Helen Phillips 0000-00-00 00:00:00
Taking a Stand What a year it has been! For the past 12 months, our profession and our Association have faced one challenge after another. Of course, assessment of and response to the proposed meal pattern regulations have dominated attention. But it's also been a year marked by ongoing negative stereotyping of school meals in the media. And budget crunching across the country is tighter than ever. "May you live in interesting times" is a proverb long positioned as a Chinese "curse." But I think that "interesting times" can be opportunities to shine. Last spring, when we introduced the 2011-12 Plan of Action, we used the theme: "Stand up for Change." And I am so proud that SNA has the courage and the authority to take a stand on tough issues time and again. That authority comes from you, the Association's 50,000+ members, of course. SNA members continue to reaffirm that this organization is the voice for child nutrition, and that you want-and expect-your leaders to take strong positions on critical issues. Of course, with a membership as large and diverse as ours, it is impossible for SNA to please everyone on every issue. But I hope you agree with me that it is critical for SNA to be seen by its allies and opponents alike as steadfast, clear-sighted and consistent in its positions. The meal patterns are going to change how we operate, and, frankly, change is long overdue. As a director, I might like a particular change that you intensely dislike, and vice versa; that's our respective prerogatives. But we can and should find gratification that our leaders and staff have done their due diligence to identify and support priorities that best represent our membership's wide-ranging needs and interests. SNA has been resolute in supporting the position we took last spring when submitting our well-researched comments to the proposed regulations. Since, we have worked very hard to ensure that policymakers understand our programs and the impact that changes will have on their operation. And through that process, I am placing faith in our friends at USDA who have assured us that the new regulation will be actionable and achievable. As SNA Past President and Deputy Undersecretary Janey Thornton, PhD, SNS, notes in the interview beginning on page 14, we all share the same goal: The priority for both SNA and USDA is to have successful local-level programs. In the meantime, we continue to wait-patiently-for the regulation to be released. My holiday wish-in addition to hoping that we all enjoy a safe and happy time with loved ones-is that we see it soon, and that we can breathe a collective sigh of relief before the real work begins!
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