Frank DiPasquale 0000-00-00 00:00:00
A Call to Action Waiting can be an extraordinarily difficult thing to do. And when it comes to revised meal pattern and nutrition standard regulations, you have waited a long time. The regulations were mandated to reflect the recommendations of an edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans that was released nearly seven years ago. Proposed regulations were finally unveiled at the start of 2011, and here we are at its end. The comment period closed more than six months ago. All this waiting has produced a lot of anxiety- especially because we are waiting on change. And while change itself can be uncomfortable, waiting on unknown-or, worse, suspected- change can be downright unbearable. But for now, wait we must. The rule is coming-it may even be released by the time this magazine reaches your mailbox. And in the meantime, it does us no good to give in to our anxieties, especially when doing so leads to division and discord. The rule will be released, and when it is, we will do what SNA and its allies have always done best: Work together to serve America's kids. We don't need to wait for the regulation to put aside our anxieties and disagreements, however. SNA-its individual members and industry partners-as well as its like minded allies, need to start working cooperatively now on a comprehensive, sustained public awareness campaign that will counter myths and misinformation about school nutrition programs, school meals, the products served and the professionals in this business. Let's engage. Let's each commit to taking a leadership role and participating in a coalition that will work toward our shared interests and goals. We are all vested in the same ultimate outcome: educating and promoting quality school nutrition programs. We each can reach out and share our stories-share our truths-with one or more of our top target audiences: parents, school administrators, political leaders, business leaders and resource allocators. We don't need to wait to get started on this kind of initiative. Indeed, we cannot afford to wait. We can and must take action without delay in order to dictate the message, rather than being forced over and over again to respond to someone else's agenda. This month, as part of a broader strategic visioning process, SNA's leaders will be identifying some of the goals and elements of a thoughtful, proactive, cooperative public awareness plan. While those details are being developed, I hope that each of you-operators, industry and allies alike-will seek out opportunities to collaborate together now in creative ways to promote our key messages.
Published by School Nutrition Association. View All Articles.
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