FIRE SAFETY Don’t Get Burned: Be Fire Smart October is Fire Safety Month, an opportunity to review and refresh fire safety and escape plans at home and at school. In 2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 369,500 home structure fires, which caused 2,755 deaths and 12,200 civilian injuries, says the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Cooking is the No. 1 cause of fires in residential and non-residential buildings, finds the U.S. Fire Administration. Make sure you limit your risk for becoming a statistic! Make an escape plan. Draw a floor plan of your home and school, ensuring that all family members and colleagues know at least two ways of evacuating each room. Include stairs, hallways and windows in your floor plans. Review the details regularly, so everyone can remember the escape route options when under the stress of an emergency. Pick a safe place away from the building (the neighbor’s lawn across the street, the mailbox at the end of the sidewalk, etc.) where everyone can meet. Practice this emergency action plan once a month. Install and check smoke alarms monthly. According to the NFPA, the threat of dying in home structure fires is cut in half in residences containing smoke alarms. Install smoke alarms in all bedrooms and on every floor. (The 2015 theme of Fire Prevention Week, October 4-10, is “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep.”) There are two kinds of alarms: Ionization smoke alarms give first warning of flaming fires (paper burning in a wastebasket or a grease fire), while photoelectric alarms are designed to warn about smoldering fires (fabrics or beddings that smoke for an extended period before igniting into flame). NFPA recommends using both types of alarms in your home. Take steps to prevent fires from starting—and spreading. Store cleaning supplies and other household chemicals in a dry cabinet. Keep matches and lighters on shelves where children can’t reach. Turn off lights when you’ve finished using them to prevent bulbs from overheating. Unplug cords so they don’t spark and cause electric fires. Pay attention when you are cooking; unattended cooking is a factor in one-third of home fires, says NFPA. If a fire does ignite in your home or workplace, follow your emergency action plan and stay low to the ground while evacuating to avoid smoke. Get out immediately; don’t waste time trying to save valuables. If your clothing catches fire, stop what you’re doing, drop to the floor and roll until the fire burns out. Finally, always remember to call 911 once you are out of harm’s way. For more information on fire safety, visit www.usfa.fema.gov/data/statistics and www.nfpa.org. PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS Cafeteria Staff Need Training School nutrition staffers need additional training to effectively implement current nutrition standards and operate a successful meals program, according to the findings of a new report from The Pew Charitable Trusts and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. While the report analyzes survey results collected in 2012-13, before USDA released the final rule establishing national professional standards for school nutrition personnel, the results affirm the need for increased training—and for the funds to support such initiatives. Specifically, the authors of Serving Healthy School Meals: Staff Development and Training Needs recommend that: ■ school officials prioritize and plan opportunities for foodservice personnel training; ■ federal,state and local policymakers prioritize making funds available for applicable training; and ■ organizations that have an interest in improving community wellness and children’s health and education work with schools to increase and enhance training opportunities. The report, which surveyed school food authorities (SFAs) participating in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, determined that, in order to run a successful program that meets current meal pattern regulations, the majority of school districts would begin turning to more scratch-cooking and recipe alterations. To do this, directors and managers need training in developing or modifying menus, while cooks and front-line servers require training in basic culinary skills. But only 37% of SFAs reported having a budget for training, and two-thirds of this group say their budgets are insufficient. To read the report in its entirety, visit http://tinyurl.com/PewRWJF-TrainingNeedsRpt. SNA is committed to being the premier resource for Professional Standards compliance. To learn more about tools offered by the Association, including an online training tracking tool, visit www.schoolnutrition.org/professionalstandards/resources. HEALTH Anti-Smoking Efforts Pay Off Little by little, stricter laws and innovative public awareness campaigns are chipping away at the smoking rate in America. As of 2013, 17.8% of Americans age 18 or older smoke, down from a whopping 42.7% in 1965, and, according to a study published in June in Tobacco Control, U.S. smokers are more likely to quit as the overall rate drops in this country. Previously, “The assumption [was that,] as smoking prevalence decreases, those smokers who are left will be the hardcore smokers who are unable or unwilling to quit,” says study author Margarete Kulik, a postdoctoral fellow with the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco. “We found out that there is not hardening [of attitudes]. There is softening. There is actually more quitting, and people smoke less.” Factors affecting this “softening” include stricter laws and regulations that make it increasingly difficult to light up in public spaces, as well as high cigarette taxes and effective education campaigns. Next month, consider joining in the Great American Smokeout, November 19, sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Begin with the START plan: Set a date to quit smoking within the next two weeks. Tell family and friends, so they can support you; also consider finding a quitting buddy. Anticipate challenges, and determine a plan to deal with them. Remove cigarettes and tobacco from your house, car and work. Finally, Talk to your doctor about getting help—there are medications that can address withdrawal symptoms. For more information about quitting smoking, visit www.smokefree.gov and www.cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco. HR CORNER Dealing With a Difficult Boss A troublesome supervisor can have a significant impact on your job satisfaction, lowering your morale, reducing your efficiency and having an impact on the overall success of your entire team. If you are considering seeking a new position because of a difficult boss, you’re not alone—one national survey found that 75% of employees claimed their boss is the worst part of their job. In fact, 65% of employees note that they would rather have a new boss than a pay raise! Now, we know that each and every one of our readers is doing her and his very best to serve the profession, but sometimes personalities clash. First things first, however—recognize when a problem is truly worth heading to the district’s Human Resources department. If you’re dealing with verbal abuse or unfair labor practices, you need a higher-up to step in and address matters. For minor issues, though, such as if you’ve found that you simply don’t connect well or comfortably with your supervisor, you can take some measures to make your relationship a little bit better or, at the very least, make your workday bearable. ■ If your boss doesn’t pitch in... Become the person that your coworkers can count on. There’s satisfaction in being the one that others turn to for a job well done. ■ If your boss is vague about your duties ... Repeat her or his instructions and ask, “Is that what you meant?” This ensures that you’re on the same page about a project or task. ■ If your boss doesn’t motivate you ... Find affirmation elsewhere, whether it’s in the eyes of the children you’re serving or even in a volunteer role outside your daily job. Keep a notebook of your achievements, which you can use not only to boost your self-esteem, but also as back-up when an opportunity for a promotion or new position comes your way. Above all, take the high road when you can. When you have a supervisor who doesn’t work as hard as you or is always negative, it’s easy to fall into a similar pattern and take long breaks, slack on responsibilities, complain frequently to coworkers or generally lose interest in your job. Instead, keep your “personal brand” in mind, by completing your tasks in a timely manner and displaying a positive attitude—you never know who’s watching the dynamic in the kitchen or office. If you’re putting in your personal best, it might mean bigger and better opportunities down the road—even if it’s not your immediate superior who offers them to you. [Editors’ Note: See this month’s main feature articles for other advice on creating a happy, healthy workplace.] RESEARCH Fight Obesity With FFVP Looking for a new strategy to address childhood obesity in your district? (And, really, who isn’t these days?) If you have school sites eligible to participate in the federal Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP), you might be able to make a dent in the obesity epidemic. According to a study published in Applied Economic Perspective and Policy, researchers in Arkansas, where the 20% rate of obesity in 10-to 17-year-olds is one of the highest in the country, determined that implementing FFVP led to a 3% decline in obesity in the sampled low-income elementary schools. Furthermore, the study finds that the federal cost to implement this program is pretty easy to swallow—just $50 to $75 per child per year, compared to the $280 to $339 per child per year rate that other, less-effective efforts to target childhood obesity have cost. “By this measure, our results suggest that the [FFVP] is a very cost-effective obesity prevention tool,” said study coauthor Rodolfo Nayga in a press release. To learn more about the FFVP and to fill out an application, visit USDA’s website at www.fns.usda.gov/ffvp/fresh-fruit-and-vegetable-program. NutrıNET Greatist www.greatist.com This happy website’s goal is to “help the world think of health in a healthier way” by celebrating our individual definitions of “healthy” and self-improvement. From “The Best Delicious Desserts Made Healthier” to mastering a perfect yoga pose in 60 seconds, these short articles and videos are grouped into action-based categories: Eat, Move, Play, Grow, Connect and Discover. IMAlive www.imalive.org More than 30% of those who call a suicide hotline hang up as soon as they hear a voice. IMAlive is the world’s first virtual crisis center that uses instant messaging to respond to those who need support during moments of intense emotional pain. The site guarantees that 100% of its volunteers are trained and certified in crisis intervention. Oyster.com www.oyster.com If you’ve ever shown up to a dismal hotel that had great online photos, Oyster.com is your travel site. Along with honest reviews, it compares pro photos to Oyster’s own, spots “photo fakeouts” and helps you decide whether it’s a place you truly want to vacation. Calendar15 Oct15 OCT. 3-6 Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Nashville, Tenn.; www.eatrightfnce.org OCT. 10-13 NFRA Convention, National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association Dallas; www.nfraweb.org OCT. 15-17 2015 School Health Conference, American School Health Association Orlando; www.ashaweb.org OCT. 23-26 Annual Meeting & Expo, Association of School Business Officials International Grapevine, Texas; www.asbointl.org OCT. 26-28 24th Annual Child Care Food Program Roundtable Conference Los Angeles; www.ccfproundtable.org OCT. 28-30 2015 National Conference, Society for Hospitality and Foodservice Management New Orleans; www.shfm-online.org Nov15 NOV. 2-5 USDA/State Agency Workshop, U.S. Department of Agriculture By invitation-only for employees affiliated with a state department of agriculture or education or the USDA. Arlington, Va.; www.theicn.org NOV. 6-8 reThink Food Conference, Culinary Institute of America Napa Valley, Calif.; www.re-thinkfood.org NOV. 17-20 Food Safety Consortium, Food Safety Tech Schaumburg, Ill. www.foodsafetyconsortium.org Dec15 DEC. 2-5 AESA 30th Annual Conference, Association of Education Service Agencies New Orleans; www.aesa.us Dec. 15-16 Technology Conference & Expo 2015, American Society of Association Executives National Harbor, Md.; www.technologyconference.org DateBOOK October American Cheese Month Breast Cancer Awareness Month National Chili Month National Domestic Violence Awareness Month National Pizza Month National Stop Bullying Month National School Lunch Week (Oct. 12-16) National Food Bank Week (Oct. 12-18) National School Bus Safety Week (Oct. 19-23) Columbus Day (observed) (Oct. 12) MLB World Series Begins (Oct. 27) Halloween (Oct. 31) National UNICEF Day (Oct. 31) November National American Indian Heritage Month National Diabetes Month Peanut Butter Lovers’ Month Vegan Month National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week (Nov. 14-22) National Farm-City Week (Nov. 21-27) National Game & Puzzle Week (Nov. 22-28) Daylight Savings Time Ends (Nov. 1) National Authors Day (Nov. 1) Election Day (Nov. 3) Sandwich Day (Nov. 3) Veterans Day (Nov. 11) Homemade Bread Day (Nov. 17) Mickey Mouse’s Birthday (Nov. 18) Great American Smokeout (Nov. 19) National Education Support Professionals Day (Nov. 18) Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 26) Mark Twain’s Birthday (Nov. 30) December National Pear Month Safe Toys and Gifts Month Worldwide Food Service Safety Month Hanukkah (Dec. 6-14) Human Rights Week (Dec. 10-17) Kwanzaa (Dec. 26-Jan. 1) Rosa Parks Day (Dec. 1) World AIDS Day (Dec. 1) Enter to WIN Grant Goodness! Congratulations to the winners of Tyson Food Services’ grant giveaways, awarded during SNA’s Annual National Conference in July. Tracey Webster of Wythe County (Va.) Public Schools brought back the top grant of $10,000, while Sonja Gayer of Davis (Utah) School District was awarded a $5,000 grant. In addition, five $1,000 grants were distributed, going to Pam Stone of Gwinnett County (Ga.) School District; MaryFell, SNS, of Alum Rock (Calif.) Unified School District; Nicole Trunk of Barrow County (Ga.) School District; Linda Hopey of New Market (N.H.) School District; and Micheline Piekarski, SNS, of Oak Park & River Forest School District in Illinois. Visit www.tysonfoodservice.com. Keeping Things Simplot Ready for a recipe contest exclusive to K-12 operators? Simplot asks you to submit your favorite recipe featuring vegetable offerings from the company’s Classic®, Culinary Select™ or Roastworks® product lines. One grand-prize winner will earn a four-day, three-night trip to SNA’s 2016 Annual National Conference (ANC) in San Antonio, Texas, including hotel accommodations, as well as an on-site menu-planning consultation with a registered dietitian. Additionally, four runners-up will receive a registration to ANC 2016. Submit your entries before December 31; visit www.simplotfoods.com/k12contest to enter and for recipe and menu inspiration. There is no limit on the number of entries you may submit. Out to Lunch KIWI magazine’s National Take Your Parents to Lunch Day 2015 Contest is open through October 31. To enter, visit www.kiwimagonline.com/lunchdaycon test and complete a survey about what your school is doing to participate in National Take Your Parents to Lunch Day, held in conjunction with National School Lunch Week and officially observed on October 14. Entrants also must describe how their school would benefit from a $1,000 grant from the Whole Kids Foundation to improve the school lunch program. Grand-prize winners, once selected, must provide proof that the school participated in the event by sharing at least three photographs taken during October 12-16, 2015. A Bright Idea To celebrate National Apple Month, observed each October, Knouse Foods is launching its first Musselman’s Bright Apples Sweepstakes for K-12 schools across theUnited States. Participating schools will receive fun, educational posters to use in their cafeterias. Eligible foodservice directors, school officials and other school nutrition employees can enter the sweepstakes in one of two easy ways: by completing the online registration form or redeeming the K-12 rebate. Five winners will be chosen from a random drawing and each will receive an apple tree seedling to plant at their school and a $500 American Express® gift card to be used for school improvements. Schools can gain additional chances in the drawing by submitting photos of students with one or more of the Bright Apples posters on display in the school. Entries will be accepted through October 31. For more information and rules and regulations, visit www.knousefoodservice.com/bright-apples-sweepstakes. School Milk Hero Congratulations to Lanell Jones, child nutrition director at Aransas Pass (Texas) Independent School District! Jones “saved Martin the Carton from the perils of other milk coolers,” in a promotional giveaway contest that concluded at SNA’s Annual National Conference in Salt Lake City in July. Jones won a Traulsen Milk Cooler for Charlie Marshall Elementary! For more from Traulsen, visit www.traulsen.com. Grant Us Strength Share Our Strength offers grants to support innovative programs that help improve children’s access to programs that bridge the hunger gap. It’s available to schools that work to increase participation in such meal programs as the Summer Food Service Program, the School Breakfast Program or afterschool suppers. Learn more, including deadlines, at www.nokidhungry.org.
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