Do the weather-related trials presented during SNA’s annual legislative meeting signal similar challenges on the road to Reauthorization? If so, Association members showed they are up for whatever is thrown in their path! You could ask anyone who has lived in Washington, D.C., for the last decade or more: The odds that the School Nutrition editorial team would be seeking snow-related metaphors for its Legislative Action Conference (LAC) coverage two years in a row were slim to none. And yet, here we are, quite winter weary, whistling tunes like “Snowbody knows the winter we’ve seen…,” and reflecting on the snowballs that Mother Nature threw into SNA’s carefully crafted LAC agenda during the first week of March 2014. And yet, the same way that SNA members rally to meet the ever-changing challenges presented to school meal operators, LAC participants, attendees and staff alike rallied to meet unexpected weather-related challenges. SNA Past President Dr. Janey Thornton, SNS, donned different hats to give presentations in her role as deputy under secretary for food, nutrition and consumer services, as well as on behalf of several snowbound USDA colleagues. Other adjustments in programs and speakers were organized. Capitol Hill visits were rescheduled as necessary. And the work, the education and the advocacy continued. We hope that you enjoy this photo essay of LAC 2014 events and activities. We hope that it leaves you inspired to carry on the legislative work that lies ahead in the coming months. [Editors’ Note: See “Teach One, Reach One,” Road to Reauthorization, in SN’s April 2014 issue.] Finally, we fervently hope that by the time this issue actually arrives in reader mailboxes, spring will have finally, definitively and irrevocably sprung. MEMBERS OF CONGRESS GET SOCIAL DURING LAC During LAC 2014, SNA tweeted (via @SchoolLunch) a call out to Senate and House members (and their staffers) who serve on key committees related to child nutrition programs about SNA, hoping to build engagement with LAC attendees visiting lawmakers in their Capitol Hill offices and presenting SNA’s 2014 Position Paper on Federal Child Nutrition Programs. Several members of Congress tweeted back with photos of attendees taken during these office visits. LAC 2014 by the numbers • Nearly 900 school nutrition professionals, allies and industry partners attended SNA’s 42nd annual Legislative Action Conference. This included 124 first-timers and 12 SNA past presidents, whose ongoing work as advocates for school nutrition remains a source of inspiration for many in the profession. Also in attendance were 325 industry members, representing some 123 companies. • LAC attendees represented 339 school districts, serving a collective enrollment of nearly 9.8 million students. • The informative and educational program was planned by SNA’s 11-member Public Policy & Legislation Committee, chaired by Wendy Weyer, RD, SNS. Among the featured speakers, 1 columnist (Pulitzer Prize-winning Kathleen Parker, who also is the author of Save the Males: Why Men Matter, Why Women Should Care) offered a uniquely bipartisan take on Washington politics today. • An insightful Industry Forum featured helpful reports regarding the school nutrition environment one year after meal pattern implementation from 3 state agency directors (June Barrett, Alabama; Nancy Rice, MEd, RD, LD, SNS, Georgia; and Cheryl Johnson, Kansas), as well as 3 school nutrition directors (Jonathan Dickl, MBA, SNS, Tennessee; Jessica Shelly, MBA, REHS, RS, Ohio; and Paul Becker, RD, LD, Missouri). • 2 members of Congress (Sen. John Boozman, R-AR, and Rep. Rodney Davis, R-IL) delivered remarks at a standing-room-only reception held in the Rayburn House Office Building cafeteria for House and Senate members, Congressional staff and LAC attendees. • At least 50 attendees posed for breakfast “selfies” to be posted on social media sites. They happily proclaimed “I Start With School Breakfast” at a morning meal event sponsored by National Dairy Council. • SNA’s Political Action Committee, chaired by Linda Irby, SNS, raised nearly $6,000. SNA’s legislative team uses these funds to attend important Congressional fundraisers and gain access to key lawmakers. • The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) 50th Anniversary Celebration honored 5 School Nutrition Heroes (see page 44), applauded by nearly 300 attendees. Ticket sales, plus the contributions of 17 sponsors, combined to raise more than $100,000 for SNF. • For the 4th year in a row, select school nutrition operators learned valuable management strategies through participation in the Executive Management Seminar held at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. Some 60 attendees took part in the 2-day program, made possible by the generous support of 4 companies: Heartland School Solutions; Hobart, Traulsen and Vulcan (divisions of ITW/FEG); SFSPac Food Service Sanitation Systems; and Tyson Foods, Inc. • Between 3 and 7 inches of snow in the Washington metropolitan area caused traffic havoc and numerous closures of federal offices, shops and restaurants on March 3, making it the 2nd year in a row that D.C. has struggled with late-winter weather during LAC! 50th anniversary celebration SNA’s philanthropic arm, the School Nutrition Foundation (SNF), marked its 50th anniversary with a special celebration honoring five individuals as School Nutrition Heroes. The award was developed to shine a much-deserved spotlight on the extraordinary efforts of ordinary SNA members. THE 2014 HONOREES ARE: • Dorothy Caldwell, SNA Past President (1993-94); Director of Child Nutrition (Retired), Arkansas Department of Education; Deputy Administrator for Special Nutrition Programs (Retired), U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services • Margo Frazier, Supervisor of Operations, Sheldon (Texas) Independent School District • Sandi Kramer, Nutrition Director, Yankton (S.D.) School District • Joanne Terry, Administrative Assistant, Charlotte County (Fla.) Public Schools • Karen Watson, CNP Manager, Sylacauga High School, Sylacauga City (Ala.) Schools
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