2020 Regional Employees of the Year Celebrated As Frontline Heroes

With each smile or kind word, cafeteria employees make a difference in children’s school days. This spring, those smiles are hidden under masks, but they are still there. The national, non-profit School Nutrition Association (SNA) received hundreds of nominations of stellar school nutrition professionals and awarded six Regional Employees of the Year. The award was created to recognize outstanding school nutrition employees who positively influence the quality of school meals through exemplary customer service. Meet the 2020 winners: Read more…

Managers of the Year Recognized For Dedication to Students

Adjusting school foodservice to emergency feeding operations following COVID-19 school closures, managers of school cafeterias are using their multitasking skills to ensure students have access to healthy meals.  In recognition of their outstanding hard work and dedication, the national, non-profit School Nutrition Association (SNA) has awarded the 2020 Regional Managers of the Year, considered the highest honor a school nutrition manager can earn. The award recognizes cafeteria managers who have demonstrated dedication and ingenuity to improve his or her school meal program. Read more…

National Award Recipients Excel to Meet Evolving School Foodservice Needs

To coincide with School Lunch Hero Day, the non-profit School Nutrition Association (SNA) on Friday announced its annual Director, Manager and Employee of the Year winners. These awards recognize the dedication and outstanding commitment of school nutrition professionals from around the country that go above and beyond in service to their students and school meal programs. While schools have closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of these foodservice heroes have continued their mission to feed America’s children in difficult situations – one curbside pickup, bus drop-off or home delivery at a time. Read more…

More Heroic Than Ever Amid School Closures

It may look a little different this year, with school closures and empty cafeterias, but the celebration of School Lunch Hero Day (SLHD) on May 1, 2020, has never been more important. Among the frontline heroes in the COVID-19 pandemic, school nutrition professionals have continued to step up to the crucial task of feeding America’s children.

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The school nutrition staff at Northside Independent School District (TX) are serving 27,000 meals a day during school closures because of COVID-19. They’re sure not letting social distancing and protective gear dampen their spirit!

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Schools Shoot for the Stars to Celebrate Breakfast

School districts around the country celebrated National School Breakfast Week (March 2-6) last week. This year’s galactic theme, “School Breakfast: Out Of This World,” supplied schools with plenty of creative ideas to highlight the importance of school breakfast and help make students mornings a little brighter!

This year, school nutrition and food service departments created cafeteria decorations and wore out-of-this-world themed outfits!

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Kentucky School District Makes Breakfast More Accessible for Students

When speaking with school nutrition staff from Fayette County Public Schools (KY) last month for “Lunch Participation Jumps When Students Learn About Local Ingredients”  it was hard not to get excited about the amazing things they’re doing in school breakfast too! Continuing the trend with local ingredients and increased menu options, FCPS implemented programs to provide more scratch-made cooking – creating popular breakfast pizza and yogurt parfaits. They also incorporated more on-the-go breakfast options, like cereal packs and grab and go breakfast bags. Read more…

National School Breakfast Week (NSBW) Blasts Off In March

Schools across the country will once again celebrate “the most important meal of the day” during National School Breakfast Week, from March 2-6. This year’s theme, created by the non-profit School Nutrition Association (SNA), is “School Breakfast: Out of this World!” – there’s a whole galaxy of nutritious breakfast choices out there! Whether students land on Planet Fruit or Planet Protein, a healthy foundation to the day is essential for learning. Some exciting new trends are protein and dairy alternatives, like chia seeds and almond milk. 

The School Breakfast Program helps ensure that students have access to a balanced morning meal. Even those who eat a light breakfast at home early might feel hunger twinges well before lunch, which is often served five to six hours later. Options like Second Chance Breakfast, Breakfast in the Classroom or grab-and-go service can help  keep students fueled until lunchtime. Read more…

Lunch Participation Jumps When Students Learn About Local Ingredients

One school district increased school meal participation by educating their students about the local, healthy options they were already sourcing from local Kentucky Farmers. IMG-7308Fayette County Public School’s (FCPS) Nutrition Department (KY) worked closely with their Farm to School program to coordinate the Fayette Farm to School Challenge, a weeklong program filled with taste tests, cafeteria guests and educational programs to help increase student participation.

The Fayette Farm to School program worked to promote the educational aspect to families, students and staff, while the FCPS School Nutrition Department procured and prepared local menu items for the week. They featured recipes including cheesy chicken étouffée, an original created by District Chef Todd Gorrell, containing Kentucky sweet potatoes and butternut squash. The week also showcased how kid-favorites, like hot dogs and Sloppy Joe’s, could be made healthier, using locally-sourced produce and local farm-raised meats. Read more…