A Message from Your SNA Industry Representative

I recently had the opportunity to attend the SNA’s Public Policy and Legislation (PPL) Committee meeting on December 4 in Alexandria, VA. Our objective was to start the 2018 Position Paper. In anticipation of our meeting, SNA issued a survey to all members. The responses provided important insight that the committee used in formulating the 2018 Position Paper. Thank you to everyone that responded. For your information, industry members almost doubled their response rate compared to previous survey requests! GREAT JOB industry friends!

Since SNA’s Legislative Action Conference this past spring, positive progress has been made on the 2017 Position Paper. The USDA recently issued an Interim Final Rule that will extend flexibility for sodium and whole grains through SY 2018-19. In September, Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) introduced H.R. 3738, otherwise known as the Healthy Breakfasts Help Kids Learn Act of 2017. In October, the USDA hired 2M Research out of Texas to conduct a one-year study to determine how school nutrition programs could be simplified.

Having said that, there continue to be complex challenges that face our industry on a daily basis: meal pattern requirements, procurement, unpaid meals, paid meal equity, the administrative review, Smart Snack requirements, actually obtaining waivers for sodium and whole grains, human resources and shortages, adequate funding and so on!

As the PPL Committee considered these and other challenges for the 2018 Position Paper, there's another reality that also warrants attention: our Federal debt will soon reach $21 trillion, and as the President pushes for an overhaul of the tax system by Christmas, the writing is on the wall that many programs may soon face further scrutiny and cutbacks. Although the threat of Block Grants for school nutrition programs has not been made yet, the climate could be heating up for such a move in the not so distant future. To this end, SNA has established a Task Force to proactively research Block Grants, and should be providing some insight soon. Stay tuned for more information.

With that in mind, I hope you will join me at the upcoming School Nutrition Industry Conference (SNIC) next month in New Orleans, and/or the Legislative Action Conference in Washington, D.C. in March. Attendees are sure to gain a stronger understanding of the opportunities and challenges that are facing our industry so by the time we charge Capitol Hill on Tuesday, March 6., We will be able to help our legislators clearly understand why school nutrition programs are so important to the health and well-being of our children, and continue to play an important role in our national security.

Wishing you all a joy filled and blessed holiday season!


Michael Miller
SNA Industry Representative

Check out promotion opportunities in the Sponsorship Brochure!

Did You Know: In SNA's recently released 2017 School Nutrition Trends Report, nearly 60% of responding districts are offering a new menu items this school year that features international flavors.


January 21-23, 2018
School Nutrition Industry Conference
New Orleans, LA

March 4-6, 2018
Legislative Action Conference
Washington, D.C.

May 9-10, 2018
Spring Industry Boot Camp
National Harbor, MD

More Meetings and Events

Upcoming SNA Webinars

SNS Credentialing Exam Dates

Industry Membership
SNA Research

Important Announcements

Secure a Booth in SNA’s 2018 Virtual Expo!
Don’t miss your chance to secure a booth in SNA’s second Virtual Expo! Reach school nutrition decision makers during the bid planning period with information about your latest products when we launch February 6! This opportunity is reserved for companies exhibiting at ANC18. Contact SNA Business Development Manager Nicolette Daleske at ndaleske@schoolnutrition.org or (800) 877-8822, ext. 173 to reserve your space by December 20, 2017.

Two High-Profile Sponsorship Opportunities Available for SNIC!
It’s not too late to contact SNA to increase your visibility at SNIC and help build brand familiarity with potential customers. Sponsor conference wi-fi or the Mobile App to reinforce your brand to all conference attendees! For full sponsorship opportunities please see our 2018 Sponsorship Brochure. For more information please contact Nicolette Daleske at ndaleske@schoolnutrition.org or (800) 877-8822, ext. 173.

Industry Reps: Step Up Your Game at SNA's Spring Industry Boot Camp
Are you an industry representative new to the multi-billion-dollar school nutrition market -- or a seasoned veteran that wants to brush up on the intricacies of this complex segment? Designed specifically for our industry partners, SNA's Spring Industry Boot Camp, taking place May 9-10, 2018, in National Harbor, Md., is a dynamic educational seminar that provides a thorough overview of today's school nutrition environment, including new information on procurement ethics, a tour of a local cafeteria and a two-hour panel discussion with Major City School Nutrition Directors. Reserve your spot today as seating is limited.

Become a Sponsor at the 2018 Celebration of School Nutrition Heroes
The 2018 Celebration of School Nutrition Heroes will be held on Monday, March 5, 2018, at the JW Marriott in Washington, D.C. held during SNA’s Legislative Action Conference (LAC). The Celebration is the only fundraising event that the School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) holds to support its scholarship program. These top spots will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. Don’t miss this opportunity! For information on sponsorships and the recognition at each level, click here. To indicate your commitment as a sponsor, click here. If you have questions, please contact SNF Executive Director Jane Balek at jbalek@schoolnutrition.org or (800) 877-8822, ext. 125.

School Nutrition Magazine's 2018 Editorial Calendar: Gain the Competitive Edge
When you advertise in School Nutrition (SN), your products and services are being considered by readers who represent an ever-expanding market. Are you ready to gain the competitive edge in the K-12 foodservice market segment? SN magazine can offer you unmatched access to the decision-makers who need your creative solutions to their unique challenges. Check out the magazine’s editorial highlights for 2018, and put these advantages to work in your efforts to gain the competitive edge.


PLEASE NOTE: The ANC schedule for 2018 shifts by one day and runs from Monday, July 9 through Thursday, July 12. This means the Exhibit Hall will open on Tuesday and will close on Thursday. Please ensure you book your travel and hotel room accordingly.

Annual National Conference Reminders

ANC2018 Las Vegas Exhibit Hall Sign-up: Only Thirty (30) Booths Available!
You don’t want to miss an opportunity to network with fellow exhibitors, demo your culinary expertise and meet influential decision-makers. ANC is the School Nutrition Event of the Year!

If you haven’t done so already, click here to see what exhibit space is still available for the upcoming 72nd Annual National Conference in Las Vegas, NV at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on July 9-12, 2018. Contact SNA Exhibits Sales Manager Crystal Harper-Pierre at (800) 877-8822, ext. 140 or charper@schoolnutrition.org to reserve your booth space. Crystal looks forward to hearing from you!

Be a Part of One of the Highlights of ANC - Culinary Demonstrations
New this year: The Culinary Demos will be held during the education session time slots; more visibility for your company. Culinary Demonstrations provide an opportunity to showcase your latest food products, recipes, techniques, nutrition and food presentation skills, and offer ways to enhance school meals and increase participation. These demos will be available for purchase at $3,500 each. You must be exhibiting at ANC18 to present a demo.

Legislative & Regulatory Update

SNA Comments on Interim Final Rule on School Meal Flexibility
On Nov. 29, USDA released an interim final rule to extend current regulatory flexibility for school meal programs through School Year (SY) 2018-19. The interim rule maintains Target 1 sodium limits for school meals and State Agencies can continue to offer whole grain waivers to schools. Finally, the rule provides schools the option to offer flavored 1% milk. Read SNA’s comments on the rule here.

SNA State Advocacy Resources
Working with your local legislators to pass sound school nutrition policy is a critical piece of the advocacy puzzle. SNA provides these reports summarizing state legislation, reimbursement rates, and nutrition mandates. Looking for more information on advocacy efforts happening in your area? Check out this list of School Nutrition Association state affiliate legislative chairs.

SNA President Addresses 2020 DGA Listening Session
School Nutrition Association President Lynn Harvey, EdD, RDN SNS, traveled to Washington, D.C. on November 28 to participate in USDA’s 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Listening Session. The event allowed SNA and other stakeholders to share insight on the Dietary Guideline’s implementation and impact prior to the launch of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) nomination process.

S.B 2064 Introduced to Expand Fruit and Vegetable Program
On November 2, 2017 Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) introduced S. 2064, or the Fruit and Vegetable Access for Children Act of 2017. This bill would include canned, dried, frozen, and pureed fruits and vegetables in the fresh fruit and vegetable program.

Your End of the Year Advocacy Update!
Now is the perfect time to for SNA to recap all the school nutrition advocacy action since your Mid-Year Advocacy Update. This was a busy year for the Association as we fought for funding and worked to influence school nutrition policies that are implemented across the country. Read about it in your End of the Year Advocacy Update.

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