A Message from the Chair of the School Nutrition Foundation
Spring is fast approaching and preparations are being made for the fourth annual Celebration of School Nutrition Heroes, once again held in conjunction with SNA’s Legislative Action Conference (LAC) in Washington, D.C., in April. It’s not too late to get a ticket—although we are expecting a full house for this inspiring event. We have five outstanding Heroes, whose stories will touch your hearts. I hope to see many of you there.

As you can see, it’s already an exciting time for the Foundation, and I’m pleased to add more good news: Jane Mell Balek is joining SNF as its Executive Director.

Many of you are aware that for the last few years, Patricia Montague, CAE, has served as SNF Executive Director, while simultaneously serving as CEO of our sister organization, the School Nutrition Association (SNA). The Boards of Directors of both SNA and SNF determined that each organization would be better served by hiring a full-time Executive Director to oversee SNF operations. This will provide the Foundation with greater opportunities to expand, while allowing Patti to stay focused on new SNA initiatives and priorities. She will continue to serve as CEO of both SNA and SNF.

Details about Jane’s background and credentials appear elsewhere in this newsletter. I know you will join me in welcoming her to the SNA/SNF family. Jane begins work the week of March 27, and she’ll be attending LAC and the Celebration of Heroes, which is even more incentive for you to join us on Monday, April 3, 2017! It promises to be quite a night.

Sandra Ford
Chair, School Nutrition Foundation

News & Updates

Welcome to Jane Mell Balek
Welcome to Jane Mell Balek, the new Executive Director of the School Nutrition Foundation. As former deputy executive director with the National Association for Music Education and CEO/executive director of the Give A Note Foundation, Balek will provide strategic leadership in securing financial resources for education, professional development, scholarships and research.

Celebration of School Nutrition Heroes
The Fourth Annual Celebration of School Nutrition Heroes will be held on Monday, April 3, during the Legislative Action Conference (LAC) at the J.W. Marriott in Washington, D.C. We are pleased to have AdvancePierre Foods as the Premier Sponsor for the event and we thank all the sponsors who help make the event a success. We expect to have over 350 attendees in 2017. If you haven’t bought your ticket yet, it’s not too late.

This year’s event will honor five individuals who exemplify, through care and compassion, the dedication and drive to go way beyond their jobs in making a big difference in the lives of the children and communities they serve.


You can be a member of the Sustainer’s Circle by making a monthly gift to the Foundation by choosing “monthly” as the frequency when you make an online gift.

Your state can receive dollars back from the 2017 Annual Fund if your state has participation of 3% or higher.

April 3, 2017
Celebration of School Nutrition Heroes
Washington, D.C.

July 9-12, 2017
Annual National Conference
Atlanta, Ga.

November 28, 2017
Giving Tuesday

March 5, 2018
Celebration of School Nutrition Heroes
Washington, D.C.

Donate to the Foundation
Annual Fund
Report on Giving
SNF Scholarships


Report on the 2016 Annual Fund
The Foundation is pleased to report that the 2016 Annual Fund raised a total of $47,411 from 700 donors—an increase in both contributors and amount raised in 2015, which had 202 donors and a total of $27,587. Credit for the growth can be given to the SNF State Ambassadors, who helped secure funds from members in their respective states at ANC 2016 and through state conferences, other meetings, and Giving Tuesday promotion.

States Receive Scholarships
Seven states met the minimum of 3% participation to receive scholarships for SNA members in their states.

Those with more than 5% participation will have 25% of the dollars that the state contributed available for scholarships. (3 states):
• Kansas
• Illinois
• New York

Those with more than 3% but less than 5% will have 20% available for scholarships. (4 states):
• West Virginia
• Colorado
• California
• Michigan

The Annual Fund grew from $27,647 to $47,896. The total amount that the Foundation is giving back to the states is $3,519.

The state with the highest percentage participation will be announced in July at ANC 2017 in Atlanta.

State Ambassadors 2017
As of March 10, 2017, thirty-nine states have SNF State Ambassadors for 2017. States that do not have SNF Ambassadors include Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Interested in helping? A webinar was held on March 14, which provided SNF State Ambassadors with an overview of available resources for states, as well as suggestions on how to promote the Foundation. The webinar recording is available on demand.

Scholarships in 2016
• The Winston Equipment Grant awards 10 pieces of equipment to one school district in need of improving its school meal kitchen facilities. This year’s grant was awarded to Bridget Lehn from White Bear Lake Area Schools in Minnesota.

• The Baxter Equipment for Education Grant awards equipment to one school in need of improving its school meal kitchen facilities. This year’s recipient will be announced in May.

• The Josephine Martin National Policy Fellowship has been awarded to Nancy Droszcz, Nutrition Service Manager, Bolingbrook (Ill.) High School in Valley View School District USD 365. Droszcz will be attending next month’s Legislative Action Conference for the first time. The fellowship will cover her expenses.

• Scholarships, funded by SNA, have been awarded to six SNA members to attend LAC 2017 in Washington, D.C., and to 10 SNA members to attend ANC 2017 in Atlanta. The balance of the funding will be awarded later this year for SNIC 2018 in New Orleans.

• In addition, fifteen SNA members will receive $500 scholarships to attend ANC 2017 for the first time.

EREF project
SNF continues to work with the Environmental Education and Research Foundation (EREF) to conduct a waste measurement study in school cafeterias. To date, over 100 schools have signed up to participate in the study that will address food waste and will help school districts work to reduce food waste. During the month of May, college students who are interns at EREF will conduct some waste audits to determine the specific components of the food waste at schools. The project will continue into School Year 2017-18. To learn more or to sign up to participate either this spring or next fall, download the brochure.

Announcements & Reminders

Grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts
The Foundation is the recipient of a $12,750 grant to support a planning meeting to review the specific details of a proposed project to develop materials to assist school districts in purchasing equipment for their school nutrition programs. The planning committee is meeting in late April and will develop guidelines for the three-year project, which is scheduled to begin in 2017-18. The proposed project will include teams of individuals from school districts who will be selected through a competitive application process. More details on the project will be shared after the planning meeting.

Schools as Nutrition Hubs
A group of allied partners met at SNA Headquarters on March 9 to hear the findings of a study conducted by the School Nutrition Foundation and Share Our Strength to explore the concept of “Schools as Nutrition Hubs.” The study looked at schools who are serving breakfast, lunch, afterschool meals, and summer meals to determine the benefits derived from the full spectrum of federal nutrition programs. The next steps will include identifying schools that could enhance their meal services and helping them to move forward to offer the full array of nutrition programs.

Interested in learning more? Plan to join the Foundation next Wednesday, March 22, for the webinar, “Schools As Nutrition Hubs: The Business Savvy Strategy to Reduce Childhood Hunger.” In this interactive session, learn tips and how-to lessons from, and brainstorm with, expert school nutrition directors who operate Nutrition Hubs.

Breakfast in the Classroom
A report looking at school breakfast service times has been developed using data from SNA’s 2016 School Nutrition Operations Report and USDA Participation Data from January 2017. The report, A Closer Look at School Breakfast Service Times, illustrates that service model and timing are significant factors in average daily participation in breakfast. The reports shows that school districts who serve breakfast in the first 10-15 minutes of the school day have a higher participation rate.

The Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom are revising MOUs and Award letter procedures for Cycle 4 of the grant program. Austin, Texas, has submitted the first application for Cycle 4. Cycle 3 is being completed with an award of grant funding to Erie, Pa.

Foundation Focus is an e-newsletter designed especially for those who support the School Nutrition Foundation, providing them with the latest Foundation news and happenings. This e-newsletter, published three times a year, delivers top headlines, special announcements, important dates and deadlines.

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