Fresh Bites Fall Edition 2021

HEADQUARTERS Executive Director’s Message Dear NYSNA Members, As you jump into the new school year that is filled with more unprecedented challenges, know that we are thinking of you and hoping to help support you in any way that we can. The summer came and went so quickly, but there is a lot to share with you. First, I hope you were able to check out the special edition of Fresh Bites that was all about the NY 30% Incentive Program! Although last year threw a wrench into the Farm to School movement, we partnered up with Cornell University to put together a resource guide featuring articles, videos, podcasts, and more to help districts achieve the 30%. If you did miss it, CLICK HERE to check it out! This summer our association leaders came together for NYSNA’s strategic planning session. Your leaders worked very hard for three days to help develop the association’s direction for the next few years. We are really looking forward to unveiling the new plan this fall and will be actively recruiting for committee members and new task forces to be able to implement items in the new plan – so be on the lookout for Committee Interest Forms! There is so much information in this edition of Fresh Bites – including some fun Back-to-School resources! Read about tips from various directors around the state to help market your programs and for some staff motivation. There are also ways you can connect with our industry partners for additional support this school year, and various social media communities you may join for beneficial networking as well. Sometimes you may just need to vent, and other times you may be looking to be inspired – and that connection and networking is what makes this industry great.

NYSNA Executive Director


I am excited for you to “meet” our NYSNA Intern, Julia Alotta and to hear some of the podcasts she has done (see the Farm to School section). Julia has brought a new perspective, and a new skillset to our HQ team and we are really looking forward to seeing her passion for school nutrition continue to evolve. Julia has a special interest in advocacy and helping our members promote their programs internally and to the public. Thank you to the 2021 Conference Committee for creating our hybrid event this year. The pandemic may have disrupted our traditional conference, but this amazing group of volunteers has taken those lemons and created some delicious lemonade for you. Be sure to check out the digital platform, From the Show Floor, which has On Demand programs featuring REMARKABLE speakers – and not to mention AMAZING industry partners showcasing their products and services in such a creative and clever way. We also took our traditional regional industry seminars and moved them from December to October for you as well. So, you are getting the best of both worlds – digital AND in person opportunities - you do NOT want to miss this! Also happening this fall is the NorthEast Leadership Conference (NELC). As you may know, NYSNA is an affiliate of the national School Nutrition Association, and our state is part of the northeast region of the country. Something interesting that you may not know is that each year the association leaders of each of the 8 states in our region get together for a leadership conference with programs that focus on association leadership development – and this year it is New York’s turn to host! We are so incredibly excited to welcome the region’s leaders to our amazing state, as this event allows us to learn from our neighbors and to share information about NYSNA’s remarkable members as well. Speaking of programs, be sure to learn about the LEAD to Succeed program available through SNA: If your back-to-school experience includes challenging conversations with stakeholders like your superintendent, your CFO, your parents, and even your students, don’t miss out on the first modul of School Nutrition Foundation ’s new LEAD to Succeed™ program. This training was designed specifically for school nutrition professionals. LEAD to Succeed™ Module 1: “LEARN to Master Difficult Conversations” will help you communicate effectively with stakeholders— administrators, vendors, school staff, parents—as we continue to navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Just a reminder about National School Lunch Week coming up October 11-15 – be sure to share pictures with Ashleigh to post on our social media so we can all see the wonderful promotions all around the state. And lastly, I want to take a moment and give a huge THANK YOU to our president, Sue Bell. What a crazy year to be president of an association! I know that this was a difficult year to be traditionally “visible” because we did not have an opportunity to see our members and connect with everyone in person, but that does not mean that our association stopped working (if anything, we probably kept you busier than usual). Thank you for your leadership and dedication to this association and its members. Despite the challenges created by the pandemic you still steered this association flawlessly. Your passion kept your board engaged and inspired and we thank you for your service - you are a class act Sue Bell. Best wishes for a great school year. - Jennifer - JENNIFER MARTIN, MBA, CAE Jennifer has been in association management since 2011 and the Executive Director of NYSNA since 2014. Prior to working for NYSNA she was the Executive Director of the NYS Builders Association Research & Education Foundation. She is a national 40 under 40 award winner, an amazing talent scout and an expert in the areas of administration, governance, iced coffee, and Harry Potter. Her keys to success can be summarized by the following phrases: “Work smarter, not harder;” “Be intentional;” and “Your Attitude Determines Your Altitude”. • 3 hours of self-paced online learning worth three (3) CEUs! • A Facilitator Guide brings the training to life in group settings • Supported by a $2m U.S.D.A. grant • Created in partnership with Georgetown University McDonough School of Business









FALL 2021

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