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School Foodservice Professionals Gather in Nashville

Healthy school meals a hot topic nationwide

As the U.S. Department of Agriculture finalizes new nutrition standards for school meals, the School Nutrition Association (SNA) is helping thousands of school nutrition professionals from across the country connect with healthy new ideas for school meals. 

More than 7,500 are expected to gather in Nashville, Tenn., from July 10-13 for SNA’s 65th Annual National Conference (ANC).  ANC 2011 will offer more than 95 accredited education breakout sessions, vast networking opportunities and the largest exhibit hall in school nutrition, featuring more than 770 exhibit booths packed with nutritious foods and beverages, services, equipment and technology.

Many ANC education sessions will guide participants on how to meet the anticipated new USDA meal patterns and encourage students to give healthier foods a try.  Topics range from taking the HealthierUS School Challenge and implementing First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign in schools to participating in Coordinated School Health Programs.  This year for the first time ever, members of SNA’s Chef’s Table will host three new education sessions to help school foodservice operators partner with local chefs to promote healthy choices in schools.

ANC 2011 provides members of the media an opportunity to understand the trends and issues facing school nutrition programs nationwide:

  • Thousands of school nutrition professionals will participate in education sessions on topics including scratch cooking, school nutrition standards, Farm to School, food allergies, food recall procedures, school food equipment, nutrition education, managing costs and more.
  • The largest exhibit hall in school foodservice industry featuring more than 770 booths from over 350 companies, on approximately 180,000 square feet of space.  Exhibitors include major suppliers of food, beverages, equipment, and software/hardware technology as well as smaller companies that contribute to healthy school meal programs.  On display will be a wide variety of whole grain products, fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy items, nutritious snacks and much more. Cameras and interviews are permitted in the exhibit hall with permission and advanced press registration.
  • General session speakers include US Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, Chef and Sustainability Advocate Barton Seaver, Olympic Gold Medalist and co-chair of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition Dominique Dawes, and body language expert Janine Driver. National awards of excellence in school nutrition will also be presented.
  • Six culinary demonstrations featuring innovative recipes like Whole-Wheat Citrus Couscous Salad, Vegetarian Chili, and Roasted Chicken Brown Rice.

 

SNA, (http://www.schoolnutrition.org) the School Nutrition Association, is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 53,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country.  Founded in 1946, the Association and its members are dedicated to feeding children safe and nutritious meals.