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Spring (Tex.) ISD Named First District of the Year in School Nutrition

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For Immediate Release
Contact: Erik Peterson
(703) 739-3900, ext. 124

epeterson@schoolnutrition.org

Spring (Tex.) ISD Named First District of the Year in School Nutrition

School Nutrition Association Recognizes Spring Child Nutrition Department as the Outstanding School Nutrition Program for 2008

PHILADELPIHA, July 23, 2008 – Spring (Tex.) Independent School District was named the District of the Year in School Nutrition today on the final day of the School Nutrition Association’s Annual National Conference. The District’s Child Nutrition Department was recognized for serving an increasing number of healthy school breakfasts and lunches and for superior financial and program management. Child Nutrition Director Melanie Konarik SNS accepted the award along with Assistant Superintendent Christine Porter on behalf of the district.

From student taste testing and increasing participation through the use of creative marketing of low fat and flavored milk, to making fruits and vegetables available in the classroom and focusing on training and certification of over 300 nutrition staff members, Spring’s Child Nutrition Department has raised the bar in exceeding the Keys of Excellence, the national standards for operating school nutrition programs. In an environment when food prices are challenging all foodservice operations, Spring’s Child Nutrition Department has been able to remain fiscally sound and maintain nutrition integrity while staying on the cutting edge with cafeteria décor and advanced equipment and staff training. Spring ISD became the first recipient of the award, for which eligibility is limited to those school nutrition programs that have earned the District of Excellence Distinction in School Nutrition.

As the District of the Year in School Nutrition, Spring ISD was awarded $25,000 to further improve and enhance their school nutrition program operations. The funds will be utilized to establish a nutrition resource lending library, a “leading by example” staff wellness program, promoting the nutritional quality of school meals to key community stakeholders, expanding the Coordinated Approach To Child Health (CATCH) program in the district and conducting nutrition education promotions for students featuring the “Food Power Hero.”

Whether offering low fat milk, whole grain items, making fresh fruits and vegetables available on every lunch line, keeping costs down, or menuing multiple options every day, it is evident why “nutrition, value and variety” are the three words that Spring’s Child Nutrition Department  uses to describe the breakfast and lunch fare offered daily. The staff is dedicated to providing quality food and service to Spring ISD students and faculty at all times. School meals are healthy and based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Spring ISD has a history of excellent reviews on state audits of the operation and nutritional integrity of the meals. Low fat entrees, a variety of milk flavors in kid-appealing plastic bottles and fresh fruit and vegetables are offered daily. Elementary students may choose from several entrees at each meal service while secondary schools offer eight or more entrees daily. The healthy meals may be the best value in town at 90 cents for an elementary breakfast and $1 for a secondary breakfast; and $1.50 for an elementary lunch and $1.75 for a secondary lunch. 

Spring ISD was one of six districts nationally awarded the District of Excellence Distinction. This recognition highlights school districts that complete a thorough self-assessment in all four “key” areas in the Keys to Excellence program then demonstrate that the national best practice standards that make up the “Keys” are met through a comprehensive application packet. The comprehensive application documents knowledge and application of national best practices in nutrition and nutrition education, communications and marketing, administration, and operations. By being named the District of the Year, Spring, Texas, rose above the District of Excellence applicants in 2008 by best reflecting the Keys Express national best practice standards. The district was also evaluated on the integration of their programming into the community and demonstrated dedication and commitment to setting examples for both students and other staff and faculty.

SNA is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 55,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country.  The Association and its members are dedicated to feeding children safe and nutritious meals.  Founded in 1946, SNA is the only association devoted exclusively to protecting and enhancing children’s health and well being through school meals and sound nutrition education.

The School Nutrition Foundation, established in 1964, is a non-profit corporation that provides high-quality professional development, financial aid and research programs to child nutrition professionals and members of the SNA.  The Foundation’s commitment to the child nutrition community is integral to implementing positive changes in school meals and, ultimately, to the health of school children.

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