Wearing their passion on their sleeves, SNA members charge past roadblocks—both metaphorical and literal—to accomplish their LAC goals. First, slippery ice and frigid temperatures made for treacherous Washington, D.C., sidewalks on Sunday. Then, a Congressional visit by Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, closed local streets and bumped school nutrition advocacy meetings with Capitol Hill lawmakers. Finally, a late-winter snowstorm—the third in as many years and apparently now a tradition for SNA’s March Legislative Action Conference (LAC)—resulted in record snow totals at all three of the region’s airports, snarling travel plans as Association members wrapped up meetings and attempted to depart the city. Nothing, however, was going to diminish the spirit of LAC 2015 attendees, a record-high 929 strong, rallying together in support of school meals. The logistical challenges were barely a distraction to minds set on the importance of setting priorities for the upcoming 2015 Child Nutrition Reauthorization—the fundamental reason for showing up in Washington in the first place. So, after listening to an array of speakers, who discussed everything from the upcoming presidential election to the impact of sodium regulations to the everyday challenges faced by industry and operators in the K-12 foodservice segment, LAC attendees slipped on their boots, donned their heavy coats and made their way to Capitol Hill to visit their state’s lawmakers. If you weren’t able to attend this year’s conference—and even if you did—take a few minutes to glance through some of the highlights of LAC 2015. It just might inspire you to attend next year’s event! And maybe, just maybe, the 2016 LAC participants will get to experience a little spring weather in the nation’s capital next March. LAC 2015 by the Numbers • A record-high 929 school nutrition professionals, allies and partners attended the 43rd annual Legislative Action Conference. This included 139 first-timers and 11 SNA past presidents, as well as 264 industry members, representing some 118 companies. The school nutrition operators present represented a collective 8.7 million student enrollment. • SNA’s 16-member Public Policy & Legislation Committee, chaired by Wendy Weyer, RD, SNS, planned an engaging and informative program. Speakers and guests included 1 political analyst (Larry Sabato), 1 doctor (Robert P. Heaney, MD), 2 U.S. senators (Sens. John Hoeven and Pat Roberts) 2 U.S. representatives (Reps. Jim McGovern and Rodney Davis), 1 professional football player (Mark Schlereth) and 2 presidential mascots from the Washington Nationals baseball team. Also, on the agenda—and in the audience—were 33 USDA officials. • Senator John Hoeven (R-N.D.) announced he planned to introduce 1 bill, the Healthy School Meals Flexibility Act, aimed at providing greater flexibility and common sense within federal school meals regulations. • Approximately 60 school nutrition directors attended the 2-day Executive Management Program at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, which was made possible by the support of 3 companies: the Hobart, Traulsen and Vulcan divisions of ITW/FEG; Heartland School Systems; and SFSPac Food Service Sanitation Systems. • SNA’s Political Action Committee raised more than $7,260. SNA’s legislative team uses these funds to attend important congressional fundraisers and gain access to key lawmakers. • The 2nd annual Celebration of School Nutrition Heroes, supporting the initiatives of the School Nutrition Foundation, honored 5 outstanding individuals (see page 44). In attendance were 280 individuals who turned out to applaud the above-and-beyond contributions of this year’s Heroes. Ticket sales and the contributions of 16 sponsors combined to raise at least (at press time) $45,000 for the Foundation. School Nutrition Foundation Celebration of School Nutrition Heroes For the second year, the School Nutrition Foundation (SNF), the philanthropic sister organization of SNA, honored five individuals as School Nutrition Heroes for their extraordinary contributions to their community, as well as their involvement in SNA and its state and local chapters. The 2015 honorees are: • Coletta Hines-Newell, SNS, Director of Food Services Arlington Heights (Ill.) School District 25 • Jill Kidd, MS, RD, SNS, Director of Nutrition Services, Pueblo City (Colo.) Schools • Cathy Potter, Cafeteria Server, Maryville (Tenn.) City Schools • Robert Rusan, District Chef, Maplewood-Richmond Heights (Mo.) School District • Nancy Younglove, Food Service Director, North Rose-Wolcott (N.Y.) Central Schools To learn more about the honorees’ dedication and creativity, visit www.schoolnutrition.org/snf/specialevents. School Nutrition will feature each of these Heroes in upcoming articles later in 2015. Thank You! This year’s SNF Celebration of School Nutrition Heroes was made possible with the generous support of the following sponsors. PREMIERE AdvancePierre Foods LEADERS AccuTemp Products Jennie-O Turkey Store KeyImpact Sales & Systems Land O’Lakes Dairy Foods Mott’s National Dairy Council CHAMPIONS Foster Farms Foodservice School Nutrition Association Schwan’s Food Service SUPPORTERS ConAgra Foodservice HOPCO Foodservice Marketing J&J Snack Foods Los Cabos Mexican Foods PepsiCo Foodservice Red Gold SAVE THE DATE! Honor your colleagues and support the important work of the School Nutrition Foundation. Save the date for the 2016 Celebration of School Nutrition Heroes, which will be held on Monday, February 29, 2016, at the Marriott Marquis during SNA’s 2016 Legislative Action Conference. See you there!
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