MEAL PROGRAMS 5 Things to Research Now for Summer 2016 Summer 2015 may be just getting started, but it’s actually the perfect time to begin mapping out your strategies for starting or expanding your Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) for next year. Take advantage of the timing to review what you’re doing and where there is untapped potential. Visit neighboring communities to explore what they are doing to serve low-income students who truly need this valuable meal program. If you can get a head start on the fundamentals now, you won’t have to worry about doing so during the height of the school year, making it easier to ensure that all plans will be solidly in place by the time next summer rolls around. 1. Determine if you’re going to be a sponsor or a vendor (or both). The sponsor of an SFSP incurs most of the financial and administrative responsibility (including site monitoring, training and reimbursement claims), while a vendor’s primary responsibility is to provide the actual meal (preparation, delivery and service). You might choose to take just one of these roles or you might do both at different sites throughout the community. If your interest is primarily in being a vendor—or adding vendor contracts in addition to your own sponsorship sites—research other organizations that are current or potential SFSP sponsors; these might be a local government agency (such as a parks and recreation department), a private organization (perhaps a camp or church) or a non-profit (a food pantry or advocacy group). 2. Discover possible serving locations. Spend the summer scouting out areas where children naturally congregate while out of school. Options include school playgrounds, camps, churches, parks and public housing complexes. There are guidelines to offering the SFSP at different types of sites, though, and your state agency will determine if the proposed locations are eligible. 3. Figure out efficient and innovative ways to deliver and serve the food. If you want to invest in special equipment or transportation to improve your SFSP participation reach—for example, SNA President Julia Bauscher’s Louisville, Ky., district is among those that have outfitted a school bus for this purpose—now is the time to get the ball rolling. Don’t forget about food safety needs! 4. Identify partners to support your program. Grant-makers, donors or corporate sponsors can help make the program possible by filling the gaps for funding and supplies and assisting with marketing, as well as providing enrichment activities. Scout out potential donors and partners in the form of foundations, corporations and individual supporters. 5. Ask plenty of questions! Find out if other school nutrition directors in the area have experience with summer meals programs. Contact them for specific advice about serving in your state or region. Of course, there are a number of moving cogs when it comes to implementing or expanding an SFSP. SNA, with support from the National Watermelon Promotion Board, developed a handy toolkit that can help you put all the pieces together for a successful program. Download it at www.schoolnutrition.org/summerfeeding. ANC 2015 How Great Is The Great Salt Lake? For those attending SNA’s 2015 Annual National Conference (ANC), July 12-15, 2015, in Salt Lake City, one of the most alluring extracurricular activities undoubtedly will be taking a gander at the massive lake from which the city draws its name. But how “great” can one lake really be? (We can hear the members from Minnesota, “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” scoffing from here!) Truth be told, the Great Salt Lake is pretty darn cool and definitely worth some of your time while visiting Utah. It’s the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere (those massive Great Lakes along the U.S./Canada border are freshwater bodies), and it contains a salinity content that’s actually higher than seawater— anywhere from 5% to 27%, depending on the lake’s water levels, compared to 3.5% average salinity in the world’s oceans. For additional comparison, the Dead Sea in Israel has 33.7% salinity. As large the Great Salt Lake is (1,700 square miles, to be exact), it’s actually the remnant of a lake that was around 13 times larger! Lake Bonneville covered much of present-day Utah, along with a little bit of Idaho and Nevada, until some 16,800 years ago (give or take a few years). In its heyday, Bonneville was as large as present-day Lake Michigan and nearly 1,000 feet deep. (The Great Salt Lake is only 16 feet deep at average levels.) Even though Lake Bonneville was fairly fresh, it contained salt that concentrated as its water evaporated. Some two million tons of dissolved salts, leached from soil and rocks, is deposited in the Great Salt Lake every year by the rivers that end there. One of the most intriguing features of the Great Salt Lake is an “earthwork sculpture” called “Spiral Jetty,” located on its northeastern shore—a bit of a reach from Salt Lake City, given that it’s a 2.5-hour drive. Constructed in 1970 by sculptor Robert Smithson, Spiral Jetty forms a 1,500-foot-long, 15-foot-wide coil protruding from the shore of the lake. The amount of the spiral that you can see depends on the level of the lake; at 4,195 feet, the coil is fully submerged. As of press time, the lake level hovered just above 4,190 feet, but the hot, dry summer months are usually when it is at its lowest. Also, the lower the lake, the higher the salt levels, which can make for buoyant swimming! As you begin packing for ANC, check the lake levels on the USGS website by visiting http://tinyurl.com/SLCjetty to determine if the side trip north is worth your while this summer. FOOD PROFILE Mango Magnifico! Are you ready to celebrate all things mango during the month of June? Even though mango is available yearround, it’s most plentiful this time of year, earning June the designation of National Mango Month—and that means it’s time to indulge in this juicy, sweet fruit. Mangos grow in tropical climates, so domestic production occurs mostly in Florida, California, Hawaii and Puerto Rico; however, the fruit was first grown in India more than 5,000 years ago. When you select a mango, ignore its color—whether it’s green, red, yellow or somewhere in between—its ripeness is best determined by how the mango feels. Squeeze it softly; a ripe mango will have a slight give. The trickiest part to eating or cooking with a fresh mango isn’t picking one out, however, but cutting around its large central seed. The National Mango Board offers up some advice: 1. Stand the mango on your cutting board stem end down and hold. Place your knife about 1⁄4-in. from the widest center line and cut down through the mango. Flip the mango around and repeat this cut on the other side. The resulting ovals of mango flesh are known as the “cheeks.” 2. Cut parallel slices into the mango flesh, being careful not to cut through the skin. Turn the mango cheek a quarter rotation and cut another set of parallel slices to make a checkerboard pattern. 3. Either “Slice and Scoop” (scoop the mango slices out of the mango skin using a large spoon) or use the “Inside Out” method (turn the scored mango cheek inside out by pushing the skin up from underneath, and scrape the mango chunks off of the skin with a knife or spoon). With just 100 calories per cup, more than 20 vitamins and minerals and no fat, sodium or cholesterol, there’s really no wrong way to eat a mango. Visit www.mango.org for recipe ideas and more information about this tropical fruit. HEALTH Protect Your Peepers From burned corneas to stinging eyes, summer is full of optical hazards. As much as you love those $10 sunglasses you picked up at your favorite accessories store, are you sure they’re doing their job when it comes to protecting your peepers? And do you know how to protect your eyes in other situations, such as when it comes to pool chemicals, insect bites or sports injuries? Stay Shady. As you might expect, the top tip is to invest in worthy sunglasses and don them frequently. Cheap sunglasses probably won’t do the trick; find shades that are labeled 100% UV protection and, if possible, look for ones that wrap around, so rays can’t stream in through the side. Too much ultraviolet light not only can burn your corneas (a painful affliction), but also speed up the formation of cataracts. For extra eye protection, wear a hat in the sun, too. Heads Up! Baseball is America’s favorite summer pastime, but 5% of all eye injuries are due to wayward baseballs, according to the U.S. Eye Injury Registry—and tennis balls, badminton birdies and squash balls can do their own fair share of damage. Ideally, protective eye goggles should be worn to safeguard your face when playing these types of sports. Chemical Concerns. Splish-splash your summer away in the pool, but take precautions to protect your eyes from the chemicals found in the water. If your eyes sting in pool water, it’s likely not actually harming your vision; however, if it hurts, then take a break and rinse your eyes immediately with clean water. To soothe irritated eyes, use an artificial tears solution, rather than anti-redness drops. Consider purchasing a pair of swim goggles before you go back in the water. If you’re a sporadic swimmer, inexpensive recreational googles will serve their purpose, but if you swim daily, choose a product marked “practice googles.” Watch for Critters. Mosquitoes, fleas and chiggers, oh my! These little critters can wreak havoc on your skin during the summer months, but be particularly mindful of bites that occur near your eye. Although it’s tempting to slather on the insect repellent, that can do more damage. Use cold compresses to relieve the swelling and itching that a bug bite can create, and see a doctor immediately if you have concern that it’s getting infected. RESEARCH Breakfast Boosts Achievement More research continues to affirm the many benefits that eating breakfast at school provides to students of all ages and demographics. Add to the list a new study that examines the value that school breakfast has on helping students do better in the classroom. “There’s been a lot of research on the value of breakfast in general, but I wanted to specifically see whether or not the School Breakfast Program (SBP) as it exists today is effective in improving educational performance,” said the study’s author, David Frisvold, assistant professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Iowa. Today, an estimated 90,000 schools serve breakfast to 13.5 million children. Published online in the Journal of Public Economics, the study compared publicly available educational assessment scores among thousands of fifth-graders. Students were grouped into two categories: 1) students at schools just below the threshold of being required by their state to offer free breakfast, and 2) those at schools just above the threshold. (Twelve states require that schools provide the federal School Breakfast Program [SBP] once a certain percentage of their student population is eligible for free or reducedprice school meals.) Elementary schools that were required to offer the SBP showed students had 25% better math grades and similarly higher reading and science grades than students at schools that did not provide a breakfast program. Although the findings showed a correlation between schools that provide morning meals and higher school performance, the study wasn’t designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship. Nonetheless, researchers discovered that those fifth-graders (from schools that had been participating in the breakfast program for a longer period) had greater academic gains. Frisvold concluded that the findings provide additional evidence of the connection between good nutrition and good grades. “These results suggest that the persistent exposure to the relatively more nutritious breakfast offered through the breakfast program throughout elementary school can yield important gains in achievement,” he said. NutrıNET FISHWATCH www.fishwatch.gov Learn the nitty-gritty about sustainable seafood via this website from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Tools you can share with your colleagues and customers include a fact sheet, video, recipe cards and details on buying, preparing and eating responsibly caught seafood. Click on “Fishwatch Toolbox” to access these. Instructables www.instructables.com What do you want to make? A green smoothie? A homemade bow tie? A compost sensor? Instructables, which originated in the MIT Media Lab, has instructions for projects in just about every category you can imagine, including food, crafts, technology and more. It could be considered the ultimate do-it-yourself resource. ACE Fitness www.acefitness.org Take back your health with the help of the American Council on Exercise. The group’s website offers myriad health resources, including an exercise library, tips from personal trainers and wellness challenges that can keep you motivated. BY THE NUMBERS With This Ring, I Thee Spend There’s good news for those preparing to walk down the aisle in Arkansas and Utah—your states boast the lowest average cost of a wedding in the country. The bad news: that average cost still rings in at more than $18,000 and $15,000, respectively. However, that’s still quite a bit less than the national average cost of a wedding in the United States, which for 2014 was $31,213, according to wedding website The Knot’s Real Weddings Study Statistics. Since June is the most popular month of the year to get married, it’s a great opportunity to take a look at some other statistics that make up the crazy world of weddings. 136. The average number of guests at a wedding. This is down slightly from 149 in 2009. 29. The average age of a U.S. bride; Grooms are, on average, age 31. Brides tend to be youngest in Utah and oldest in Nevada. 16. The percentage of couples who get engaged in December. 14. The typical length of an engagement in months. 24. Percentage of destination weddings. 45. Percentage of couples who go over-budget on their wedding; only 6% are under-budget. $1,357. The average amount spent on a wedding dress. $76,328. Average cost of a wedding in Manhattan. Calendar15 June15 JUNE 8-11 FMI Connect, Food Marketing Institute Chicago; www.fmi.org JUNE 21-24 National Charter Schools Conference, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools New Orleans; www.publiccharters.org JUNE 24-27 106th Annual Conference and Expo, American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences Jacksonville, Fla.; www.aafcs.org July15 JULY 11-14 IFT15: Where Science Feeds Innovation, Institute of Food Technologists Chicago; www.am-fe.ift.org JULY 22-25 2015 National Conference, The National Association of College & University Food Services Indianapolis; www.nacufs.org JULY 25-28 2015 Annual Conference: Creativity & Innovation in Nutrition Education, Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior Pittsburgh; www.sneb.org JULY 25-28 Annual Meeting, International Association for Food Protection Portland, Oregon; www.foodprotection.org JULY 27-31 National School Safety Conference, School Safety Advocacy Council Las Vegas; www.schoolsafety911.org Aug15 AUG. 8-10 Third Annual Farm to Table International Conference, SoFAB Institute and The LSU AgCenter New Orleans; http://f2t-int.com AUG. 8-11 Annual Meeting & Exposition, American Society of Association Executives Detroit; www.asaeannualmeeting.org AUG. 19-21 2014 National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Public Health Information Coalition Atlanta; www.cdc.gov/nchcmm DateBOOK June Fireworks Safety Months (June 1-July 31) National Dairy Month National Soul Food Month Turkey Lovers’ Month National Men’s Health Week (June 15-21) National Running Day (June 3) FIFA Women’s World Cup Begins (June 6) National Cancer Survivors Day (June 7) World Oceans Day (June 8) Anne Frank’s Birthday (June 12) Flag Day (June 14) Father’s Day (June 21) First Day of Summer (June 21) First Harry Potter Book Published Anniversary (June 26) Great American Backyard Campout (June 27) July National Blueberries Month National Grilling Month National Hot Dog Month National Ice Cream Month National Watermelon Month Picnic Month U.S. Special Olympics World Summer Games (July 25-Aug. 2) Anniversary of the First U.S. Zoo (July 1) Independence Day (July 4) Tour de France Begins (July 4) P.T. Barnum’s Birthday (July 5) Bastille Day (July 14) MLB All-Star Game (July 15) Anniversary of the First Moon Landing (July 20) Amelia Earhart’s Birthday (July 24) Beatrix Potter’s Birthday (July 28) August National Back-to-School Month National Family Fun Month National Immunization Awareness Month National Peach Month National Picnic Month National Farmers’ Market Week (Aug. 2-8) Enter toWIN Berry Delicious! The California Strawberry Commission invites foodservice operators to enter its photo contest for a chance for some publicity and a berry nice gift. If you have a signature strawberry item on your menu, take a photo and email it to email@example.com. Include your name, mailing address, the name of the dish and the name of your operation. You can also post it on social media using the hashtag #strawberryspotting. Each month through September 30, the California Strawberry Commission will select a favorite photo, publicize it via its website and newsletter and send a gift as a prize. Visit www.californiastrawberries.com. Creative Minds Congratulations to the winners of the 2014-2015 Kids Create Contest, sponsored by Minnesota’s CKC Good Food. The contest supports nutrition and health education with age-appropriate activities teaching kids about healthy lifestyles. The first-place winner in the K-2 category is Ashley Llapa, second grade, Aurora Charter School, Minneapolis, for her illustration of fruits of vegetables. In the grade 3-5 category, Emily Jacqueline Rodriguez Garcia, third grade, also of Aurora Charter School, took top marks for her picture of her favorite fruits and vegetables in their growing environment. In the grade 6-8 category, the winner is Amy Karpov (pictured), seventh grade, Maranatha Christian Academy, Brooklyn Park, Minn., for an essay on why it’s important to eat healthy foods. To see all the winning entries, including those from the second-and third-place winners, visit www.ckcgoodfood.com. For the Family What dish does your family always have on its request list? If you have a recipe that your family adores, enter it in Taste of Home’s Family-Friendly Recipe Contest. All recipes must be 12 ingredients or fewer, appeal to kids and moms alike and be submitted by June 9. The winner receives $500 and a mention in Simple & Delicious magazine. Submit your recipe online at www.tasteofhome.com/contests. Say Cheese! Food Network and Sargento Cheese are collaborating to present the Chopped at Home Challenge, a competition that emulates the TV reality show, “Chopped.” Visit www.foodnetwork. com/shows/chopped/chopped-at-home-chal lenge to find out the four mystery items in your virtual “basket,” and then create an original recipe featuring those ingredients. Four finalists will receive a trip to New York City to participate in a cook-off, and the winner will take home $10,000. Submit your recipe by June 29 at the URL above. Entries will be judged based on presentation, creativity and appetite appeal. Lovin’ Lentils Join contestants at the National Lentil Festival by submitting your favorite original recipe containing at least a half-cup raw lentils or 1 cup cooked lentils, plus a photo of the dish. Five finalists will be invited to compete at the Festival in Pullman, Wash., August 21-22, including hotel accommodations and airfare reimbursement. The grand-prize winner will earn $2,000. Submit your recipe by June 15 at www.lentilfest.com. Get a Move On Has your district begun to install salad bars as part of your system’s or school’s reimbursable meal program? Apply for a Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools grant to be awarded a 6-ft., five-well salad bar. Applicants must serve at least 100 reimbursable meals daily. It can take up to 12 months for your salad bar(s) to be fully funded; once funded, your salad bar will be delivered in four to six weeks. Visit www.saladbars2schools.org
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