Sandra Ford 2013-01-28 22:49:38
Kids Are Always at the Core Like most of you, I have witnessed firsthand how our programs make genuine differences in the lives of children; it’s why I have always believed that our programs must be kid-centered. When you find yourself face to face with hungry kids who don’t miss a meal, you know you are in a critically important profession. And it’s that fundamental that we must keep in mind with every business decision. In my district, we have schools that serve universal free breakfast to students—some of the sites feed more than 80% of the enrollment. I also have helped to facilitate “pack-a-sack” programs that help ensure that low-income students will have food on weekends. Still, I never expected that day I’d be taking steps to offer a supper program! One doesn’t enter into starting another federal child nutrition program lightly. There are many details that must addressed. In Manatee County, we are still in the early discussion and planning stages, but my heart and head are ready to go. My goal is to conduct a pilot program at three schools. Knowing the resistance we sometimes encounter when it comes to offering breakfast, I braced myself when approaching the three principals. I expected to hear, “No, not in my school. We can’t do one more thing.” Imagine my surprise and delight when the idea was met with downright enthusiasm! “Could we really do this? Could we really provide students with supper before they go home?” All three principals focused on the benefits of this program: keeping kids at school for tutoring and getting them much-needed food and nutrition. We must keep our eyes on that prize: It’s all about the kids; everything we do is about serving their needs, being a partner in education and helping them to thrive. While our team is still months away from serving our first supper, I believe it will happen. Did you ever imagine you’d be serving supper at school? And yet here we are—finding new ways to make a difference. SNA’s Legislative Action Conference (LAC) is just around the corner. I hope you are registered, because this is our very best opportunity to secure the future of all our programs: breakfast, lunch, snack, summer—and supper, too. Our visits on Capitol Hill have made a difference in the past; this is why we have these great kid-centered programs today! I am so proud of this year’s Legislative Issue Paper (see page 72). We take some pretty bold positions, but I believe they will help our members—and our industry partners—to continue to focus on doing what is right for students. Join me in March in charging the Hill with our passion, our expertise and our mission! (And walking around beautiful Washington will be a great way to meet STEPS goals!)
Published by School Nutrition Association. View All Articles.
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