National School Lunch Week 2017 School Lunch: Recipes for Success October 9-13, 2017 You know what gets School Nutrition excited about brand-new National School Lunch Week or National School Breakfast Week campaigns? Seeing the creativity YOU bring to the party each year! Sure, SNA develops the theme and produces a host of branded resources, but that’s just the beginning—the magic really happens when you give it your personalized spin, creating fun games and tasty new menu items, along with unique promotions and marketing efforts. We can’t wait to see what you do in SY 2017-18! SNA has cooked up a clever and highly appropriate theme for National School Lunch Week (NSLW) 2017! School Lunch: Recipes for Success is intended to help you start conversations with students, parents and others in your community about the recipes that make school lunch special in your school or district. And by “recipes,” we mean all of the ingredients that make your cafeteria program outstanding: its people, special activities, innovative initiatives, decorative food art, use of new technology, commitment to nutrition education and, yes, of course, the meals, too! This year’s School Lunch: Recipes for Success theme offers you the opportunity to highlight the recipes and menu items that truly tempt your students’ taste buds—and showcase your team’s achievements in mastering all the elements of flavor, eye appeal, variety and nutrition in a single meal. This year’s NSLW campaign also provides a platform for you to promote some of the behind-the-scenes creativity that are key elements in your program’s daily success. Are you involved in a school garden or other farm to school initiative? Do you offer salad bars? Have you tried made-to-order stations? How much from-scratch cooking do you conduct? Do you rely on student taste tests? Have you provided culinary arts training for staff? How do you involve the students? Ever tried coordinating a Junior Iron Chef event? Whether it’s a special project or a best practice that you do every day when school is in session, NSLW is the time to shout about it! #NSLW17 is also a primo occasion to get the whole school community involved in your meals program, and the flexibility of the School Lunch: Recipes for Success theme will allow you access to a full spectrum of opportunity, from the simple to the elaborate. Maybe you ask kids to vote for the specific meals they want to see on the menu during NSLW. Perhaps you ask them to fill out a card identifying three to four “ingredients” that they use in “recipes” for personal success and create a special display in the cafeteria. You could work with key figures throughout the school or community (the principal, a beloved coach, the mayor, the police chief) to share favorite recipes, convert these to comply with K-12 nutrition standards and serve them up in October. Invite parents to share recipes that have been passed down through the generations. The ideas are limited only by your imagination. NSLW will be observed October 9-13, 2017. That gives you plenty of time to get organized and plan the best and most inclusive celebration your school has seen yet. Let’s help you get started. INGREDIENTS: WHAT YOU’LL NEED Use the annual online Toolkit at www.schoolnutrition.org/nslw as the foundation recipe for creating your event. But be sure to mix in those signature ingredients that will make it uniquely your own! The Toolkit includes: 1) A National School Lunch Week & National School Lunch Program (NSLP) infographic that highlights key messages 2) A social media plan that starts in the weeks leading up to #NSLW17 and gains momentum throughout the weeklong celebration; make sure to use a variety of platforms to reach all audiences (e.g. Facebook for parents, Instagram for students) 3) Logos and artwork for customizing menus, signage, displays and online promotions 4) Activity sheets and other student engagement tools 5) Legislator Lunch: Tips and outreach materials to invite state and national lawmakers to your cafeteria during NSLW 6) Media outreach tips, tools and talking points 7) Branded merchandise sold through the SNA Emporium for cafeteria displays, staff uniforms and giveaways Yield: A fun-filled week of NSLW celebrations designed to increase awareness of and participation in your school lunch program! PREP TIME: SIX MONTHS In both life and cooking, the proof is in the prep work! Don’t wait for the new school year to roll around—gather your staff and start planning for #NSLW17 now to avoid a last-minute scramble, especially during the busy back to school season. Ask your team to put their heads together for creative ideas for everything from menuing to marketing. Then, create a task list—be specific and think through all of the steps involved. Next, establish a timeline, request volunteers and distribute assignments. SCHOOL LUNCH: FAST FACTS Commit a few talking points to memory, so you’re always ready to answer questions about NSLW and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). • The National School Lunch Program was established by the 79th Congress in 1946 after the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act was signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. • National School Lunch Week was created in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy. • 95% of U.S. students attend schools that participate in the NSLP. • More than 30 million school lunches are served daily across the United States, which means school nutrition professionals serve 5 billion lunches annually through the NSLP! • Check out the “About School Meals” tab on SNA’s SchoolNutrition.org website for more information about trends and facts. Also consider buying a copy of the 2017 edition of The Little Big Fact Book: The Essential Guide to School Nutrition, available in the online Bookstore (click on the News and Publications tab). CREATE YOUR OWN RECIPE FOR NSLW SUCCESS The “Recipes for Success” theme is ripe for creative cafeteria fun; here are a few ways to implement variations on the NSLW 2017 theme and get your own creative juices flowing. • Conduct recipe contests among cafeteria team members—or non-cafeteria staffers—with student serving as judges. • Coordinate student taste testing of new menu items. • Organize a student cooking competition. • Scale down a student favorite to be a family-size recipe; publish it via your school/district newsletter, web page and social media pages. • Collaborate with a local farmer, restaurateur or foodservice vendors to create a special new dish exclusively for #NSLW17. • Encourage parents to submit favorite family recipes on your social media page. Display them in the cafeteria or compile in a simple, printed collection for students to take back home at the end of #NSLW17. • Pick a different “ingredient” of your school nutrition operation (farm to school programs, reimbursable vending, harvest of the month promotions, health inspection scores, new menu items, longest-serving staff member) to highlight through social media or as part of cafeteria displays or as part of PA announcements each day of #NSLW17.
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