Everybody loves a party! Sometimes, though, pulling off a great cafeteria event or promotion takes a lot of planning and effort, and a wellintentioned idea can wind up meaning more work than enjoyment. That’s why, when it comes to National School Lunch Week (NSLW) and National School Breakfast Week (NSBW), SNA provides you with many promotional resources to save you time and to help you keep the focus on the most important part of your job—serving your students. And the first source of these is this magazine! Each April, School Nutrition previews the themes for the coming school year’s NSLW/NSBW promotions. But there’s more—a lot more! Available on the SNA website are menu ideas, marketing and p.r. resources, activities for students and backpack brochures to send home. Also be sure to visit SNA’s Emporium (http://emporium.school nutrition.org), where you can purchase items (balloons, t-shirts, aprons, posters) to help promote these events. Aside from the many ways that NSLW/NSBW can help build participation and be fun occasions for you and your students, there are other good reasons to invest time and energy in these events. The upcoming 2012 NSLW theme, “School Lunch: What’s Cooking?,” (page 22) is an ideal way to let parents and the community know about all of the great new things you’re doing in your kitchens. Maybe you’re serving more choices and greater varieties of fruits and vegetables, which probably means you’ve also developed a number of new healthy recipes. Are you conducting new nutrition education activities? Is your department involved in wellness initiatives that involve teachers, coaches and others? NSLW is a perfect time to communicate your accomplishments to your community. While this year’s NSBW is behind us—I hope you and your students had fun!—it’s not too early to set the wheels in motion for NSBW 2013. Now that you know the theme is “Be a Star With School Breakfast” (page 24), you can start brainstorming ways to use NSBW to remind students about the importance of starting the day off with a great breakfast. The best promotions require good planning, communication and a bit of extra effort. To lighten the load—and share the opportunities—you can ask your staff to be a part of the planning; this is just one way to make sure that everyone on the team feels a part of the event. If you have coordinated any successful promotions, I would love to hear about them. Contact me at email@example.com. Until next time, thanks for all you do! School Nutrition Employee Week May 7-11, 2012 We all know that school nutrition professionals deserve to be celebrated every day, but School Nutrition Employee Week offers a special opportunity to recognize your staff and coworkers with some focused attention on all their important work and contributions. The week also reminds everyone in the community, including parents, teachers and school administrators, of the important role that school nutrition professionals at every level play in the education setting. Visit www.schoolnutrition.org/snew for ideas on how to honor your colleagues using this year’s “Serving Up Excellence” theme. Be sure to post reflections about your team members on the online Appreciation Wall or show your thanks by purchasing small gift items from SNA’s online Emporium. However you recognize your colleagues during this special week-long event, they’re sure to feel valued and appreciated! Global Child Nutrition Month Join the Fight to End World Hunger According to the United Nations’ Food Agricultural Organization, more than one billion people worldwide are undernourished and go to bed hungry every night. Advocates know that serving meals in school can make a tremendous difference in eradicating hunger and poverty—which is at the heart of the mission and work of the Global Child Nutrition Foundation (GCNF). This month marks the fifth annual Global Child Nutrition Month, sponsored by GCNF and supported by SNA. Work with students, teachers and other school staff to raise awareness about hunger in your community and around the world. This month also is a great time to raise funds for GCNF and other hunger-relief organizations. For more on GCNF’s projects, visit www.gcnf.org.
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