By Julia Bauscher, SNS, SNA President 2014-10-06 11:29:58
Fueled Up by Fall A few days before I wrote this month’s column, my daughter and I were talking about how fall is our favorite time of year. The days tend to be cooler and crisper. Green leaves change to beautiful hues of red, orange and yellow. In our part of the country, there is usually a bountiful harvest of bright orange pumpkins. Of course, fall means the start of football, with basketball soon to follow and many other sports! This is often the time of year when I jump-start my own summerstalled exercise routine, because I really enjoy the cooler temps and brighter-than-usual sunshine. Although it’s only the beginning of October, I am already starting to prepare for Halloween—and then it will be Thanksgiving and the winter holidays. Before we know it, 2015 will be upon us, and I always look forward to the beginning of another year. In the meantime, though, fall is a great period to reflect and be thankful. In particular, this is the perfect time of year to reflect on your school meal program. Did you have a successful launch of another school year? I hope you’ve taken some time to review data from last year in order to celebrate accomplishments and set goals for improvement. Directors, have you checked out SNA’s new online Keys to Excellence assessment tool? It’s a terrific resource for evaluating the many different areas of your complex operation; you will get pointed in the right direction for fixing problems and taking things to the next level. Compare your program with others of a similar size and characteristics and use the data in making the case for new initiatives with other stakeholders in the community. You can learn more about Keys in the article on page 42. One fall highlight for our Association is the election of new members to SNA’s Board of Directors and Nominating Committee. I think we have a wonderful slate of dedicated and talented school nutrition professionals running for office. Now, I ask you to do your part. Make time to check out the bios for all of the candidates online at SchoolNutrition.org and finally, cast your vote! The beauty of fall won’t last forever, and winter will bring colder, dreary weather to much of the country. With this in mind, I suggest you mark your calendar now and make plans to join hundreds of fellow members in sunny Phoenix, for SNA’s School Nutrition Industry Conference (SNIC) in January. I can promise you that the engagement and energy that are among the hallmarks of every SNIC surely will make winter pass more quickly into spring! But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves: Enjoy the fabulous fall!
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