AKSNA Encourages Adequate Meal and Recess Times, Commends Anchorage School District’s Wellness Initiative

For Immediate Release

Media Contact
Marybeth Whalen
Tel: 907.543.4844
Email: marybeth_whalen@lksd.org

Alaska School Nutrition Association Encourages Adequate Meal and Recess Times, Commends Anchorage School District’s Wellness Initiative

Anchorage, AK  – November 25, 2019 – In September, the Anchorage School District released a statement detailing a new program in 20% of its schools. ASD and partner organization ASD60 are partnering together on the Wellness Initiative, a “pilot program that is looking at the benefits of increased physical activity throughout the day and increased time for students to eat.” 21 of the school district’s 102 schools are participating in the program.

The ASD press release cites both the US Department of Health’s Office of Disease Prevention & Health Promotion’s 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in their respective recommendations for “children and adolescents [to] engage in 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily”, and that “students have at least 20 minutes once they are seated to enjoy their meals and socialize.”

According to Melanie Sutton, ASD’s Health and Physical Education Curriculum Coordinator, “all the data is being collected and studied throughout the year. The District will be looking at how added lunch, recess, and physical activity is affecting reading scores, classroom and student behaviors, classroom management, and scheduling.”

At the end of ASD’s data collection period, both an internal evaluator and an evaluator from Harvard University will look over the results and compare them to similar programs elsewhere in the United States. Should the data suggest the extended lunches and recess has a positive effect on students, ASD has said they will look at implementing the Initiative districtwide. “Bottom line,” said Sutton, “we want to do what’s best for our students and make sure we are giving them the education and learning environment so they can succeed in life.”

The Wellness Initiative’s goals align with the recommendations of the School Nutrition Association’s 2019 position paper, which states “Research demonstrates that school breakfast and lunch programs support obesity prevention, student health and academic achievement. Schools must ensure students have adequate time to consume these meals.”

In addition to time considerations for foods like fresh fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber and take longer to eat, SNA insists that “any effort to address time to eat must focus on “seat time”, as lunch periods also require time for students to get to the cafeteria and collect their meals.”

The Alaska chapter of the School Nutrition Association (AKSNA), SNA national, and the Wellness Initiative program at the Anchorage School District all strive to find best practices to implement CDC recommendations that children get “sufficient time to receive and consume a meal with at least…20 minutes for eating lunch after being seated.”

AKSNA commends the Wellness Initiative for its study of best practices, and recognizes the complexities of setting schedules and serving students in a timely fashion under sometimes overcrowded and challenging circumstances. AKSNA looks forward to learning from the Wellness Initiative program along with all school nutrition professionals and educators. 

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AKSNA is the state affiliate of the School Nutrition Association (SNA), a national, nonprofit professional organization representing more than 58,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country. Recognized as the authority on school nutrition, SNA has been advancing the availability, quality and acceptance of school nutrition programs as an integral part of education since 1946.

Winter 2019 Mush On News

Winter 2019 Mush On News

In this issue

  • A Note from the State Association President
  • AKSNA 52nd Annual Conference
    • Key Note Speaker: Chef Garrett Berdan
    • Apron Auction
    • Online Registration
    • Agenda
  • Get Connected with AKSNA Membership
  • 2020 SNA Election
  • Giving Tuesday
  • Alaska STAR (Strategies, Training, Action Plans, Resources)
  • State Agency Update
  • You Asked, We Answered, from SN Magazine Editors

Alaska School Districts Celebrate National School Lunch Week

For Immediate Release

Media Contact
Gavin M Northey
Tel: 907.903.0276
Email: news@aksna.org

Alaskan School Districts Celebrate National School Lunch Week

Anchorage, AK – October 13, 2019 – To recognize the National School Lunch Program, serving 30 million children each day, Alaskan schools will celebrate National School Lunch Week (NSLW) from October 14-18, 2019. The theme, “School Lunch: What’s on Your Playlist,” spotlights how today’s school cafeterias are serving up healthy menu items that kids want to eat, with increased choice and customization.

School Nutrition professionals across the great state of Alaska serve nutritious lunches to more than 50,000 children each day.  Many Alaskan schools will join schools around the nation celebrating NSLW, with fun activities and events to promote healthy school lunches.  Students and parents are encouraged to check with tehir local School District’s web site or school to find out what activities are being hosted in their schools for NSLW.

The “School Lunch Playlist” campaign is made possible by the nonprofit School Nutrition Association. Parents and students can follow the fun using the hashtags #NSLW19, #SchoolLunchPlaylist and #SchoolLunch. For more information on National School Lunch Week, visit https://schoolnutrition.org/nslw/.

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AKSNA is the state affiliate of the School Nutrition Association (SNA), a national, nonprofit professional organization representing more than 58,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country. Recognized as the authority on school nutrition, SNA has been advancing the availability, quality and acceptance of school nutrition programs as an integral part of education since 1946.

Adrianne Schwartz Announced Alaska and Northwest Regional Director Of The Year

For Immediate Release

Media Contact
Gavin M Northey
Tel: 907.903.0276
Email: news@aksna.org

Adrianne Schwartz Announced Alaska and Northwest Regional Director of the Year

JUNEAU, AK – MAY 17, 2019 – The Alaska School Nutrition Association (AKSNA) is pleased to announce Adrianne Schwartz of Juneau School District has earned the distinctions of School Nutrition Association (SNA)’s 2019 Northwest Region Director of the Year and AKSNA’s 2019 Director of the Year.

Within her first year as supervisor of the food service program, Schwartz added hot lunches and salad bars to all school sites, skyrocketing student lunch participation. Schwartz also implemented a school-sponsored Universal Breakfast program at the district’s elementary and middle schools, as well as their alternative high school. Working with a local interagency group, Schwartz reaches outside her school duties to address how the district meets hunger needs throughout the whole community. A strong advocate for professional development and supporter of the Alaska School Nutrition Association (AKSNA), Schwartz encourages her staff to attend state agency trainings and conferences when possible. Leading by example, she creates fun events around special school nutrition promotions, including National School Lunch Week and National School Breakfast Week. Schwartz leads a monthly School Nutrition Advisory Committee and sits on the state USDA Foods Advisory Committee in an effort to ensure children in her district and across the state have access to healthy meals.

Schwartz will be honored in July during the Red-Carpet Awards Ceremony at the SNA’s Annual National Conference, July 14 – 16, 2019 in St. Louis, MO.

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AKSNA is the state affiliate of the School Nutrition Association (SNA), a national, nonprofit professional organization representing more than 58,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country. Recognized as the authority on school nutrition, SNA has been advancing the availability, quality and acceptance of school nutrition programs as an integral part of education since 1946.

School Nutrition Programs Now Have One-Stop Recipe Resource

This press release is posted on behalf of HealthySchoolRecipes.com. This posting is for informational purposes only and shall not be construed as an endorsement of the site or its content.

HealthySchoolRecipes.com launches an essential resource for school nutrition professionals who plan menus or prepare food for child nutrition programs. The site brings together recipes from schools and education departments across the country, as well as non-profit organizations and product manufacturers, into a beautiful, searchable, and easy to use resource that meets the unique needs of school nutrition programs.

The site was created by a team of school nutrition and culinary experts who understand that finding good recipes (that are flavorful, that work and that credit properly) has been a constant challenge for school nutrition professionals.

“Digging through numerous websites and PDF files is time consuming and can be a barrier to improving school nutrition menus”, said Executive Director, Catharine Powers. “Meals are served in over 93,000 schools each day, with over 31 million lunches and 11 million breakfasts eaten by students every year. School Nutrition professionals need better resources for creative, healthy menu items that meet the needs of today’s students”, she explained.

Along with Executive Chef Samantha Cowens-Gasbarro and an accomplished advisory team of school nutrition experts, Powers has created the solution and is confident that site will have a lasting positive impact on the meals that are served to kids in schools.

Key features:

  • The site and all resources are FREE to all users.
  • Hundreds of recipes are currently available with more added every day.
  • Users are invited to add their recipes to share with the school nutrition community, as well as rate and comment on recipes submitted by others.
  • Expert content in form of blogs, newsletters, and how-to videos.

For Additional Information visit: HealthySchoolRecipes.com

Contact Information:
Catharine Powers
PO Box 5212
Akron, OH 44334
Phone: (330) 416-5943
cathy@healthyschoolrecipes.com

“Start your Engines” campaign encourages Alaskan Families to choose school Breakfast

For Immediate Release

Media Contact
Gavin M Northey
Tel: 907.903.0276
Email: news@aksna.org

“Start your Engines” campaign encourages Alaskan Families to choose school Breakfast

Anchorage, AK  – February 28, 2019 – To encourage more families to take advantage of the healthy choices available for school breakfast, schools throughout will celebrate National School Breakfast Week, March 4 – 8, 2019.

Busy weekday mornings make it a challenge for many families to find time for a healthy breakfast. However, US Department of Agriculture data show that more and more students are starting their day with a nutritious breakfast in their school cafeterias. The USDA School Breakfast Program currently serves nearly 26,000 Alaskan students every day. Studies show that students who eat school breakfast are more likely to:

  • Reach higher levels of achievement in reading and math
  • Score higher on standardized tests
  • Have better concentration and memory
  • Be more alert
  • Maintain a healthy weight

The National School Breakfast Week (NSBW) campaign theme, “Start Your Engines,” reminds the entire school community that school breakfast provides a healthy and energizing start to the day for students. Students will be encouraged to show their enthusiasm for “Start Your Engines” from March 4 – 8 with special menus, cafeteria events, and more.

Juneau School District

Green Eggs and Ham: Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday with Green Eggs and Ham, March 4 at Elementary Schools, and March 5 at Middle and High Schools.

Lucky Tray Days, lucky winners at each elementary school will win a Dr. Seuss book, students will look for a specially marked tray on March 4 and 5.

Middle and High School students who choose a nutritious start to their day with school breakfast may enter their name to win a Parks and Recreation Gift Card, two winners will be selected from each Middle and High School.

Look for other giveaways including pencils, bookmarks, and stickers at all Juneau schools throughout the week.  More information including menus may be found at https://www.juneauschools.org/food-services-eb6a5f9d or by contacting Adrianne Schwartz, adrianne.schwartz@juneauschools.org.

Anchorage School District

Breakfast with Teachers and Staff, on March 6, all Anchorage school teachers and staff are invited to join students and energize their day featuring homemade blueberry muffins.  Visit the ASD’s web site for a list of schools where breakfast is offered.

ASD Student Nutrition and JBER Nutritional Medicine have teamed up to provide nutrition education presentations at Turnagain 4th Graders (March 6) and afterschool activities participants at Wonder Park (March 5) and Muldoon (March 7).  The presentations are offered in conjunction with National Nutrition Month and will present nutritional and physical education encouraging health and wellness from breakfast and throughout the day.

For more information, including a list of breakfast-serving schools, visit https://nutrition.asdk12.org or contact Marci McGill, mcgill_marci@asdk12.org.

Parents may check with their local school district for more information about other NSBW activities throughout the state.

Parents and students can follow the fun on Facebook.com/TrayTalk using the hashtag #NSBW19

About National School Breakfast Week

National School Breakfast Week was launched in 1989 to raise awareness of the availability of the School Breakfast Program, a federally assisted meal program operating in public and non-profit private schools and residential child care institutions since 1975. 

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AKSNA is the state affiliate of the School Nutrition Association (SNA), a national, nonprofit professional organization representing more than 58,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country. Recognized as the authority on school nutrition, SNA has been advancing the availability, quality and acceptance of school nutrition programs as an integral part of education since 1946.

Alaska School Nutrition Representatives to Support School Meals in Washington, D.C.

For Immediate Release

Media Contact
Gavin M. Northey
Tel: 907.903.0276
Email: news@aksna.org

Alaska School Nutrition Representatives to Support School Meals in Washington, D.C.

Bethel, AK  – Feburary 21, 2019 –This week, Marybeth Whalen, Food Service Director, Lower Kuskokwim School District; Jennifer Meiwes, Program Specialist, Anchorage School District; and Chris Johnson, Nutrition Director, Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District, will join approximately 850 school nutrition professionals from across the nation at School Nutrition Association’s (SNA) 47th annual Legislative Action Conference (LAC) in Washington, D.C.

During the conference, 23 – 26 February, Whalen, Meiwes, and Johnson will join colleagues in discussing current priorities in school meal programs including:

  • Continue and increase USDA Foods (commodities) support for the School Breakfast Program (SBP)
  • Support USDA’s ongoing effort to simplify child nutrition programs
    • Encourage USDA to return to the five-year Administrative Review (AR) Cycle for School Food Authorities (SFAs) that consistently operate in compliance
    • Encourage USDA to modify the Smart Snacks in School rule to allow all menu items that are permitted to be served as part of a reimbursable meal to be sold at any time a la carte
  • Urge USDA and the US Department of Education, in collaboration with SFAs, to develop best practices and guidance to ensure school schedules provide students adequate time to eat healthy school meals
  • Oppose any effort to block grant school meal programs.

LAC’s “Charge to the Hill” will allow attendees to meet with their members of Congress to discuss these topics and urge their support for school meal programs, which serve over 50,000 Alaskan students each school day.

Meetings are scheduled with all of Alaska’s Delegation to discuss the critical role that school meals have in Alaskan children’s leaves and education.

  • Rep. Don Young, 5:00 p.m., 25 February
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski, 12:30 p.m., 26 February
  • Sen Dan Sullivan, 4:00 p.m., 26 February

All times are Eastern Standard Time

“At this year’s conference, we hope to facilitate critical discussions about the national trends that are shaping school meal programs,” said Gay Anderson, SNA President, “as well as offer attendees opportunities to learn how to be the best advocates for their programs.”

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AKSNA is the state affiliate of the School Nutrition Association (SNA), a national, nonprofit professional organization representing more than 58,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country. Recognized as the authority on school nutrition, SNA has been advancing the availability, quality and acceptance of school nutrition programs as an integral part of education since 1946.

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