On Today's Menu . . .

USDA Foods Show

Register Today!

ILSNA 2016 Annual Conference

ILSNA 2016 Annual Conference
June 13 - 15, 2016
Peoria Civic Center
Peoria, Illinois

School Nutrition Association - Professional Standards Training Guidelines

School Nutrition Association Professional Standards Training Guidelines

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has established minimum Professional Standards for school nutrition professionals who manage and operate the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. The standards are a key provision of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA) and are effective July 1, 2015. The standards provide minimum education standards for new State and local school nutrition directors as well as annual training requirements for all school nutrition professionals.

SNA's Certificate in School Nutrition and School Nutrition Specialist (SNS) Credential are aligned with USDA Professional Standards. For more information, visit: www.schoolnutrition.org/certificate

Annual training for USDA Professional Standards counts toward continuing education requirements for maintaining SNA certificate and credentialing status.

1 SNA Continuing Education Unit (CEU) = 1 hour of training for USDA Professional Standards

These recommended guidelines are for SNA members and SNA State Affiliates to consider when planning training programs. Since State Agencies ultimately monitor compliance during the 3 year Administrative Review period, SNA encourages operators and SNA state affiliates to direct questions or concerns to their respective State Agencies for clarification purposes.

  • Included in these guidelines are the USDA Professional Standards Learning Objectives, organized by key area and linked to specific codes.
  • Additionally, SNA has created a grid that includes the USDA Professionals Standards coded topics (organized by key area) and also features other popular training topics that could count toward professional standards with the relevant coding.
  • A sample training tracking grid is also included.

School Nutrition Association

Letter from SNA Midwest Regional Director - Illinois' Micheline Piekarski

I Hope you are having a great school year so far! During the last couple years as the Midwest Regional Director, I have been enjoying visiting your state and learning from all of you, as well as working on the National SNA Board to help move our association and profession forward.

This past year, SNA took on a strategic realignment project in which we came up with an updated strategic plan. One goal of SNA's new Strategic Plan is to build a financially sustainable funding model with a nimble governance structure and headquarters staff organization that is aligned with the strategic plan and reflects contemporary association business practices.

To this end, SNA held a Governance Modeling Summit in January 2015, where Tecker International consultants led a discussion of 33 SNA stakeholders from around the country representing the SNA Board of Directors, Past Presidents, Committee Members, State Leaders, Industry Members and SNA Staff. The Summit was an opportunity to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of our current governance model and develop a future model for SNA.

To update our governance, any proposed governance changes approved and endorsed by the Board will be announced and then given to the Resolutions and Bylaws Committee to draft the required proposed bylaw amendments that must be approved by the House of Delegates. This is an exciting process to be a part of and I look forward to sharing the results with you!

SNA has also been working hard to improve educational offerings to our members. Have you ever considered becoming a School Nutrition Specialist (SNS) or know someone who wants to earn this professional credential? Now is the time to get started as SNA is offering a new SNS Exam Preparation Resources Bundle for the SNA members only price of $109 + $6 S&H. The bundle includes the School Nutrition Specialist Credentialing Exam Study Guide – 2015 Edition and School Food and Nutrition Service Management for the 21st Century – 6th Edition, authored by Dot Pannell-Martin & Julie A Boettger. Each resource is also available separately in the SNA Bookstore for a member's only price of $59 + $6 S&H (each). For additional information about the SNS credential and preparing for the exam, please visit www.schoolnutrition.org/sns or email certsns@schoolnutrition.org.

Another great resource to take advantage of is SNA's Keys to Excellence, which is a state of the art self-assessment tool that allows you to compare your school nutrition program's performance with other districts in your area and around the country. Keys to Excellence allows users to

  • Evaluate your program's strength and areas for improvement
  • Compare your program's performance with other districts
  • Identify and develop Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  • Prepare for the 3 year administrative review process
  • Instantly download customized charts about your program's performance for presentations

SNA is now collecting data for the 2013-14 school year—which means you can input your school district's information today! Find out more information at www.schoolnutrition.org/keys.

Looking for solutions to your biggest challenges, great program insights, and the newest product innovations? Good news - registration for SNA's Annual National Conference 2015 in Salt Lake City is now open! Attendees will take advantage of 90+ dynamic education sessions, top-rated speakers, and a closing performance by country superstars Big & Rich! Register before May 9, 2015 to receive a special early-bird rate.

Finally, I encourage each and everyone one of you to take advantage of all of the great benefits SNA has to offer you—at the national, state and local level. Check out SNA's website at www.schoolnutrition.org to find out about upcoming SNA conferences, earn your Certificate in School Nutrition, participate in upcoming TalkTuesday or WebinarWednesday webinars, and so much more. Attend an Illinois SNA or local chapter event to connect with your peers and learn new skills. I think you'll find it fun, rewarding and valuable to your career. Here's to a great finish to the 2014-15 school year!

Micheline Piekarski, SNS, MSM
SNA Midwest Regional Director

Professional Standards - Final Rule

USDA Professional Standards go into effect July 1, 2015. Click here for the final rule: USDA Professional Standards Final Rule 2-26-15

Additional information can be found on the School Nutrition Association website by clicking here: https://schoolnutrition.org/professionalstandards/


"Breakfast in the Classroom" Video


"Breakfast in the Classroom" Video

Midwest Dairy Council is proud to share our newly produced "Breakfast in the Classroom" video!

Highlights of expanding breakfast featured in the video include decreased tardiness, decreased nurse visits and increased student attentiveness during class. And, schools that have implemented an alternative breakfast service such as breakfast in the classroom or Grab-n-Go to the classroom have shown significant increases in breakfast participation. Increased breakfast participation means fewer hungry students during morning classes; thereby increasing their potential for academic success.

Post the video on your web site, share the link in your publications and utilize for trainings and meetings throughout the year.

Below, is the Midwest Dairy "Breakfast in the Classroom" Highlight Video:

Please share how you utilized this great resource throughout the year. Thank you for your support.

Food Handler Training Enforcement Act

ILSNA Members: On August 27, 2013 the Food Handler Training Enforcement Act was signed into law. This law requires all food service area employees or food handlers that work with open/unpackaged foods, food service equipment or utensils, or any food contact surfaces to receive an approved food handler training. This training requirement includes school food service staff. School food services are classified as being "non-restaurant" facilities. Food handlers working in non-restaurant facilities must complete an approved training program by July 1, 2016. Additional information regarding the Food Handler Training Enforcement Act is available on the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) website at http://www.idph.state.il.us/about/fdd/FSSMC_FoodHandler_FAQ_V5_07072014.pdf.

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Nutrition and Wellness Programs Division has been approved by the IDPH to provide the required training to school food service staff throughout the state. School food service staff that complete the training and are able to score a passing grade on the certification quiz will receive a certificate that is valid for 3 years. All trainings provided by the ISBE Nutrition and Wellness Programs division will be free of charge to all school food service employees.

******PLEASE NOTE: Any food service staff person that has a current Food Service Sanitation Manager Certification (FSSMC) does not need to complete a required food handler training.******

ISBE has the following dates and locations scheduled for the food handler training.  Seating is limited, please register as soon as possible.  Additional dates will be added as they are confirmed.

  • Kankakee, June 9, 2015
  • Joliet, June 10, 2015 (Morning and afternoon sessions)
  • Tinley Park, June 16, 2015 (ILSNA Annual Conference)

Register now by visiting http://webprod1.isbe.net/cnscalendar/asp/eventlist.asp.

Districts that would like to host a food handler training should contact Chad Martel by email at cmartel@isbe.net.  Locations must be able to seat at least 30 attendees, but a location that can comfortably seat 50 attendees would be preferred.  Locations must be able to provide parking, a screen, registration area, all day availability, and access to vending or services with beverages.  Preferred dates of availability are late April through May.

STEPS Challenge

STEPS Challenge

The STEPS Challenge is a wellness program created just for school nutrition professionals!

The STEPS Challenge provides the resources and inspiration to help SNA members live healthier and happier, one step at a time. The Challenge is designed to make better health and wellness simple, fun, and attainable. Sign up for the free program and you'll gain access to recipes, exercise ideas, success stories, prizes, wellness tips, and more.

CD Cookbook

ILSNA's CD Cookbook

Due to the overwhelming response to our CD Cookbook offer, we have ordered more copies and are now ready to fill orders again. If you missed out last time it was available, click here to place your order before they're gone again!


Professional Standards for Child Nutrition Professionals

Professional Standards for Child Nutrition Professionals

With new professional guidelines being put into place it is more important than ever for you and your staff to have training available that is, concise, engaging and contains quality educational content. The ILSNA Professional Development Committee has searched and has found just that through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

This website allows school nutrition staff to search for training that meets their learning needs. Each listing contains information about the training, including how to access, develop, date and what learning objectives are covered and so much more!

If you have not had an opportunity to review the proposed rule, please visit the FNS Web site.

It Starts With School Breakfast Campaign

Join the It Starts With School Breakfast Campaign

Empower students to start each day with the fuel they need to succeed!

Visit www.StartWithSchoolBreakfast.com to find resources on how school breakfast can change lives and how you can help make breakfast available to all students.

  • Learn why school breakfast matters.
  • See how celebrities, NFL stars and others are supporting the campaign.
  • Access resources to help encourage your local school to start a breakfast program.
  • Find ways to help schools enroll in Fuel Up to Play 60 or further their involvement in the program.
  • Join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #SchoolBreakfast.

Participate in Midwest Dairy's It Starts with School Breakfast contest to showcase your school activities during National School Breakfast Week.

SNA Awards Program

SNA Awards Program

The SNA awards program is a great opportunity to highlight the outstanding and important work of SNA members and state affiliates!

Members and state affiliates are eligible for many awards and honors that recognize their achievements in school foodservice, leadership, membership recruitment and professional development. Each year SNA awards are presented to its outstanding leaders at the Annual National Conference during the State Awards Ceremony and General Sessions.

Competitive Foods Guidelines by State - September 2013

Competitive Foods Guidelines by State
September 2013

Competitive Foods are those available at school but are outside of the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program. This includes foods and beverages sold in vending machines, school stores, or a la carte sections of the school cafeteria. If competitive foods are available, the Institute of Medicine recommends they consist of fruits, vegetables, whole grains products, and low‐fat and non‐fat dairy. The USDA recently announced the interim final rule for Smart Snacks which will go into effect for School Year 2014-2015. These Smart Snack rules will act as the base set of rules for the sale of competitive foods in schools. Many States currently have stricter competitive foods guidelines in place and will likely remain so even after the implementation of Smart Snacks. Please note that each school can implement even stricter rules via their school wellness policy. The link below is a summary of the current state of the States as can best be determined. As additional measures are passed, this document will be adjusted. If you have any questions or comments, please contact the Child Nutrition Policy Center at SNA.

Cafeteria Site Visit 101

ILSNA – School Nutrition 101

Who We Are – The Illinois School Nutrition Association (ILSNA) and the School Nutrition Association (SNA) are organizations of over 55,000 school nutrition professionals. Membership in ILSNA/SNA offers a variety of benefits to help you meet the challenges in the ever changing profession of school nutrition.

Benefits Training and Educational Opportunities • Seminars and Workshops • Three Levels of Certification and Credentialing (School Nutrition Specialist (SNS) ) • Scholarships • Leadership Opportunities • Professional Networking • National and State Conferences • Updates on Current School Nutrition Issues • Updates on Current Legislative Issues • Links to Websites Pertinent to School Nutrition Professionals • Communication With Industry • Working hand-in-hand with industry to develop new products, systems and services to support the current challenges of school nutrition programs.

Healthy Students are Better Students

Healthy Students are Better Students

Healthy Students are Better Students
Nutrition + Physical Activity  = Improved learning

Midwest Dairy Council is pleased to announce the release of a new report, The Wellness Impact: Enhancing Academic Success Through Healthy School Environments.  The report helps make the case that health is not a competing priority to academic performance; in fact, healthy behaviors, including good nutrition and physical activity, can help students learn better.

The support of Illinois School Nutrition Association for Fuel Up to Play 60 has been instrumental to creating healthier schools – and healthier students.   Please read The Wellness Impact report at www.genyouthfoundation.org.  As members of Illinois School Nutrition Association we encourage you to further your leadership in this important conversation by:

  • Sharing copies of the report and the briefs with school administrators, parents and student leaders
  • Presenting the information to your local school board or PTA/PTO groups
  • Helping your school(s) wellness committee reinvigorate their existing school wellness program

The report will direct public attention toward the importance of school wellness and students’ readiness to learn, which includes the role of good nutrition and regular physical activity.

Cafeteria Site Visit 101

Cafeteria Site Visit 101

ILSNA Members — now would be a great time to start planning your events and send invitations to your U.S. Senators and Congress men and women to join you and your students for a breakfast or lunch. Show off your "upgrades and improvements" from the HHFKA and all of the creative ways you are motivating and inspiring children to take/eat fruits and vegetables! It would be a good time to ask for their support in the areas where the new act needs shoring up and modification – real life stories and experiences make a huge impact and can greatly influence future decision-making and votes. After the fall elections, all eyes are going to be on our nation's deficit, and no program will be held safe from potential cuts in the 2013 Legislative session. We need to bring our programs to life and educate, educate, educate our Senators and Representatives on our programs and why the funding and financial support is so desperately needed to support the health of our children and the future of our nation!.

SNA New Meal Pattern PR Toolkit

SNA's New Meal Pattern PR Toolkit

Helping School Nutrition Professionals Promote Their Programs

Exclusively for members, SNA has developed a New Meal Pattern PR Toolkit to help you get the word out to parents about the healthy changes in your school cafeterias. These simple resources will help you educate your community on the new nutrition standards for school meals and what they mean for your students.

History of School Lunch

President Harry S. Truman signed the National School Lunch Act on June 4, 1946. Though school foodservice began long before 1946, the Act authorized the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). The legislation came in response to claims that many American men had been rejected for World War II military service because of diet-related health problems. The federally assisted meal program was established as "a measure of national security, to safeguard the health and well-being of the Nation's children and to encourage the domestic consumption of nutritious agricultural commodities." 

Illinois School Nutrition Program Statistics