Fresh Bites Spring Edition 2022

Fresh Bites Spring Edition 2022


N Y S N A 2 0 2 2 Election Results HandsIn! TIME TO GET Involved! 2022 NYSNA Annual Conference Sneak Peek! Legislative Action CONFERENCE Recap!

Universal School Meals ARE WORTH THE I NVESTMENT 7 Reasons Why

Volume 71 Number 2 Published Quarterly


NYSNA Mission Statement

To be the informational and professional resource for all NYSNA members who provide school meals that contribute to the improvement of the optimal health, nutrition, and education of school children to reduce food insecurity.

www.NYSchoolNutr i t

2021-2022 Board of Directors

CENTRAL AREA Jil Swarthout Food Service Director Midlakes CSD 1554 Route 488 Clifton Springs, NY 14432 (315) 524-1041 EASTERN AREA Katy Headwell, RD Director of Food Services Shenendehowa CSD 970 Route 146 Clifton Park, NY 12065 (518)881-0600 x68601 NEW YORK CITY AREA Vacant NORTHEAST AREA Nicole Grandjean Food Service Director Copenhagen CSD 320 Mechanic Street Copenhagen, NY 13626 (315) 688-4034 SOUTHERN TIER AREA Patrick Walsh, SNS School Lunch Director Broome-Tioga BOCES 1 North Loder Avenue Endicott, NY 13760 (607) 766-3926 SOUTH AREA Mara Pugh Food Service Director Elwood UFSD 100 Kenneth Avenue Greenlawn, NY 11740 (631) 266-5400

SOUTHEAST AREA Debra Donleavy Director of Food & Nutrition Services Enlarged CSD of Middletown 223 Wisner Avenue Middletown, NY 10940 (845) 774-6275 WESTERN AREA


PRESIDENT Donna Riviello Food Service Director Clyde-Savannah CSD 215 Glasgow Street Clyde, NY 14433 (315)902-3060 PRESIDENT ELECT Caitlin Lazarski, MS, RD, SNS Food Service Director Newburgh City CSD 124 Grand Street Newburgh, NY 12550 (845) 863-3426 VICE PRESIDENT NaimWalcott School Lunch Manager Westhampton Beach UFSD 29 Lilac Road Westhampton Beach, NY 11978 (631) 288-3800x261 SECRETARY/TREASURER Joe Kilmer, MS. ED., SDBL Regional Director of Food Services Greater Southern Tier BOCES 950 Sing Sing Road Horseheads, NY 14845 (607) 739-6360 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Jennifer Martin, MBA, CAE N 21 YS E N xe A cutive Park Drive Clifton Park, NY 12065 (518) 446-9061


NYSNA 2022 Election Results Page 14-15

Tracie Middleton, SNS Food Service Director Bolivar-Richburg CSD 100 School Street Bolivar, NY 14715 (585) 928-2561 x2902 At Large Director Megan Bates Food Service Director Guilderland CSD 8 School Road, PO Box 18 Guilderland Center, NY 12085 (518) 456-6200 At Large Director Sarah Keen, RDN Food Service Manager Schuylerville CSD 14 Spring Street Schuylerville, NY 12871 (518) 695-3255x2290 At Large Director Bryan McCoy Food Service Supervisor Broome-Tioga BOCES 1 North Loder Avenue Endicott, NY 13760 (607) 763-1216 At Large Director Craig Orvis, SNS Food Service Director St. Lawrence -Lewis BOCES 40 West Main Street Canton, NY 13617 (315)785-3717

4 5

Nardone Bros Baking Co. American Dairy Association

North East Wild Mike’s NY Apple Association Schwan’s General Mills Dominos Slate Foods Barilla Sterling Manufacturing Hershey’s Ice Cream Duffy’s AIS

10 13 19 25 29 39 43 54 67 69

Legislative Action Conference 2022 Recap Pages 56-57 2022 NYSNA Annual Conference Pages 30-33

7 Reasons Why Universal School Meals Are Worth the Investment Pages 62-66


Fresh Bites A NYSNA PUBLICATION Ashleigh Roche, MBA Membership &


Officers & Headquarters

Communications Coordinator



21 Executive Park Drive Clifton Park, NY 12065 (518) 446-9061








NYSNA Townhall with Hunger Solutions New York and No Kid Hungry New York SNA National Leadership Conference – West Palm Beach, FL Registration Open for NYSNA Annual Conference

April 14, 2022

April 28-30, 2022

May 1, 2022

Fresh Bites Deadline (2022 Summer Issue)

May 4, 2022

NYSNA 2021-22 Board of Directors Meeting – Clifton Park, NY SNA Annual National Conference – Orlando, FL

May 16-17 2022

July 10-12, 2022

For more information contact our broker:

We are here to help simplify your meal preparations. This easy to prepare single serve pizza comes in Ovenable & Microwavable packaging. Great look, taste and delicious aroma GUARANTEED! PRE-PACKAGED PIZZA!

Jaime Nixon-Crafts


Large selection!

CN Labeled & USDA commodity approved.

ADA-3340 NBSW22 NYSNA 8.5x11_final.indd 1

2/10/22 6:10 PM







President’s Message


for what we as directors know could be detrimental come June 30, 2022. Although our association’s legislative efforts for this year have passed, I want to stress that it is never too late to reach out to your local representatives and engage them in conversation surrounding those action items that make your job, your students, your districts and your communities better served through school meals. One take away that I learned this year was that there are groups out there actively engaged in fighting for or against certain action items that we know are important to the work that we do every day. I was baffled, to say the least, that organizations were speaking out having never engaged in conversation with us, the actual operators. I cannot stress this enough…. NO ONE CAN TELL YOUR STORY BETTER THAN YOU! If you want change, you need to advocate for it. Waiting for someone else to step up to the plate on your behalf is no longer acceptable. There are plenty of people out there willing to have their voice heard, even if that voice is misinformed. You know that old saying “Be the change you wish to see in the world” Now, more than ever, it is vital to the future of students everywhere that we speak up on their behalf.

Happy Spring! Whew… the past several months have been a whirlwind of new experiences and activities for me. To say that I am learning so many new things about school food would be an understatement. I would like to share some of my experiences thus far in this leadership journey. In January, I had the opportunity to travel to San Antonio, Texas for my first experience at SNA’s SNIC conference. For those of you that are new and struggling to recognize all these acronyms, SNIC is the School Nutrition Industry Conference. I think this is the area that I am most pleasantly surprised to be learning new things from. It wasn’t until I started my role as President that I realized just how important our industry partners are. I always knew they were an integral part of our association and our day-to-day operations, but I never realized the perspective from their point of view. It has become one of my greatest accomplishments to get to know them, their products, and how they fit in the world of School Nutrition. They are all genuinely interested and passionate in helping us food service professionals best serve our students. Whether it is getting us product we may have difficulty procuring or developing new products to keep our students engaged in our programs, our industry partners are working hard every day to improve our programs. This conference was jam packed with innovative solutions to our distribution struggles throughout the pandemic and thoughtful insights in navigating our new normal, consisting of staffing shortages, supply chain disruptions and navigating business in the new digital age of Zoom. As I watched our industry partners engage with each other, I realized that they are just as frustrated as us in terms of supply chain issues. Rest assured though, they are working hard on our behalf, to try and find solutions so that we can resume normal business. Thank you again, to our Industry partners for all that they do for us program operators. School Nutrition Industry Conference I had a unique opportunity shortly after SNIC to engage in a personal interview with Food and Nutrition Service Administrator Cindy Long, USDA regarding Universal Feeding, the increase in the federal reimbursement rate, our difficulties with supply chain disruptions and the multiple layers of mandates and regulation we face every day. I found Administrator Long to be very responsive, interested, and engaged in our conversation. I can’t say that I came away from the conversation with any clear-cut answers, but what I did get from our conversation was that the administration is actively engaged in working with SNA and individual operators to do what is in our best interests. The biggest take away I have from this, is that our efforts in advocating with our local and national leaders regarding what is in the best interest of our students and our programs is more necessary now, then ever before. While she made no promises regarding a federal Universal Feeding program, she did say that FNS was actively pushing state governments to lower the CEP threshold making more households eligible under these guidelines and ultimately giving the opportunity for free meals for more students through the Community Eligibility Provision. Of course, I can’t forget to mention our own legislative endeavors. As I write this article, we are just finishing up with our Legislative Action Conference. This was also another pleasant surprise for me this year. In previous years I always knew that advocating on behalf of our students and programs was important, but this year I found myself actively engaged in many key conversations with state assembly men and women and state senators advocating, sometimes very passionately, 2022 NYSNA Legislative Action Conference Interview with Food and Nutrition Service Administrator Cindy Long, USDA


I also would like to take this opportunity to thank our PP&L committee: Artie Frego, Allissa Eiser and our incredibly hard-working and passionate headquarters staff for the amazing job you did coordinating this conference. The content was extremely helpful in preparing our attendees to “charge the hill” even if only through zoom. Special recognition to Julia, our Advocacy Coordinator on coordinating her first conference. You did a great job. I thought it was a productive conference in which the fruits of our efforts are still unknown at the time of this writing. I do know however, that child nutrition programs everywhere are front and center. Your voice matters…SPEAK UP! I hope to be seeing many of you at some upcoming local chapter events. At the time of this writing, I am aware of several local chapters planning in-person spring banquets and celebrations. Just typing this makes me very happy. I feel as though we are coming out the other side of this pandemic and I couldn’t be happier to be able to engage our membership in person and re-connect with everyone. I think we have some important work to do recruiting new members, re-engaging past members, and reconnecting with each other on a social level. I am greatly looking forward to this. As always, I want to hear from you. I am genuinely interested in what is happening in your neck of the woods. Please feel free to reach out to me with any of your comments, concerns and celebrations. I can’t wait to see you all soon. Happy Spring! Upcoming In-Person Events!

- Donna-

Donna Riviello Donna Riviello has been a school Food Service Director for the past 11+ years. She is currently employedas the Food Service Director of the Clyde Savannah School District. She has been a NYSNAmember for all of her 11+ years and she looks forward to serving this organization as president! NYSNA President







Vice President’s Message

President Elect’s Message



Hello Friends, You may have heard about the Governor’s initiative to transfer the administration of the federal USDA Child Nutrition Program from the State Education Department (SED) over to the Department of Agriculture & Markets. NYSNA supports this initiative and understands the opportunity this presents. We are greatly appreciative of the advancements and support of SED and its specialists. The request for the agency switch is in my opinion, not a rebuke of the past but a decision based on the future. NYSNA’s initial ask and current support, is in response to what was being stated by its membership then as well as to the challenges we are facing now. Currently the NYS 30% Initiative is being evaluated by our state education professionals. However it has been NYS Agriculture & Markets that has been our partner in getting the certification for our NYS products. NYS Agriculture & Markets has been the

Hello School Meal Heroes! I hope this message finds you well and looking forward to the warmer weather and sunshine of the spring. Yes I realize we are in New York and we still have March to get through, but there’s no harm in daydreaming… I had the opportunity to attend SNA’s School Nutrition Industry Conference (SNIC) in San Antonio last month. We heard from several great speakers and received updates from USDA and SNA. The conference provided a great opportunity to meet with and discuss challenges with our industry partners. One key takeaway was that we are all struggling with supply chain issues and labor shortages. While it’s not necessarily uplifting to hear that we are “all the same boat”, it does provide some solace to know you are not alone in the struggle. One of the keynote speakers at SNIC was Ron Hetrick who spoke about “The Demographic Drought.” Nationwide labor shortages were predicted years prior to the pandemic as baby boomers were retiring and subsequent generations were not available in the same numbers to


Vice President


source of our Farm to School movement, grant funding and our local food procurement resource. NYS Agriculture & Markets has various committees that allows us to discuss and address issues in our programs. When it comes to support for feeding our communities healthy food, NYS Agriculture & Markets has been consistently our best ally. They have made our mission one of their top priorities.

fill the void. What we learned about the current workforce is that many of them received at least some form of higher education leaving the biggest gaps in the frontline workforce. Additionally, due to the pandemic, immigration to the US was nearly non-existent in 2020. While this all sounds pretty bleak, there are some areas of opportunity to improve on our current labor situation. These are not one size fits all, but perhaps you can find one or two ways to again “reimagine” your program and staffing: We heard from several districts that have been able to offer a variety of bonuses including sign on bonuses, retention bonuses, referral bonuses, and longevity bonuses. If this is a possibility for your district, take a look at the times of the year when you typically lose the most staff and try to time the bonuses accordingly. I don’t know about you but lately we are so happy (desperate) to have a new sub or employee that we “throw them to the fire” without giving them all the tools they need to succeed. Spending more time with new employees during training and orientation will help them to feel like they are supported and a part of the team. The key here is long term retention. Many of our employees may not understand that there are advancement opportunities in our field that are attainable for them. Provide them the support and training they need to advance. Again let’s retain the staff we have! This can take some outside of the box thinking, but is there a way you can utilize part time staff from another department (ex: transportation) to cover a serving line during lunch? Are you working with your PTAs to advertise the positions you have with those amazing family friendly hours? Can you work with your local culinary schools or vocational students to provide internship hours? I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to attend SNIC and I am looking forward to more learning opportunities over the next 2 years. I plan to utilize these experiences to bring back something that is useful to all NYSNA members that my not be able to attend. If you are interested in hearing more about SNIC and innovative labor solutions, feel free to reach out. I’d love to hear from you! Caitlin Lazarski, MS, RD, SNS NYSNA President Elect Caitlin Lazarski is the Director of School Nutrition for Newburgh Enlarged City School District, the district where she grew up and is currently raising her family. Caitlin is a Registered Dietitian with a Master’s Degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Delaware. - Caitlin - Offer Bonuses On Board and Train QUICKLY Offer a Career Partner with Outside Agencies/Associations

Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great. - John D. Rockefeller

These comments are in no way seeking to denigrate our team in SED that has been with us. I make the point that we need them as well hand in hand with the team that has boots on the ground. Recently, we’ve all learned from the supply chain shortages and labor deficiencies that there are gaping vulnerabilities in our food supply. It is my humble opinion that strengthening our local food sources and distribution chains is more important now than ever before. To keep it local, we’ve been doing monthly tastings on our menus by using produce from area producers. Most recently, we served organic carrots which became an immediate favorite. The farm connections, funding and distribution were worked out with our farm to school operators through grants and support from the department of Agriculture & Markets. “ Anybody interested in solving, rather than profiting from, the problems of food production and distribution will see that in the long run the safest food supply is a local food supply, not a supply that is dependent on a global economy. Nations and regions within nations must be left free and should be encouraged to develop the local food economies that best suit local needs and local conditions. - Wendell Berry

- Naim -

NaimWalcott Naim Walcott is the Food Service Director for the Westhampton Beach UFSD in Westhampton Beach, NY. He has been in the foodservice industry for over 20 years. The last decade of which has been in school nutrition management and service programs. He currently serves on the Long Island School Nutrition Directors Association and LI Food Purchasing Cooperative. Some of his professional history includes banking as well as polysomnography. With a diverse background in service, Naim focuses on improving the food quality and the student’s experience from service to bite. He also does woodwork and hikes, citing Breakneck Ridge in Coldsprings, NY as one of his favorite trails. NYSNA Vice President









Find this picture hidden in each issue.

Click on the picture and fill out this form.

The Game Video

Once your information is entered, you are entered in to a raffle to win a $25 gift card! April 18, 2022 is the deadline for the winter game!


IN THE NEWS As always, our HQ staff is here for YOU! Be sure to tune in! Videos are on social media and on our website. RECENT EPISODES Tips & Resources If you find the picture of Ashleigh and Alyssa in all 4 issues this year - winter, spring, summer & fall - you will be entered into a grand prize drawing to win a Free 2022 Conference Registration!!







Executive Director’s Message


Pick Me!

Dear NYSNA Members, The snow is almost gone my friends and flowers and sunshine are just around the corner. Every spring issue I get excited to tell you about my work anniversary – and this is YEAR #8! It’s important for me to pause and think about this each year because it serves as a reminder that time flies when you #LoveWhatYouDo. Thank you for being such amazing humans and putting some good into this world – I am proud to work with you. NYSNA LEGISLATIVE ACTION CONFERENCE The 2022 NYSNA LAC was virtual this year, and because of that there was an opportunity for more members to attend and see what this conference is all about. We had the highest attendance we have ever had, and a lot of first timers. The program was phenomenal, and attendees could see and hear how they were supported by so many allied organizations. But it’s so important to connect throughout the year and not just one day. Our PP&L committee will tell you all about the LAC and follow up that is needed in this issue. Reach out if you want to know more or to get involved! 2022 CONFERENCE I am excited about the 2022 conference this year! This will be the WELCOME BACK event of the decade! Mark your calendars and get ready for innovation like you have never seen before. The conference committee has reimagined what conference can be… I hope you are all enjoying the digital magazine we have for you and all of the interactive features this platform offers. Be sure to share your amazing stories and successes with your peers and your family. These articles are simply amazing. As always, thank you for all that you do. AND THIS IS GOING TO BE JENNIFER MARTIN, MBA, CAE Jennifer has been in association management since 2011 and the Executive Director of NYSNA since 2014. She is an expert in the areas of governance, administration, iced coffee, and Harry Potter. Under her leadership the NYSNA has been recognized for various achievements at both the state and national levels and has seen considerable growth. Jennifer has also been recognized by various industries for her work, including being a recipient of the national 40 Under 40 through Association Forum. NYSNA Wins Association Excellence Award for a Publication/Magazine NYSNA Executive Director - Jennifer - JENNIFER MARTIN MBA, CAE

Less miles to schools

Supports family-owned apple growers of NY State

Close to NY Schools

Fresh-picked flavor

The sweet & healthy choice

I’m a New York State apple – so close to NY State Schools, my orchard is just a few miles away! Buying New York apples supports your local economy. I’m the sweet and smart choice. BUY New York Apples!

Congratulations NYSNA members – you now have an AWARD-WINNING DIGITAL MAGAZINE! NYSNA has been selected to receive the Association Excellence Award for a Publication/Magazine from the Empire State Society of Association Executives (ESSAE). This category honors high-quality magazines that exemplify effective association communication. NYSNA will be honored at an event in March.

585.924.2171 • Fun Apple Facts • Dietitian Tool Kit • Big Apple Crunch





E L E C T I O N R E S U LT S Introducing the WINNERS of the 2022 Election


Have you considered getting involved in NYSNA by joining a committee or serving on the Board of Directors? We asked some of our past presidents about their experience serving and they have some messages for all of you. Take a look!

Bryan McCoy Southern Tier Area School Lunch Director Broome-Tioga BOCES

What was your favorite thing about being the president of NYSNA?

Supporting and establishing changes that had a big impact! Knowing that I had been part of positive changes that set the foundation for many years to come.

Making the 3 year commitment made me step outside of

The people I met! Not just in our amazing state, but from all around the country! It energized me and gave me a sense of purpose outside of work and family.

The immense feeling of accomplishment when I was able to lead the association through a very rough time and we came out stronger on the other side.

my comfort zone and work to improve my communication skills and my self-esteem.

Connie Babino Southern Tier Area Food Service Director Delaware-Chenango-Madison- Otsego BOCES

Joe Kilmer, MS. Ed,SDBL Southern Tier Area Regional Director of Food Services Greater Southern Tier BOCES

My favorite thing was seeing, and being part of, what this amazing group could accomplish when we joined together with the guidance of the headquarters team.

Looking back, I have to say it was being pushed outside of my comfort zone. I didn’t particularly like the idea of traveling without my family, but each trip and each task pushed me.

What would you tell NYSNA members to encourage them to get involved in committee or board service?

Debra Donleavy Southeast Area Director Director of Food & Nutrition Services Enlarged CSD of Middletown

Tracie Middleton, SNS Western Area

Food Service Director Bolivar-Richburg CSD

Without NYSNA, child nutrition would not be anything like it is today. NYSNA is the reason there have been such positive changes in school food service. Get involved. Be happy.

Don’t be afraid! This organization “has your back”. The learning and sharing of information is amazing and this is an excellent turn-key operation.

If you want growth and professional development opportunities jump in! You will meet so many wonderful people and you will be a better director/ manager.

NYSNA is the most valuable tool for professional and personal growth. The experiences and opportunities to network with other school food professionals is phenomenal! You will meet great people from all around the state and the country and you will be part of growth for the association.

The personal growth is so beneficial, and the HQ team and other members are there to guide and support you.

It is challenging yet very rewarding work. You will get way more out of it professionally and personally than you put in.

Serving is the best way to affect change, to learn from others, and to advance our profession.

Kelly Filus Northeast Area Director of Food Services Carthage CSD

Alexandra Tepoel-DeWitt Western Area Director of Food Services Victor CSD








It’s time to plan your SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS!

Job Posting Looking for a Job in School Nutrition? Did you know that NYSNA has a job board on the website? We are contacted by districts all across the state throughout the year and we share the information right here. Click Here for more information!




April 4-8 National Wildlife Week April 4 International Carrot Day

May 6 School Lunch Hero Day May 9-15 National Etiquette Week May 18 International MuseumDay

March 17 St. Patrick’s Day

Social Media Channels

March 18 Global Recycling Day

Interested in Joining some Facebook Communities? There are SO many school nutrition professionals sharing information from all across the country. Get in on the conversation! New York School Nutrition Association Membership Page

April 11-17 National Student Employment Week

School Nutrition Masterminds

March 21 National Cruncy Taco Day

Tips for School Meals that Rock

May 31 National Parrot Day Asian American and Native Hawaiian/

March 22 World Water Day

April 11 National Pet Day

School Nutrition Collaborative

School Nutrition Professionals

March 25 International Waffle Day

April 14 National Dolphin Day

Pacific Islander Heritage Month

ATTENTION INDUSTRY PARTNERS: Advertising Available! We have so much to offer within our NYSNA Media Kit! ✓ Interactive Advertisements in Fresh Bites ✓ NYSNA Website Advertising Options (Example: Banner Ads/ Commercial Spots on Homepage) ✓ #NYSNANews Segments Advertising

March 26 National Spinach Day

April 29 International Dance Day

Better Sleep Month National Hamburger Month

Women’s History Month National Athletic Training Month

National Humor Month National Poetry Month

National Salsa Month

NYSNA Executive Director

CLICK HERE for More Information




Central Area




There is one name to trust for Asian food success. It’s Schwan’s Food Service . With Schwan’s products, you can easily serve desirable Asian foods like dumplings, fried rice, sauces, and more. Let’s bring excitement to your menu.

At the beginning of the new year, I was given an opportunity through Utica College Dietetics’ interning program to intern at Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES Food Service Department under their Registered Dietitian, Hayley Mielnicki. With my studies as a nutrition student being mostly focused on the clinical aspect of a Registered Dietitian, this rotation provided wonderful insight into a dietitian’s role within the school nutrition world. One of the projects that I was involved in during my stay at the department was creating a new breakfast menu item to be served in their sixteen school districts. The new breakfast item was overnight oats, which included frozen mixed berries, yogurt, and oats. The students took a survey prior to tasting the overnight oats to identify what they would like as a new breakfast item and took a post-survey after breakfast was served for feedback. At the end of breakfast and after the post-survey was taken, there was positive feedback on the overnight oats from the students. From the survey results, most of the students appreciated the different fruits that were in the overnight oats, and the sweetness it had. Some students also added that it was a filling meal. The overnight oats also provide other nutritional values to the students. It is a caloric dense meal that provides a great amount of energy and a feeling of fullness for the student. The blueberries in the overnight oats are a reliable source of antioxidants which are essential in fighting off free radicals or the “bad guys” in the body and help maintain balance. Oats are a major source of carbohydrates and rich fibers, specifically soluble fibers, which increase satiety that lasts for a longer time. It also is a heart healthy grain option. The last ingredient is yogurt and is a reliable source of not only dairy but also protein, calcium, and potassium. It is also a great probiotic which maintains beneficial bacteria that is found in the gut.

For more information 1-888-554-7421 or

CHEF ONE® Chicken & Vegetable Dumpling (60585)

Scan for full Asian product list

Tony’s TM Cheese, Egg & Meat Breakfast Bagel Available in Spring 2022


Big Daddy’s TM Cheese Stuffed Sandwich Available in 2022-23 School Year

Tony’s TM Cheese & Egg Breakfast Bagel Available in Spring 2022

Jil Swarthout • Central Area Director Jil has been working in food service for many, many years! She has specificially been in the K12 Meal Service Industry for 2 years now and it has been quite the experience for her. She truly enjoys providing meals the students enjoy and seeing the happiness that it brings them.

Breakfast including protein sets kids up for learning success A breakfast rich in whole grains and protein may boost attention span, concentration, and memory.

Adding more options to your breakfast menu

Versatile serving

New breakfast items are individually wrapped with ovenable film. Great for breakfast in the classroom or serving via a grab & go kiosk.

Offers variety for your students.

For more information go to or call 1-888-554-7421









Eastern Area Staffing Shortages How are you recrui t ing new employe es?


Eastern Area Feature













Washington, Warren and Saratoga county district schools have been busy feeding more students than ever before! Food service directors meet monthly to share menu ideas, collaborate on regional Farm to School efforts, and collaborate on improving their programs. Pictured is a menu brainstorming session:






Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that we are all facing shortages in our workforce. Since August 2021, 4.3 million people have quit their jobs and the healthcare and food-service industries have suffered the most. So what can you do to recruit employees to come and work for you? Below are some tips from schools districts that seem to be helping. PTA-they have the attention of a number of parents in your district that might be willing to help you out.

Argyle Central School Foodservice Team has been focusing on Grab N Go Lunches. Our goal has been to make it easier and faster for students to get lunch! We have surveyed our students and many have issues with standing in line, getting trays, walking in front of alot of students etc... so grabbing a full lunch in a container solves the problem! Examples of our Cold Grab N Go meals: MYO pizza, Walking Taco, Deviled Eggs, Bagel Bites, Protein Packs, Cheese&Crackers, Yogurt Boats, Bagel Boats, specialty Sandwiches, Smoothies, Parfaits, Wraps, Salads (Big Mac, Oriental, Caesar, Buffalo, Garden with Cheese Curds, Antipasto, Chef, Grilled Chicken etc)

1 2 3 4 5

Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) has hired a regional grant coordinator to study the feasibility of building a food hub for local products in the Tri-County area. As a result, school districts are benefiting from increased access to New York grown items like lettuce, apple cider, grape juice, and beef by placing larger cooperative orders. CCE sends a van to make bimonthly deliveries to more rural districts who are normally outside the service zone of many distributors.

Waterford-Halfmoon district celebrated Fire Prevention Week and served up a delicious breakfast to local firefighters!

Transportation Departments-Some school districts have bus drivers that are free in between their runs and can help (even if it’s just for an hour) serve the students. Bonuses-offer a sign-on bonus for new employees or a bonus to current employees that help recruit new workers. Outside Organizations-think outside the box and work with local organizations that have groups of people seeking employment. Student Help- reach out to your counselors and other administrations to see if students are looking to volunteer opportunities during free periods.

Johnsburg Central School participated in a door decorating contest at Christmas and wore matching “Smart Cookie” shirts.

Mechanicville Central School District has been tracking increased participation all year. Through the end of January they served 32,299 more meals than last year!

Hadley-Luzerne Central School celebrated Chinese New Year with whole grain dumplings and homemade lo mein. Hadley- Luzerne students also enjoyed a “Food Truck” week in January highlighting food from around the country. Students in both schools tried Chicago style hot dogs. Other lunches included southern style “fried” chicken sandwiches, street tacos, southwest bbq chicken flatbreads, In and Out style cheeseburgers, and chicken po’ boys. They loved learning about food popular in other places and have even asked to have a couple of these items again!

Have more tips and tricks? Please feel free to share them with us!

Chef Kevin London visited the Schuylerville Central School District in January to provide a hands-on cooking lesson centered around farm to school. Kitchen staff learned different techniques to prepare local carrots and celeriac (celery root). The recipes will be incorporated into upcoming menus, and Kevin plans to return later this spring for another lesson as more vegetables come into season.

KATY HEADWELL, RD • Eastern Area Director Katy Headwell is the Food Service Director at Shenendehowa Central Schools in Clifton Park, NY. She has been in her position for 9 years and loves being in school food service. She gets excited seeing students try new foods and working with great people. She enjoys spending time with her husband, son and 2 dogs.







Eastern Area

Eastern Area



Eastern Area Feature

Eastern Area Feature


TRI-COUNTY Schools celebrate Chinese New Year


Hi, my name is Anna! I am a new intern here with the food service department from Russell Sage College and I am here to learn all about food service management.

For one of my assignments I am instructed to identify a process that needs improvement, in this case, this school unfortunately has low breakfast program participation, especially compared to nearby districts. My goal over the next 10 weeks is to help develop a plan with a few volunteer students to help increase breakfast program participation. In an effort to kick start this campaign I have developed a bulletin board down the hall that asks all students to take out their pens and write what kind of breakfast they would like to see served in the cafeteria. Some students have responded, but we have been hoping for more! These responses will help us develop breakfasts that better match your preferences!

Don’t Forget - All School Meals are FREE!!!







Northeast Area


CARTHAGE CSD GETS in the Holiday Spirit









Over the holiday season Carthage Central School District was in the holiday spirit. They prepared charcuterie boards, a nacho bar, and rye bread bowls for their Middle School Staff Holiday Party.

They also prepared homemade breakfast pastries, fruit kabobs, and covid-friendly charcuterie boxes for the Holiday Superintendent’s meeting. “This was a true team effort – everyone pitched in to make it happen and I am proud to be a part of such a talented, fun, and hardworking team!” - Kelly Filus Food Service Director, Carthage CSD

General Mills for K-12 Schools @generalmillsk12 @generalmillscf

Well done Carthage CSD Staff! Keep up the great work!

*Honey Cheerios® does not contain nuts. However, the product is not labeled as nut free because it is not produced in a nut free production facility.

Nicole Grandjean is a food service director for Copenhagen CSD. She was born and raised on the Tug Hill Plateau. After college Nicole worked in a long-term care facility as a dietetic technician. She then decided to take a job as a school food service director closer to her hometown. She has been in school food service for almost 9 years and has loved every moment of her journey! NICOLE GRANDJEAN • Northeast Area Director

1 Nielsen Nitro US XAOC, RTE Cereal, Dollar Share, 52 Weeks Ending 10/3/2020

Learn more about the entire K-12 cereal lineup at







Southern Tier Area SOUTHERN TIER Area News

Southeast Area



LETTERS OF Gratitude











BY PATRICKWALSH, SNS SOUTHERN TIER AREA DIRECTOR With the holidays behind us and the warm days of spring ahead, I wanted to thank our group of dedicated school nutrition professionals who have worked through the unprecedented year of 2021. We have overcome a lot of obstacles and continue to strive for greatness in our field for our districts and students. It has been my pleasure to work with a terrific group of people who never cease to amaze me with their generosity for our region and community. I was able to witness this firsthand with our community partners holiday giving boxes. In partnership with Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, CHOW, Cornell Cooperative Extension Broome County, and the Broome County Regional Farmers Market, we organized and packed 180 holiday meal boxes for local families. The boxes included locally sourced foods and delicious recipes. One of our local school districts was able to raise the funds to support 30 families for this give away. Lori Wheeler, the School Nutrition Manager at Deposit Central School District worked with her staff and district to fundraise the money necessary to make this happen. This is so inspiring, and I tip my cap and say thank you to all of them! I also would like to give a nod to our latest Golden Spoon Award winner Terri McMahon who has shown dedication to the students that she serves at Binghamton High School. The Golden Spoon Award winners are recognized for going above and beyond in the Broome-Tioga BOCES School Nutrition Programs. While taking on the role of running breakfast and a third of the lunch at Binghamton High School, Terri has shown her dedication for quality by batch cooking all the lunch items she is responsible for in addition to adding new products to the daily menu. Terri has maintained a positive attitude and has influenced others to do the same! Terri works hard to make the dining experience at Binghamton the best that she is able. She set goals and standards for excellence daily. Thank you to Terri and congratulations on a well-deserve award!

Patrick Walsh has been working in food service for over 20 years. Patrick is currently a School Lunch Director for Broome Tioga BOCES. He started his career in school lunch 13 years ago. He has enjoyed learning and growing with the recent changes of the last several years. Patrick enjoys the outdoors and spending time with his family as much as he can! PATRICK WALSH, SNS • Southern Tier Area Director

Debra Donleavy is the Director of Food Service for the Enlarged City School District of Middletown. Debra is currently the 4th generation in her family to work in school food service. When she isn’t running around with her 6 grandkids she is taking care of her 30 chickens and 30,000 honeybees! DEBRA DONLEAVY • Southeast Area Director







Western Area


Wilson Superintendent Holds 5th Annual Holiday Luncheon

INCLUDE DOMINO’S SMART SLICE IN YOUR FRESH DELIVERED PIZZA BID! Pizza day is a favorite, especially with Domino’s Smart Slice on the menu! Domino’s Smart Slice pizza tastes great, is NSLP compliant and completely customizable – perfect for your school lunch program.


For the 5th consecutive year, Wilson Central School District Superintendent TimCarter hosted his Annual Pasta Luncheon. Superintendent Carter, along with Head Cook Brenda Johannes made the spaghetti sauce to serve to all of the faculty and staff in the district.

The holiday meal consisted of pasta with the choice of plain or meat sauce, meatballs, garden salad and fresh bread. The luncheon takes place at the middle/high school and the elementary school over the course of 2 days. Superintendent Carter makes sure he sits and converses with every staff member as each one enjoys the delicious meal. Mr. Carter’s generosity and thoughtfulness is beyond compare and once again proved to be a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season.

Visit to learn more and request information from a Domino’s Smart Slice Account Manager. Phone: 800.810.6633 Email:

Tracie Middleton, SNS is the Food Service Director at Bolivar-Richburg Central School, and has been in child nutrition for 24 years! Tracie loves what she does and is currently the Vice President of Allegany-Cattaraugus SNA along with service on the NYSNA board of directors. She is honored to work with so many dedicated individuals to serve our students each and every day. TRACIE MIDDLETON, SNS • Western Area Director

Program available at participating locations nationwide. All rights reserved ©2022 Domino’s IP Holder LLC. Domino’s®, Domino’s Pizza® and the modular logo are registered trademarks of Domino’s IP Holder LLC.







ME E T YOU R Conference Keynotes ATTENTION TOP CHEF FANS! This year’s conference keynote is going to be nothing like what you have seen before at a NYSNA Conference! Two Top Chef contestants, Avishar Barua and Chris Viaud will be put in the spotlight for a candid discussion about ways to enhance school food service. Avishar Barua and Chris Viaud fromTop Chef Season 18!

The rumors are true – NYSNA’s Annual Conference is BACK… and better than EVER!! Can you believe it has been three years? You know what we’re talking about… It has been three years since NYSNA had a “normal” in- person Annual Conference. But we are back and better than ever! NYSNA’s 71st Annual Conference is right around the corner and our 2022 conference committee has already been working SO hard to make this the BEST WELCOME BACK BASH!! There’s so much in store for this conference we can’t wait any longer to share with you! We are returning to the heart of the state for the SECOND time at Turning Stone Resort in Verona, NY. Join hundreds of NY’s finest school food service professionals at this exciting venue!

Christopher Viaud Chef/Owner, Greenleaf and Ansanm Top Chef Season 18

Avishar Barua Executive Chef and General Manager, Service Bar Top Chef Season 18

Chris Viaud, most recently known for competing on Season 18 of Top Chef, is the Chef/Owner of Greenleaf and Ansanm, both located in Milford New Hampshire. Chef Viaud’s food is rustic in its approach, yet refined, by classic techniques. Focusing primarily on seasonal products, most of which grown locally, helps to fuel his passion when creating menus. He plans and executes a balanced meal that incorporates different flavors and textures that entertain the palate which allows for a unique dining experience each time. Chef Viaud has continually been working throughout the years to challenge himself by pushing the boundaries and constantly taking himself out of his comfort zone to hone in on his craft. He is constantly exploring new ideas, styles, trends and concepts to keep fueling his passion and believes that everyday there is the opportunity to learn something new. LEARN MORE Lunch & Learn That’s not all folks! Avishar and Chris will not only be your conference keynote speakers… they will also be competing head-to-head in a Quickfire Challenge to see who is NYSNA’s top chef ! Watch Avishar and Chris in Action! Check out Top Chef Season 18 Quickfire Challenge:


Avishar Barua is the Executive Chef of Service Bar in Columbus, Ohio. He is a First-Generation American born in Columbus, of parents from Bangladesh. Avishar graduated from The Ohio State University in 2009 and pivoted from pursuing medicine to cooking. He then graduated from the Chef Apprenticeship program at Columbus State Community College, worked in several notable restaurants in New York City and moved back to Columbus to reinforce his passion and love of the Midwest and the city he calls home. Avishar hopes to contribute to the food scene in Columbus and give back to the community that has been instrumental in shaping his unique and often playful perspective!

Come early Thursday to one of our exciting pre-cons, or join us for the weekend to stay on top of current trends in products and operations, network with over 140 industry representatives in the exhibit hall, and gain professional standards credits with new and exciting workshops and speakers. We have a revamped conference schedule PLUS innovative new features MULTIPLIED by all the amazing possibilities you’ve come to expect from conference to EQUAL the best return on investment for you and your school meal programs! This will be the most incredible conference yet! You DO NOT want to miss this… and yes, it was worth the wait! CON F E R E N C E Highlights

S C H E DU L E Overview Conference Dates: October 21-22, 2022

Thursday, October 20, 2022 • Pre-Conference Sessions • SNS Exam • Committee Day Part I • Industry Sponsored Game Night

Friday, October 21, 2022 • Committee Day Part II • General Session – State Agency Updates • One Day Exhibit Show • Workshops • Industry Reception & Entertainment: Dueling Pianos Saturday, October 22, 2022 • General Session – Awards & Keynote • Lunch & Learn – Quickfire Challenge • Innovative Solution Sessions • Networking Lab • President’s Dinner & Installation of 2022-23 Officers

One Day Exhibit Show NYSNA’s Exhibit Hall is a one-of-a-kind experience, full of everything you need to improve your school nutrition operation. Here, you will find more products, ideas, and information from the greatest companies in food, beverage, supply equipment and service solutions. You will not want to miss it! Friday Night Entertainment: Back by popular demand! Dueling Pianos, presented by Shake, Rattle & Roll!

Networking Lab Do you want to informally exchange ideas and best practices within 45 minutes? Then the Networking Lab is for you! Innovative Solution Sessions These unique 30-minute mini-sessions introduce school nutrition operators to the latest products and services on the market today, while giving industry representatives interested in reaching key decision-makers the opportunity to provide face- to-face, hands-on demonstrations.

Sunday, October 23, 2022 • House of Delegates


Page 1 Page 2-3 Page 4-5 Page 6-7 Page 8-9 Page 10-11 Page 12-13 Page 14-15 Page 16-17 Page 18-19 Page 20-21 Page 22-23 Page 24-25 Page 26-27 Page 28-29 Page 30-31 Page 32-33 Page 34-35 Page 36-37 Page 38-39 Page 40-41 Page 42-43 Page 44-45 Page 46-47 Page 48-49 Page 50-51 Page 52-53 Page 54-55 Page 56-57 Page 58-59 Page 60-61 Page 62-63 Page 64-65 Page 66-67 Page 68-69 Page 70-71 Page 72-73

Powered by