments on impact and importance of milk, whole grain and sodium flexibilities. 
 
SNA is currently drafting the Association’s comments in support of this proposed rule and will share them with members as soon as they are submitted.
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Happy Giving Tuesday!

December 1, 2020

During the next 24 hours, people around the world will come together to celebrate generosity and make an impact. At the School Nutrition Foundation, we have big plans for the next year by improving and expanding our scholarship program that awards $100,000 to school nutrition professionals annually. The Foundation has raised more than $621,000 through our GoFundMe crowdfunding initiative, and we have provided over 200 grants ranging between $1,500 - $5,000 to help districts offset their emergency feeding needs. In addition, and separate from the GoFundMe grants, we have also partnered with equipment companies in order to offer not just one, but FOUR kitchen equipment grants for 2021.

"Sometimes, a warm smile and a warm lunch can help a kid get through the day. We don’t know what they’re going through at home." Ina Olson, Supervisor, Falcon School District, Colo.  
 
Will you help us support the school nutrition professionals that so desperately need our help? We are always looking for ways to assist SNA members as they navigate the new path toward feeding children this school year. They need your support more than ever before because of COVID-19 closures and dramatic decreases in participation.  

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving. Your donation will help us expand and improve programs that serve the school nutrition community.
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USDA Issues Proposed Rule to Restore School Meal Flexibilities

November 30, 2020

USDA has announced proposed regulations to restore NSLP/SBP flexibilities for milk, whole grain and sodium requirements. The proposed rule has a 30-day comment period. Read More
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SNA Announces Process for Nominating USDA Political Appointees

November 30, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden is currently appointing individuals to high-level positions at various departments and agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Read More
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Grants Available from SNF

November 30, 2020

The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) has been awarded an additional $100,000 from No Kid Hungry to support the Foundation's COVID-19 emergency feeding grant program. SNF grants have been assisting school meal programs that mobilized grab-and-go meal service for students when COVID-19 forced school closures nationwide in March of this year. SNF continues to support school feeding programs with this next round of grants. To apply for this new funding, please follow the link to the Help Feed School Kids Now COVID-19 Fall 2020 Feeding Grant Application.
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Now On-Demand! Key 2020 Supply Chain findings- Webinar

November 30, 2020

This year, we've learned that real-time inventory visibility is the most critical component of a reliable supply chain. Without it, we're forced to wait until the problem manifests itself in the form of stock-outs or the production line grinds to a halt. Join supply chain experts for an on-demand webinar as they discuss why localization is gaining favor. Watch now
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Start Planning Now for National School Breakfast Week!

November 24, 2020

Mark your calendar for National School Breakfast WeekMarch 8-12, 2021! The #NSBW21 theme, “Score Big with School Breakfast,” is a fun way to show students, parents and stakeholders all the ways that your school breakfast program is a winner! 
 
This year’s theme also reminds parents and stakeholders that a healthy school breakfast helps ensure students’ academic success in school so they can “score big” and reach their goals.
 
Busy weekday mornings for many families mean now is great time to try school breakfast! NSBW is the perfect time to bring attention to your current breakfast program and educate parents on the options available.
 
Why participate in NSBW?
 
Recognizing NSBW in your district or in your cafeteria helps you:
 
  • Increase student participation
  • Spread the message to parents that you’re serving healthy breakfasts 
  • Earn media coverage from local papers, TV stations, and bloggers
  • Connect with teachers and administrators to spread the word that school breakfasts are healthy and integral to student learning
 
Capitalize on NSBW to give your breakfast program a boost with SNA tools and resources designed to help you promote your program to parents and students.
 
Download the artwork today to get started creating winning campaign materials to “score big” with your school breakfast week celebration! 
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USDA Announces $10 Million in Farm to School Grants

November 18, 2020

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced its Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) will seek to award $10 million in Farm to School Grants in 2021. Read More
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021 FA2ME Award Winners Announced

November 18, 2020

For more than 30 years, the FAME Awards have recognized outstanding heroes in K-12 foodservice who raise industry standards by tackling challenges and making a difference within their school districts and communities. Check out the winners of the 2021 Basic American Foods Foodservice Achievement Management Excellence (FAME) Awards.
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Get Answers to Your Allergy Questions ... From the Experts!

November 17, 2020

We receive head-scratching questions about allergies submitted to SNA's Ask the Allergy Expert page all the time. But no allergy riddle is too difficult for our Allergy Experts to solve. Submit your questions today and hear from the National Peanut Board themselves, to give you the peace of mind you need when serving kiddos. Check out the Food Allergy Resource Center for food allergy training, recently updated FAQs and more.
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Now Available: Directors’ Best Practices Conference On-Demand

November 5, 2020

SNA’s recent virtual Directors’ Best Practices Conference was a resounding success! Now, with the on-demand edition, you can take advantage of all the amazing learning opportunities and helpful resources, too. Get inspired with practical solutions to complex challenges–purchase this one-of-kind on-demand training today!
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Professional Development Scholarships

November 5, 2020

Do you find yourself enticed by the idea of continuing your education but stop short of actually going for it? Are you currently taking classes and need some financial assistance? It’s time to break through the barriers standing between you and your professional goals and educational aspirations by taking advantage of scholarships available through SNF! Learn More
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Fostering a Culture of Wellness, Gratitude, and Self-Care: Strategies for Food Service Directors

November 5, 2020

The second webinar in a two-part series from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation offers support for school nutrition teams’ social-emotional health under times of stress and uncertainty. Part Two takes place on Wednesday, November 11, 2:30 pm EST—dive further intro strategies for building a positive workplace culture centered around well-being, learn how to implement an authentic system of gratitude, and promote effective complaining. Free account creation required to register. Register for this webinar.
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Why You Should Be Praising Employees More Often

November 4, 2020

Receiving applause during a video meeting reminded Dan Rockwell that praise can instill a greater sense of accomplishment and motivation than simple gratitude can convey. "Praise makes people believe their work matters and, more importantly, THEY matter," he writes.
Full Story: Leadership Freak (10/28)  

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Data: More Students in US are Learning in Person

November 4, 2020

Most of the 15 largest school districts in the US have at least some amount of in-person learning, and the number of students learning 100% remotely declined by 25 percentage points since Labor Day, according to data from Burbio, which has tracked reopening plans. Data shows that, in most cases, reopening schools to on-campus learning has gone smoothly.
Full Story: USA Today (11/1)
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Oklahoma District Launches Weekend Meal Service

November 4, 2020

School nutrition professionals at Tulsa Public Schools in Oklahoma are expanding meal service to allow students to receive weekend meals on Fridays. During set pickup times, families will be able to access three days of breakfast, lunch and dinner. Full Story: KTUL-TV (Tulsa, Okla.) (10/31)  


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US Lawmakers Propose Bill to Save Education Jobs

October 29, 2020

As much as $261 billion in federal funds would be directed to maintain school jobs, including teachers, over 10 years under the proposed Save Education Jobs Act. The proposal -- aimed at preserving jobs in education that could be affected by the coronavirus -- includes a provision to maintain funding until the US jobless rate reaches 5.5% or less.
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Rise in Hunger has Implications for Maryland Schools

October 29, 2020

A historic increase in food insecurity in Maryland demonstrates that school feeding programs are essential during the coronavirus pandemic, according to two reports released by Maryland Hunger Solutions. The organization's director, Michael Wilson, said schools in particular will need to work to expand access to school breakfasts, which traditionally lag behind school lunches.
 Full Story: Public News Service (10/29)  
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Fostering a Culture of Wellness, Gratitude, and Self-Care: Strategies for Food Service Directors

October 28, 2020

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation has developed a two-part webinar series to provide school nutrition directors with resources to support their team's social-emotional health under times of stress and uncertainty. In part 1—taking place on Thursday, November 5, 1:30 pm EST—learn why staff well-being is critical for a productive workforce, strategies to support staff (and you!), and the building blocks of cultivating a positive culture. Free account creation required to register.Register for this webinar.

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Take Action: Urge the Senate to Pass HEROES 2!

October 28, 2020

Reach out to your Senators and urge passage of the updated HEROES Act which provides critical funding to school meal programs to help cover operating-cost deficits due to COVID-19.
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October marks the 10th anniversary of National Farm to School Month

October 21, 2020

?October marks the 10th anniversary of National Farm to School Month, first designated by Congress in 2010. School districts large and small have built farm-to-school programs that celebrate area farmers and local ingredients through direct-from-farm procurement initiatives; school gardens, greenhouses and hydroponic stations; agricultural education projects; and school menus that feature more fresh fruits and vegetables than ever before.
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Team Nutrition Creates Training Modules for New Food Buying Guide

October 21, 2020

Team Nutrition has released three new interactive training modules for Child Nutrition Programs on the  Food Buying Guide (FBG). Each module contains step-by-step instructions on how to use the FBG. It covers topics such as meal pattern requirements for each Child Nutrition Program, including handy reference charts and tables. 
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Q&A Relating to Nationwide SFSP/SSO Waivers The USDA has published "Questions and Answers Relating to the Nationwide Waiver to Allow Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option Operations through School Year 2020-2021".

October 21, 2020

The USDA has published "Questions and Answers Relating to the Nationwide Waiver to Allow Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option Operations through School Year 2020-2021". This memorandum includes questions and answers intended to provide clarification to State Agencies and Program operators on issues related to recently published waivers for SFSP and SSO during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Read More
The USDA has published "Questions and Answers Relating to the Nationwide Waiver to Allow Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option Operations through School Year 2020-2021". This memorandum includes questions and answers intended to provide clarification to State Agencies and Program operators on issues related to recently published waivers for SFSP and SSO during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Read More
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Apply Today for a School Nutrition Foundation Scholarship!

October 19, 2020

Want to earn your degree? SNF is accepting applications for Professional Development Scholarships to help cover the costs of tuition and books for a degree in a school nutrition related field. The application opened on October 1, 2020 and will end on January 31, 2021 at 11:59 PM (EST). Learn More
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Military Dependents School Meal Eligibility Act

October 19, 2020

On October 7th, U.S. Representatives Susan Davis (CA-53) and Mike Levin (CA-49) introduced H.R. 8534, the Military Dependents School Meal Eligibility Act. This bill would authorize the Department of Defense (DOD) to alert those state agencies overseeing school meal programs to directly certify the children of eligible active duty service members. Read a summary of the bill here.

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Free Set of 6 Social Distancing Posters

October 13, 2020

At Heartland, we want to help you encourage students and staff to follow new guidelines and stay safe this school year. Get 6 different posters to remind students to wear their masks, maintain social distance, sanitize their hands, and more. Available in two color sets. Download your posters here.
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Free School Meals Through June

October 13, 2020

The Agriculture Department on Friday said it would extend a suite of regulatory waivers to allow schools to serve free meals until the end of the school year in June, as the pandemic and economic fallout keep hunger rates high. As Pro Ag’s Helena Bottemiller Evich reports, the move was largely expected after Congress gave the department authority and funding to extend the waivers in a recent spending bill.
How we got here: Under pressure from school leaders and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue agreed in August to extend regulatory flexibility for feeding programs until the end of 2020. But USDA said it couldn’t go any further without more funding from Congress. 
The details: The department is allowing the Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Options to continue through June 30, 2021, essentially letting school cafeterias serve any student for free without checking their qualifications for free or subsidized meals. They also have more flexibility to meet nutritional standards and other requirements.
But, but, but: Despite the flexibility provided by USDA for months, there’s been a notable drop in the number of meals served to students, and the School Nutrition Association says Congress still must allocate more money for the feeding programs.
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SNF Equipment Grants for 2021 are Now Open!

October 10, 2020

The School Nutrition Foundation is teaming up with industry partners to provide new kitchen equipment to deserving districts! Apply now for the 2021 SNF Equipment Grant Program, featuring applications for not one but FOUR grants!Learn More

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Countdown to National School Lunch Week!

October 9, 2020

National School Lunch Week, October 12-16, is right around the corner! Whatever may be #nowplaying in your school lunch program, there are many levels in which you can participate, and many reasons why you should. Learn More
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October is National Farm to School Month!

October 9, 2020

This year's National Farm to School Month is about expressing gratitude to those who help provide nutritious meals to students, including farmers, harvesters, distributors, school nutrition professionals, garden coordinators, and bus driversNominate a Community Food Champion or check out other Farm to School resources to get involved locally!
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National School Lunch Week

October 9, 2020

President Kennedy created National School Lunch Week in 1962—58 years ago! Today, NSLW serves more than 30 million children every school day. Join us in celebrating next week by sharing what you have planned for #NSLW20 and you could be featured in an upcoming issue of School Nutrition

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COVID-19 Safety & Sanitation: Beginning Again

October 9, 2020

Chef Cyndie Story (Ph.D, RDN, CC, SNS) & Dr. Beverly Girard (Ph.D, MBA, RD, SNS), Culinary Solution Centers, LLC, will share best practices to incorporate into health guidance for staff, maintaining time/temp controls for meals and creating cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting protocols. View full conference agenda.
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A Pediatrician’s Perspective: School Meals & Student Health

October 9, 2020

Dr. Robert Murray, Professor at Ohio State University and representative for the American Academy of Pediatrics, will share information on the importance of school meals and an outlook on student health. View full conference agenda.
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Tout Your School Nutrition Team Efforts for a Chance to Win

October 9, 2020

SNA is now accepting submissions for the "School Meal Program Pride" contest! Help SNA recognize school teams for continuing to keep students happy, healthy and fed this fall. We'll feature examples on TrayTalk.org and SNA's social media channels. One randomly selected submission will win $200 credit for the SNA Shop! Enter now through Oct 16.

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Apply Today for a SNF Equipment Grant

October 9, 2020

New this year, eligible applicants have the opportunity to win one of four equipment grants! These four grants are the Winston Equipment Grant, the Vulcan Equipment Grant, the Hobart Equipment Grant, and the Collection Grant. SNF is now accepting applications for the SNF Equipment Grants. If your kitchen needs new equipment, consider applying today! 
 
In order to apply you must be an active-director level member for a minimum of one year and must be responsible for directing the school nutrition program of the school district. The application period began October 1st, 2020 and will end on January 31st, 2021 at 11:59 PM EST. 
 
To apply, visit the SNF website to find out which equipment grant is the right fit for you. Then, fill out an application with basic information about your district.
 
For questions, please contact scholarships@schoolnutrition.org
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Ice Cream Truck Music Draws Students to School Meals

October 9, 2020

A Texas school district has increased participation in its meal delivery program to 2,300 students from 800 after modeling its delivery after an ice cream truck. The bus has a speaker that plays music associated with an ice cream truck.
Full Story: 
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US Senate Passes Funding and Extends USDA Authority to Grant Waivers

October 5, 2020

On September 30th, the U.S. Senate passed H.R.8337, Continuing Appropriations Act 2021, a short-term funding bill that provides $1.4 trillion in continuing FY2021 appropriations for Federal agencies through December 11, 2020. This bill also extends the U.S. Department of Agriculture's authority to issue and extend nationwide child nutrition waivers until September 20, 2021. USDA's authority was first granted back in March under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. President Trump has signed the bill into law.
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House Includes Nutrition Programs In Revised Relief Bill

October 4, 2020

Democrats in the US House released a $2.2 trillion revised HEROES Act bill Monday that includes more money for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and other nutrition programs. The proposal, $1.2 trillion less than the HEROES Act passed by the House in the spring, provides $10 billion for SNAP, $400 million for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children program, $450 million for the Emergency Food Assistance Program, and more than $1 billion in additional nutrition assistance monies for Full Story: The Fence Post (Colorado-Nebraska)/Hagstrom Report (9/29),  The Hill (9/28) 

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Oregon to Provide Meal Funds to Families

October 4, 2020

Oregon's education and human services departments recently announced direct payments to help compensate families for the cost of meals students would have received at school during coronavirus-related closures. More than 300,000 students are eligible for the Pandemic EBT -- or electronic benefits transfer -- payments of $100 or more, which are part of the state's plan to transition students back to school, said Dan Haun of the state's department of human services.
Full Story: Oregon Public Broadcasting (9/29) 
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Mastering Marketing in the Time of COVID-19

October 4, 2020

School Nutrition magazine continues its series of COVID-19 digital supplements with the seventh article in the series. “Time to Mobilize Your Marketing” offers peer-to-peer advice about prioritizing messages and using different tactics to their best effect. Read the Digital Edition
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Danielle Duran Baron Joins SNA Staff as SVP of Marketing & Communications

October 4, 2020

An experienced association executive, Danielle brings a full scope of strategic, operational, and team leadership experiences to her role at SNA. Read More 
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Superhero

Membership!

MdSNA thanks you for all you have been doing throughout this pandemic to support the nutrition of Maryland's children. 

We thank Maryland's superheroes for your perseverance and dedication this year. Your commitment and level of service is always appreciated. We extend the gift of a free annual MdSNA membership to all new and current members, effective January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021.

Recipients must complete acknowledgment form to receive this gift. 

Click here to accept this gift.

Tell your friends, and don't miss this one-time, unprecedented opportunity.
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USDA Publishes SFSP Reimbursement Waiver and Q&A on SFSP/SSO

September 16, 2020

On September 11, 2020, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) released an SFSP reimbursement waiver and Q&A on SFSP/SSP. Read More
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Clarification on NSLP-SBP Meal Pattern Rules for SY 2020-21

September 16, 2020

SNA continues to receive inquiries regarding meal pattern requirements for school meal programs operating the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs (NSLP/SBP). In April 2020, a  federal district court ruling struck down USDA’s  2018 final rule, Child Nutrition Programs: Flexibilities for Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium Requirements. The ruling eliminated NSLP/SBP meal pattern flexibilities, reverting back to the 2012 meal patterns for grades K-12, which required flavored milk to be fat-free; all grains to be whole-grain rich; and school lunches and breakfasts to meet sodium target 2.
However, USDA’s  COVID–19: Nationwide Waiver to Allow Meal Pattern Flexibility in the Child Nutrition Programs waived for all states the requirement to serve meals that meet the meal patterns during school year 2020-21. USDA is allowing school meal programs to use this meal pattern flexibility if they cannot meet the 2012 meal pattern requirements. In the August 21, 2020 FNS document,  Questions and Answers for the Child Nutrition Programs during School Year 2020-2021 – #5, FNS addresses the issue on pages 5 and 6. School nutrition professionals operating NSLP/SBP should contact their State agencies for more information on the waiver process. 
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Meatpacking Fines - Smithfield

September 14, 2020

MORE MEATPACKING FINES: Worker safety regulators on Friday night issued a roughly $15,000 fine against JBS for failing to protect employees from Covid-19 at the Brazilian-owned company’s slaughterhouse in Greeley, Colo. It’s the second financial penalty against a major meatpacker, after Smithfield Foods was dinged $13,500 for safety shortfalls at a South Dakota plant — but critics say the fines are so modest that they won’t be an effective deterrent, the Washington Post reports.
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Please Take SNA's Back to School During COVID-19 Survey

September 11, 2020

As part of SNA’s ongoing advocacy for SNA members, students and school meal programs, SNA is conducting this survey to capture the most current data on how school nutrition programs are returning to school for SY 2020/21. Please participate in this brief survey to assist in our efforts to advocate for school nutrition programs across the country.
 
You received an email from The School Nutrition Association this morning around 10 AM EST with a unique link to take the survey. We encourage you to participate in this brief survey to assist in our efforts to advocate for school nutrition programs across the country.
 
Finally, all who complete the survey will be entered into a drawing for one free registration to SNA’s Directors’ Best Practices Conference this October! 
 
Please complete the survey today!
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Share the National School Lunch Week 2020 Infographic

September 11, 2020

The one-page "Now Playing: School Lunch!" infographic contains key information for parents about the school lunch program and the healthy options available. Download the PDF in English or Spanish and make copies to hand out or share the digital version online.
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Register Now for the Virtual Directors' Best Practices Conference

September 11, 2020

Hear the best ideas to feed kids during a pandemic, learn what's working and what's not, discuss financial sustainability and collectively brainstorm solutions to complex challenges in this one-of-a-kind conference taking place on the three afternoons of Oct. 26 to 28. Learn more.
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Join Us for Week 6 of the Innovative Solutions Showcase!

September 11, 2020

Next week on Monday and Tuesday our industry partners are previewing four exciting new products for the upcoming school year in the Innovation Solutions Showcase. We hope you can join us for this virtual opportunity to connect with representatives and ask questions. 
 
Register now for next week’s sessions. After registering, you’ll receive a unique participation link to access the sessions via Zoom. No need to register each week. The unique link in your confirmation can be used each week through the end of October! 
 
Next week’s sessions feature the following companies:
 
  • National Peanut Board—Be ready to meet the huge increase in demand for peanut butter and have solutions if your favorite pre-packaged items are unavailable. 
  • Foster Farms—Learn about Bold Bites—individually wrapped serving sizes of fully cooked chicken that are perfect for snacking or making an individually portioned meal. 
  • Uncle Ben’s—Preview 3 easy-to-prep and kid-approved dishes perfect for grab-and-go and modular kitchen spaces with rice preparation tips. 
  • LINQ Nutrition—Learn how this online ordering solution allows students and staff to easily order full meals or ala carte items while maintaining social distancing. 
 The Showcase uses the Zoom platform and starts at 1 pm EDT. Each session is 30 minutes. Please note that sessions are subject to change.
 
But wait, there’s more! On each day of the Showcase, we are giving away a FREE registration to the virtual Fall Directors Best Practices Conference in October to one lucky attendee who attends all the sessions for that day. Sweepstakes Rules can be found here. 

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New App & Tool for Families to Find School Meal

September 11, 2020

Thank you for your tremendous efforts to support your school community, and especially students through this time of great need. As we work together to navigate the 2020-21 school year, we continue to champion your important work and engage with partners who may bring incremental support for school nutrition programs nationwide.
 
As this school year is anything but traditional, to help families know when/how their children may access school meals, our partner GENYOUth, in collaboration with SAP, is asking for your help to ensure that school feeding site information in the SAP4Kids Resource Locator Map is current and accurate. You may enter your information here, and we’ve made recent improvements to the platform to make data entry easier for you! 
 
In addition, there are a few new features which include: 
  • Automatic notifications when the data you’ve entered is about to expire.  
  • An app version of SAP4Kids (available through Apple’s app store) 
 
If you have questions about this resource, please contact Courtney Dubin at GENYOUthNow. 
 
Thank you for your herculean work. We’re grateful for all that you do and thankful for your time in sharing this information that will be invaluable in supporting our school communities. You can find more resources from SNA’s allied partners in the COVID-19 section of our website. 
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Analysis: Most Districts Offer Remote Learning

September 9, 2020

Ninety-five percent of school districts plan to reopen with remote learning, with most of these sites also offering in-person and hybrid options, according to an analysis by EdSurge/Social Context Labs. Data shows that students in rural districts are more likely offered in-person instruction or choice.
 Full Story: EdSurge (9/4)  

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Open Call For Education Proposals: Share Your Ideas - Deadline Extended!

September 5, 2020

During this unprecedented time for school nutrition, SNA members are eager for best practices, ideas and information to serve students in virtual, blended and staggered academic schedules. 
 
We invite you to share your knowledge and submit a proposal for an Annual National Conference (ANC) education session, upcoming webinar or virtual conference. While we’ve extended the typical deadline until January 4, 2021—innovators with expert knowledge and creative new practices to share are encouraged to submit proposals through a new rolling process in order to be considered for ANC and for upcoming virtual training, webinars and more. 
 
Visit www.schoolnutrition.org/CFP for details. All proposals must be submitted by January 4, 2021. SNA will be in touch by March 1, 2021 to confirm the status of your session for ANC 2021, or sooner for additional opportunities.  
 
Don’t delay—submit your proposal today!
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Now Playing: School Lunch!

September 5, 2020

Now more than ever, it is vital to communicate how important safe, nutritious and healthy school meals are in fueling student success. Taking part in National School Lunch Week (Oct. 12 to 16), at whatever level your program can participate, helps increase participation, spread the message that school meals remain safe and nutritious, and infuses your program with a little fun and excitement to engage students and stakeholders. Visit the NSLW site for educational materials and head to the SNA NSLW Shop for lunch week gear to get in the spirit.

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Register Now For SNA's Innovative Solutions Showcase - Extended Through October!

September 5, 2020

As a school nutrition professional, are you wondering how you will determine what new products, service or equipment you will need for the upcoming school year -- or perhaps even during the summer as you continue to feed kids during this pandemic? If so, don't miss this opportunity to participate in up to six industry presentations per week through SNA's New Innovative Solutions Showcase. Registration is FREE for SNA members! Learn more.
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USDA Highlights 4 Steps For Food Safety At Home

September 5, 2020

The Food and Safety and Inspection Service of the USDA is kicking off National Food Safety Month by stressing four key food-handling steps that can stop foodborne illnesses. Following the Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill guidelines will help consumers "adopt and practice safe food handling behaviors in their own homes," said Mindy Brashears, undersecretary for food safety.

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Legionella Poses Risk At Some Reopened Schools

September 5, 2020

Experts say students returning to school buildings that have been closed because of the coronavirus pandemic could be at risk for another respiratory illness -- Legionnaires' disease. Testing at schools in Pennsylvania and Ohio has shown traces of Legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease, in some buildings after water supplies have been dormant for months.
Full Story: CBS News (8/31) 

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Share The New Flyer - School Meals Are Safe And Nutritios

September 1, 2020

This new flyer, available on the SNA website in the COVID-19 Back to School Resourcessection, emphasizes that school meals continue to be a safe, nutritious option to fuel student success in SY2020-21 and includes links to supporting language from the USDA, FDA and CDC. Use it to help reassure parents and other stakeholders about school meals by sharing the electronic version or printing out a copy to give to parents. Also available in Spanish.


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SNA Lauds School Meal Waiver Extensions

September 1, 2020

Yesterday, SNA commended the USDA's decision to extend all Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO) waivers through as late as Dec. 31, 2020, dependent on available funding. The move allows schools to offer meals to all children at no charge this fall to minimize the challenges of meal service during a pandemic. SNA is continuing to advocate for these waivers to be extended through School Year (SY) 2020/21. Learn more.
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How Machine Learning Can Enhance School Meal Programs

September 1, 2020

Carnegie Mellon University and several Allegheny County, Pa., groups have been using machine learning to improve school meal programs during the pandemic. Stephen Smith of the university notes that the collaboration used school bus stops as well as machine learning paired with student addresses and three other criteria to develop meal delivery routes.
 Full Story: Government Technology online (8/27)  
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USDA Extends Free School Meal Program Through December

September 1, 2020

The USDA had extended to Dec. 31 the summer meal program in schools, implemented in March because of the novel coronavirus pandemic and provides free meals to families regardless of whether they qualify for free or reduced-price meals. Parts of the program had been set to expire, but school officials, advocacy groups and others objected because of the ongoing hardships faced by families during the pandemic.

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NEWS RELEASE: USDA Extends Free Meals for Kids Through December 31, 2020

August 31, 2020

Summer meal programs can continue operating as funding allows.
 

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USDA: School Meal Waiver Will Expire

August 25, 2020

Schools must transition back to foodservice operations under the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs after US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said a coronavirus waiver allowing schools to operate with fewer restrictions will expire as the new school year begins. In an Aug. 20 letter, Perdue said continuing operations under Summer Food Service Program and the Seamless Summer Option rules "would be closer to a universal school meals program, which Congress has not authorized or funded."


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SNA is Turning 75 - Celebrate With Us!

August 21, 2020

Welcome to SNA's 75th anniversary year! As we reflect on both our historic legacy and our future promise, it is clear this will be no ordinary milestone. The year 2020-21 is expected to be the most dynamic year our profession and organization have ever faced. All the more reason we can look forward to the 75th year as one that will mark the characteristic resilience, innovation, and ingenuity of school nutrition professionals like none other. Throughout this celebratory year, leadership and innovation will take center stage while we also recognize the dedication of past, present, and future leaders. Learn more.
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Director's Best Practices Conference - Virtual Event

August 20, 2020

In a one-of-a-kind virtual SNA conference, join your school nutrition peers to hear national participation trends, the best ideas to feed kids in response to virtual and blended learning environments and staggered academic schedules—all while using classroom, curbside, and other service models. Learn More
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New Tool from SNA Focuses on Menu Management

August 20, 2020

A brand-new desk references features several resources to support complex menu needs for this school year. Read More


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New Tool to Promote Safe, Healthy School Meals

August 20, 2020

SNA has created a new marketing resource to help members promote school meals to families as students head back to school. Read More
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SNA Joins Allied Groups on Letter to USDA

August 20, 2020

SNA, along with 1,315 other organizations signed on to an allied letter to USDA requesting extension of vital school nutrition waivers. Read more


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Senator Stabenow and Congressmen Scott Send Letter to USDA Requesting Extension of Waivers

August 20, 2020

On August 14, 2020, Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) sent a letter to the USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. Read More
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Senator Pat Roberts Sends Letter to USDA Requesting the Extension of Waivers

August 20, 2020

On August 17th, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) sent a letter signed by 19 other Republican Senators, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), to the U.S Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. Read More


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Celebrating 75 Years of Leadership

August 18, 2020

We are excited to share that SNA has created a new marketing resource to help members promote school meals to families as students head back to school. “Safe, Nutritious School Meals—Something You Can Count on for SY 2020-21” is a new sharable flyer that includes details and links to help reassure parents and the community that school meals continue to be a safe, nutritious choice to fuel student success during the 2020-2021 school year. 
 
You are encouraged to download the flyer to share with stakeholders along with details on your program—whether you are serving curbside, in the classroom or the cafeteria this year. 
 
This new tool is the latest in a suite of specialized back-to-school resources for school nutrition professionals that SNA is developing in collaboration with our partners, including Managing Menu Needs in SY2020-21 and the Dining Guide for Meals in the Classroom
 
Learn more about SNA’s COVID-19 Back to School resources.


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New Tool From SNA Focuses On Menu Management

August 18, 2020

This month, SNA published Managing Menu Needs in SY2020-21, Your K-12 School Nutrition Buyer's Guide, Strategy & Solution Resource. This exclusive SNA member benefit was mailed to all directors and managers, as well as state agency and industry representatives. The publication is designed to help school nutrition directors, chefs, supervisors and site managers face this year's unique challenges related to serving tasty, nutritious school meals to students whether they are learning at home or in school buildings. A digital version of Managing Menu Needs, featuring live links to the companies listed in the Buyer's Guide can be found here.
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Webinar - Getting to September, Park II: The First Four Weeks

August 17, 2020

Get ideas for how to manage the first few weeks of the year in this free webinar on Aug. 18. Join us to hear veteran educators discuss:
 
  • Removing the fear and frustration of online instruction.
  • Improving student attendance and engagement.
  • Helping students, teachers manage their social-emotional wellness.
  • Managing relationship and communication with parents, families.
Register now and come armed with questions for our panelists. We will field questions from the audience during a live Q&A.

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New Nationwide COVID-19 Waivers

August 12, 2020

Six nationwide waivers for school meal service during COVID-19 closures have been posted by USDA. Read More
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The Child Nutrition Relief Act of 2020

August 12, 2020

On August 5, 2020, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (NV) introduced S.4447, the Child Nutrition Relief Act, the companion bill to Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez's (NY-07) H.R.7764.
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Texas District Adopts Universal, Free Meals

August 11, 2020

The Ector County Independent School District in Texas will provide free, universal meals to all students during the coming school year at school and via pickup services. The district will use funding from two federal programs to support the breakfast and lunch service; elementary students are not required to complete an application, but parents should fill out an income survey, while middle- and high-school students need a completed paper or online application.
Full Story: KWES-TV (Midland, Texas) (7/15) 
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New Back to School Webinar Series— Feeding Students in a Pandemic: Celebrate and Learn From School Nutrition

August 11, 2020

A brand new webinar returns on Thursday, August 13. Now is the time to recharge, reset and take advantage of this complimentary member benefit in anticipation of what will surely be a challenging school year ahead. 
 
In response to member feedback, we have moved the webinar start time back an hour to 3:00 pm Eastern time which will allow more managers and employees to participate.

School nutrition professionals across the country have been incredibly innovative and shown a commitment to go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that children across the country continued to be fed, even when schools closed suddenly in the spring due to the pandemic. In this session, the speakers will highlight the efforts of districts across the country. In particular, they will present examples of innovation, out-of-the-box solutions, and accomplishments with the goal of celebrating what was done and sharing critical learnings that can be carried forward. They will include best practices and practical tips that attendees may incorporate into their own plans for the unusual circumstances school nutrition staff now face.

Feeding Students in a Pandemic: Celebrate and Learn From School Nutrition Heroes

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SNA's Back to School Series Returns This Week

August 11, 2020

Get ready for a brand new installment in the new SNA Back to School Webinar Series! Now is the time to recharge, reset and take advantage of this complimentary member benefit in anticipation of what will surely be a challenging school year ahead. Join us on Thursday, August 13, at 3:00 p.m. (ET) for "Celebrate and Learn From School Nutrition Heroes." In this session, the speakers will highlight the efforts of districts across the country and spotlight examples of innovation, out-of-the-box solutions, and accomplishments with the goal of celebrating and sharing critical lessons that can be carried forward. Learn more and register.
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Call For 2020-2021 SNA Election Nominations

August 10, 2020

The 2021 election nominations process is open! SNA needs members with strong leadership skills, outstanding professional achievements, and a record of active participation in their state association or SNA to lead the association in the future. The Leadership Development Committee is recruiting for the following positions:

Board of Directors
 
  • Vice President
  • Southeast Regional Director
  • West Regional Director
  • At Large Director

Leadership Development Committee
 
  • Northeast Region Representative
  • Northwest Region Representative
  • Southwest Region Representative

Industry Advisory Council
 
  • Industry Advisory Council Chair

Nomination Process
Submit a nomination for one or two of the open positions or nominate yourself. You’ll find everything you need to know on the SNA website at schoolnutrition.org/LeadershipOpp including the digital nomination form. 
 
All paperwork is due Wednesday, September 30, 2020, so get your form in early! The Leadership Development Committee will meet in October to select the candidate slate for the 2021 election. The selected candidates will be announced in November and the election will be February 15-28, 2021. 
 
Contacts
If you have any questions, please contact nominations@schoolnutrition.org.
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Order Now for National School Lunch Week!

August 7, 2020

August has arrived, which means it’s time to start planning for National School Lunch Week
 
Now is more important than ever to communicate the importance of a nutritious and healthy school lunch and find fun ways promote your program. Be sure to save the dates of October 12-16.
 
Head over to the SNA Shop for all new merchandise to get in the spirit of the 2020 movie theme Now Playing: School Lunch—Your Ticket to Good Nutrition. We’ve included many budget-friendly items this year to help you stretch limited dollars, like an economy apron and water bottle, along with colorful Softstyle cotton t-shirts and other wearables to outfit your team. 
 
The bright and colorful Celebrate line includes the official NSLW logo artwork. You’ll also find a variety of bags and totes that are sure to come in handy, and there’s even a plantable carrot seed bookmark and golden statue movie award in our Nutrition Fun category. 
 
Take advantage of these quality products at excellent prices to promote your program and place your order early for the best selection! For help placing your order, contact customer service
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SNA White Paper

August 8, 2020

What will school look like in SY2020-21? And what will the impact be on school meal operations? Some of you are expecting it will be the most challenging year of your career. That's why we've produced the SNA White Paper, "Thought Starters on Reopening Schools for SY2020-21."
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MD Governor Blocks Move To Close Private Schools

August 4, 2020

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Monday banned local health officers from enforcing blanket orders to close schools following a move in one district to require that private and parochial schools start the school year closed to in-person instruction. In making his announcement, Hogan said private schools "deserve the same opportunity and flexibility to make reopening decisions."

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SNA Endorses School Meals Legislation

August 4, 2020

US lawmakers recently introduced the Pandemic Child Hunger Prevention Act, which would authorize free school meals -- either on campus or distributed via grab-and-go and delivery methods -- during the coronavirus pandemic under the School Breakfast Program and the National School Lunch Program. The School Nutrition Association is strongly supporting the proposed bill as well as advocating for federal emergency funds for school nutrition programs to offset costs related to closures during the pandemic.

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Back to School: SNA Training For You

August 3, 2020

Looking for training for you and your team? Sign up for SNA’s upcoming back to school webinars here
 
SNA has selected top-rated on-demand webinars and online courses to help with your Back to School training plans. Remember, all webinars are free for SNA members so be sure to take advantage of this benefit!
 
Webinars Recommended for Directors and Managers
 
 
Recommended for the entire team:
 
 
SNA series of Food Safety Webinars with experts at Kansas State University’s Center for Food Safety in Child Nutrition Programs
 
 
Also, take advantage of great members-only pricing on top sessions from ANC 2019, SNA’s financial management train-the-trainer program, culinary skills programmingethics training and our popular back to school virtual series for directors
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Two Key School Nutrition Bills

July 30, 2020

Two key school nutrition bills have been introduced, and we need your help to raise awareness and support! Safe and consistent student access to school meals this fall continues to be threatened by unprecedented challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Please take a few minutes to write your legislators urging them to support these bills.
The Pandemic Child Hunger Prevention Act, introduced by House Committee on Education and Labor Chairman Robert C. "Bobby" Scott (VA-03), would guarantee every child has safe access to healthy school meals during SY 2020-21. With a multitude of families newly-eligible for free and reduced-price meals, offering meals to all students at no charge spares overburdened schools the massive task of distributing and processing meal applications and reduces the stigma for children who depend on free meals.  TAKE ACTION!
H.R. 7764, The Child Nutrition Relief Act of 2020, introduced by U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez (NY-7) would allow USDA to extend all COVID-19 school feeding waivers through June 30, 2021. Extending these waivers will allow school meal programs to seamlessly continue grab-and-go meal pick up for distance learners, serve meals to students in the classroom or adjust meal service in the event of a sudden COVID-19 school closure. TAKE ACTION!
Read more about these bills and SNA's support of these measures in SNA's press release.
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Experts: Dietary Guidelines Don't Reflect US Diversity

July 28, 2020

Community groups, advocates and nutrition experts say the proposed 2020-25 Dietary Guidelines for Americans do not address issues that would make them relevant to US racial, ethnic and cultural groups. "The guidelines are culturally insensitive and not practical in many people's lives," said registered dietitian Constance Brown-Riggs.
Full Story: Civil Eats (7/28)  

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Take Action: Request Continued Student Access to School Meals

July 28, 2020

We need you to make your voice heard! On July 10, SNA sent a letter to USDA requesting swift action to guarantee consistent, safe and equitable student access to healthy school meals. We need you to ask Congress to support SNA's requests in the letter to USDA. Take action now!

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Supply Chain Issues May Affect School Meal Service

July 28, 2020

School nutrition officials say supply chain issues related to the novel coronavirus pandemic could affect how school meals are served to students this fall. Laura Benavidez, executive director of food and nutrition services for Boston Public Schools, said many districts will be looking to buy the same products such as boxed meals, and Dallas Independent School District Executive Director Michael Rosenberger said there may be less variety on the district's menu.