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First Lady Michelle Obama rounded up hundreds of chefs at the White House recently to talk about nutrition. Her actions have helped to jumpstart a national discussion around the topic. And this month, thousands of school foodservice professionals—who have had nutrition as a priority long before the spotlight was on it—will gather to discuss their next steps.
In other words, improving school nutrition and fighting childhood obesity will be the subject matter on everyone’s lips as the School Nutrition Association (SNA) meets in Dallas, Tex., beginning July 11.
Without a doubt, school nutrition has never spent as much time in the national spotlight as it has this year.
SNA’s 64th Annual National Conference, which will be held at the Dallas Convention Center from July 11 â€“ 14, will connect school nutrition professionals with education and networking opportunities in the largest exhibit hall in school nutrition. ANC 2010 will feature 80+ accredited education breakout sessions and more than 760 exhibit booths packed with nutritious foods and beverages, services, equipment and technology.
The Food Channel will be in Dallas for complete on-the-scene coverage, including daily reports, video interviews, and feature stories. So check back often for updates.
Several ANC education sessions will build on SNA’s partnership with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign (featured in the First Lady’s speech at SNA’s Legislative Action Conference) by assisting participants in meeting Let’s Move! goals, such as achieving HealthierUS School Challenge Certification and participating in the Chefs Move to Schools initiative. A number of sessions will be co-hosted by U.S. Department of Agriculture officials.
ANC 2010 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 quality education sessions on topics including school nutrition standards, farm to school, food allergies, food recall procedures, school food equipment, nutrition education, local school wellness policies, managing costs and more.
- 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.
- General session speakers include Food Network star and best-selling author Ellie Krieger, nutrition and weight-loss guru Dr. Rovenia Brock, and influential businesswoman Marion Luna Brem.
- National awards of excellence in school nutrition will be presented.
- Six culinary demonstrations featuring innovative recipes and foods including berries, whole grain brown rice, beans, chicken and turkey.
The event is being held at a critical time for child nutrition programs, as Congress debates child nutrition reauthorization legislation. School nutrition professionals, challenged by rising food and labor costs, increased demand for school meals and insufficient federal reimbursements for school meals, will benefit from ANC sessions on stretching limited resources.
SNA, 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.
Photos: Rick Brady/Ã‚Â©School Nutrition Association