Fresh Bites Winter Edition 2022

Fresh Bites Winter Edition 2022


N Y S N A Strategic Plan 2021-23 ROADMAP Success TO SETTING THE Direction FOR NYSNA IN 2022! Legislative Action CONFERENCE 2022 V I RTUAL

NYSNA Annual Conference 2021 Wrap-Up!

Volume 71 Number 1 Published Quarterly




Virtual Legislative Action Conference 2022 Pages 4-5

2 8

No Kid Hungry - NY Yangs 5th Taste ES Foods American Dairy Association North East Conagra Harris School Solutions Domino’s

18 23 26 31 35 44 47 62 65

Dear New York SNA Members ,

From all of us at No Kid Hungry New York ,

thank you for all that you ’ ve done to keep

kids and families nourished during this pandemic .

NYSNA Strategic Plan 2021-23 Pages 15-16

At No Kid Hungry New York ,

we ’ re here to help you feed kids and support families in

your district .

Whether that ’ s through …

Hershey’s Ice Cream NY Apple Association Barilla Sterling Manufacturing

such as customizable materials to market your school meal


programs to families

to work through adopting programs like the


Conference Wrap-Up Pages 36-37

Community Eligibility Provision or starting a Breakfast After the Bell program

to ensure you can connect more kids and families to meals


and nutrition programs

to peers across the state and industry experts



… we are focused on providing individualized support to help you keep New York ’ s

kids healthy and fed .


FreshBites A NYSNA PUBLICATION Ashleigh Roche, MBA Membership &

Officers & Headquarters

Check out some of our recent resources that focus on strategies to

address supply

chain challenges :

Tips for Navigating Supply Chain Disruptions

Language for Sharing Menu Changes with Your School Community

Communications Coordinator



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

Let ’ s get connected !

Emily Gartenberg :

egartenberg @ strength . org

| 332-213-1777

Rachel Sabella :

rsabella @ strength . org

| 646-517-3657


Check out our updates on Twitter : @ NoKidHungryNY



Visit our website :

state . nokidhungry . org / new - york

2022 Position Paper

Provide $5 million dollars in equipment grant money to help update New York State school kitchens • NYS received 543 applications for equipment requests which totaled approximately $5 million. NYS was only able to fund a total of 159 equipment grant awards to 127 Recipient Agencies (RA) in 59 SFA’s, totaling $1,805,067. • Many school food service programs throughout the state are working with antiquated, non-energy efficient equipment which in turn is negatively affecting the environment. Providing equipment grants could be a great use of taxpayer dollars. The 3,500+ members of the NYSNA also support the New York Grown Food For New York Kids “Coalition” (NYGFFNYK) with the following initiatives: Expand the 30% program to include all school meals, increase reimbursement, codify program, and call for a rulemaking process, and maintain the $10 million placeholder. • Expand student access to healthy local foods at more meals during the school day and increase school food purchases from New York producers. This can reduce the administrative burden related to separating lunch purchases from other meal purchases. Codify and grow Farm to School grant programs • Help increase the capacity of schools to procure and serve New York State farm products in school meal programs. Build sustainable, inclusive, and culturally relevant or responsive Farm to School programs. Raise small purchase threshold to match federal level • Enable schools to purchase food more easily from New York farmers and producers, who often find it challenging to participate in formal bidding and procurement processes.

School Nutrition Professionals mobilized immediately when the pandemic closed school doors statewide back in March of 2020. Despite the many challenges they were subjected to such as staff shortages, supply chain issues and increased operating costs, they continued to ensure student access to healthy school meals at no charge for all students, through extension of federal waivers which are set to expire on June 30, 2022. School breakfast, lunch, summer meals and afterschool meals have offered a lifeline for families struggling with economic uncertainty. These programs, proven to fuel student success and combat child hunger and obesity, will be critical to our state’s recovery. To support the health and achievement of New York’s students and ensure the financial sustainability of school meal programs, the 3,500+ members of the New York School Nutrition Association (NYSNA) call on New York elected officials to: Beginning in school year 2022-2023, provide healthy school meals at no charge for all students in New York State – regardless of income. • Provide all students equal access to school breakfast and lunch and eliminate any stigma or barriers for students. Nutritious school meals are proven to support learning, improve attendance, classroom behavior and contribute to overall health and wellness. • Ensure that no child goes hungry during the school day or accrues unpaid meal debt, a burden on both families anad school district budgets. • Ensure that over 2,000 schools and nearly 800,000 students in New York State will continue to have access to healthy meals at no charge once the waivers expire on June 30, 2022.

N Y S N A H A S A H U G E A N N O U N C E M E N T … The Public Policy & Legislation committee is excited to unveil our Virtual Legislative Action Conference (LAC) for 2022! Do you feel passionate about healthy school meals for all? Do you want the opportunity to speak with leg- islators about your personal experience as a food service director? Do you want to advocate on behalf of all students in New York State? Then LAC is for you! We are offering an opportunity for you to meet with your local state legislators from the comfort of your own office without the hassle of traveling. NYSNA will also be providing seminars to learn about advocacy and other national and local school nutrition updates. We will kick off this year’s LAC on Tuesday, Janu- ary 25th with a General Session from 9:00-11:00am and legislative appointments will be scheduled during January 25-28, 2022. Do not feel intimidated --NYSNA is here for you. We will be providing you with talking points and power point slides to help guide your conversation with your legislator. We will even book the legislative appointments for you! If you are a first timer, not sure to what to expect or just need a refresher course, we have you covered! We will be providing a complimentary tools and tips session on January 24th, 2022, with NYSNA’s lobbyist. Afraid to meet with the legislator alone or for the first time? No problem! We have created a buddy system to ensure everyone is comfortable during their meetings. Click here to learn about NYSNA’s 2022 legislative agenda Join our Public Policy & Legislation Committee along with NYSNA’s lobbyist, Christine Tramontano, Malkin & Ross, Jessica Pino-Goodspeed, LMSW, Hunger Solutions NY, and Mikaela Ruiz-Ramón, American Farmland Trust as we bring you both national updates to keep you informed about what is going on in New York State. We also have a couple of very special guests popping in to say hello! If you want to register for NYSNA’s virtual LAC click HERE!








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.

SNA School Nutrition Industry Conference – San Antonio, TX NYSNA Committee Day – virtual NYSNA Legislative Action Conference – virtual Fresh Bites Deadline (2022 Spring Issue) SNA Legislative Action Conference – Washington, D.C. SNA National Leadership Conference – West Palm Beach, FL

January 16-18, 2022

January 20, 2022

www.NYSchoolNutr i t

2021-2022 Board of Directors

January 25, 2022

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 Manager St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES 320 Mechanic St Copenhagen, NY 13626 (315) 688-4034 SOUTHERN TIER AREA Patrick Walsh, SNS School Lunch Director Broome-Tioga BOCES 1 North Loder Ave Endicott, NY 13760 (607) 766-3926 SOUTH AREA Vacant

WESTERN AREA 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 School Lunch Director Broome-Tioga BOCES 1 North Loder Ave Endicott, NY 13760 (607) 763- 8639 At Large Director Craig Orvis, SNS Food Service Director St. Lawrence -Lewis BOCES 40 West Main St. Canton, NY 13617 (315)785-3717

February 9, 2022 March 6-8, 2022

PRESIDENT Donna Riviello Food Service Director Clyde-Savannah CSD 215 Glasgow St 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 Rd 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

April 28-30, 2022

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

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

CLICK HERE for More Information







President’s Message


DONNA RIVIELLO NYSNA President Donna Riviello has been a school Food Service Director for the past 11 years . She is currently employed at Clyde - Savannah Central School District. She has been a NYSNA member for all of her eleven years and she looks forward to serving this organization as president! building leadership pipelines. The content of the conference was amazing with our own Executive Director, Jennifer Martin, presenting engaging and inspiring content on how to communicate, connect, engage and lead our associations forward during these very turbulent times. The feedback we received from other state leaders was wonderful. I made some new friends and gained some valuable insight to bring back to both NYSNA and my district. I would also like to thank our generous industry sponsors for making this event possible - it was great spending Friday evening connecting with you one on one. Thank you again for your continued support. I was asked to write about my leadership journey for this issue of Fresh Bites. I began my career in school food service twelve years ago, with no prior school food experience. Like many currently in this profession, I came from the world of restaurants and hospitality management. Initially, I wondered why it had never dawned on me before to enter this segment of the food industry. After all, working in a school was a far cry from the fourteen-hour days, nights, holidays and weekends I had been pulling for the previous twenty five years. I naively thought this job was going to be a breeze, and was in the job for barely a week before I realized that school nutrition was much more challenging than I ever anticipated. But, one thing I very quickly came to know was that I was surrounded by directors from all over the state willing to offer their advice, wisdom and help in any capacity they could. I can only assume my leadership journey began right then and there. To have this amazing group of school nutrition professionals reaching out to make my life easier was such a refreshing change from what I had been used to, and I desperately wanted to be a part of that. I have numerous people to thank for my introduction to NYSNA, as they all reached out to me within my first week of employment. Joellen Martino, Nancy Younglove, Nique Wilson, Yvonne Forget, Todd Fowler, Gerry Barker, Jim Liebow, and Warren Bushart are just a few of the first mentors that reached out to me offering words of encouragement and advice as I learned the intricacies of Child Nutrition. I became a member, attended a conference and was hooked from the start. If I’m being honest, it wasn’t the content of the programming or the dynamic speakers or workshops that pushed me forward; but rather the friendships and amazing people I met along the way, whom have become some of my dearest and closest friends. This group of individuals lifted me up, inspiring me to do the same for others, and thus began my journey. I initially served on the Public Policy & Legislation committee, and over the years served on several other committees before committing to the Board of Directors. Thank you to all of you for voting for me. I am honored, humbled and excited to begin my presidential year serving this association. On a final note, I would encourage each and every one of you to get involved in some way - either at your local chapter or by serving on a committee at the state level. I promise that you will receive far more out of the experience han y u ca possibly imagine. There are so many examples I can share with you about positive experiences I have had. By far, the most rewarding part of serving on the NYSNA board is knowing that I encouraged someone else to lead in some aspect of their life. Nothing makes me happier than to hear someone say that I inspired them to move forward, do more, or get involved. I hope to hear about all of the amazing things you are doing in your programs and please feel free to reach out to me to share your stories, good or bad. I genuinely care and look forward to hearing from you. Wishing all of you a wonderful holiday season and some much-deserved time with your family. I hope to see all of you soon. Happy Holidays! DONNA RIVIELLO President Greetings NYSNA members. I want to start off by saying how great it was to be back in person again for the regional exhibit shows in October. Congratulations to the 2021 Conference Committee and the NYSNA headquarters staff for putting together such amazing events. It was so nice seeing my fellow directors, some of whom I had not seen in several years, and being able to connect with our amazing industry partners was the icing on the cake! I was just excited to be back together in person, so what a bonus to get to see all of those new products as well. I did not realize how much I had missed everyone until we were all in that room together, and from all of the rave reviews we have received about the shows, it seems that many of you feel the same way. NYSNA was very fortunate to be able to host this year’s North East Leadership Conference. All of the SNA northeast regional leaders came together over the course of a three-day weekend in November to discuss association leadership, how to strengthen our state associations, and - Donna-

• •

• •








President Elect’s Message



Happy 2022! I hope you were all able to enjoy some time off and that you were able to spend time relaxing and focusing on the people who bring you joy. As we move into the new year it is a good time to reflect and set your intentions for the upcoming months. I personally am working on being more present in both my personal and work relationships. As an expert multi-tasker/juggler, this can be difficult because it might require me to ask for and accept help (*gasp) . I share this with you because periodically taking time to reflect on ways we can improve (personally and professionally) allows us to change and grow. The past two years have been mentally and physically exhausting and many of us find ourselves spinning our wheels. Sometimes reaching out to a coworker or fellow NYSNA member for some advice and support can be just the lift you need. Whether it’s an opportunity to take a mental break and enjoy the company of a friend, or taking the time to talk through a problem with someone who can understand the demands work life, the value of networking NYSNA provides can be a real lifeline!


This past November I was able to attend the North East Regional Leadership Conference, hosted by NYSNA in Clifton Park, NY! As always, Jennifer, Alyssa, Ashleigh, and Julia did an amazing job organizing an event that was both informative and fun for the state association leaders in our neighboring states. During the conference the NYSNA leadership team was able to network with leaders from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Jersey. It was wonderful to hear all of the work being done in our region to make sure our students have the freshest, healthiest meals. We were able to hear about the farm to school legislation in Vermont and the mentorship program through Maine SNA. Of course, we had time to brag about all of the amazing things NYSNA has accomplished and the exciting things that lay ahead in our strategic plan. I’m super excited to work with this talented and motivated group at SNA’s Legislative Action Conference in March! Universal free meals here we come! In closing I’d like to thank you all for allowing me to serve as your President Elect this year. I am excited to support our NYSNA President Donna Riviello and represent our members in the great State of New York at national events. If you have an idea or question (or you are just looking for a someone to problem solve with), please reach out to me. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you all soon! “ Whether it’s an opportunity to take a mental break and enjoy the company of a friend, or taking the time to talk through a problem with someone who can understand the demands work life, the value of networking NYSNA provides can be a real lifeline!

I love to travel and have a collection of magnet bottle cap openers from all my travels.


I am the proud pet parent of a seven-year-old black Labrador Retriever named Bronx.


I went to college to be an English teacher with hopes of becoming a travel writer someday, but could not walk away from the food service industry.


I am a rabid NY Yankees, NY Giants and Penn State Nittany Lion fan (although not a lot to cheer about these days).


I worked for a multi-millionaire for seven years who hosted many celebrity events where I met several famous politicians, athletes, and members of the royal family.


When I was younger, my family took a 7-week trip across the country, and I have visited most of the United States.


At the top of my bucket list is a trip to the Amalfi Coast in Italy…. I’ll get there someday.



My guilty pleasure is chocolate; I crave it constantly.

- Caitlin -

One of my favorite things to do is take a long walk in the woods, no matter what season it is.

I am NOT a morning person and most people that know me well can attest to this.



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.







Vice President’s Message



Hello there, I wanted to first say as your NYSNA vice president that I hope this finds you and your family safe and well. We have had a fury of events transpire these past few years, especially in our first few months of this new school year. Today I’d like to focus not on what was or is happening currently. We could talk about the list of challenges we’re facing forever. Instead please join me in looking towards the future. Before we begin, I want to say thank you for what you do. If you’re reading this publication your profession falls in the realm of serving children and a community. What you do is a noble and necessary. You should know that you make the world we inhabit a better place for helping to take care of our children. I’d like to ask you a few questions. If you could be anywhere now, where would it be? Who are the people you’d want there with you? What is something big for you that you would like to accomplish? What is something big you’d like to accomplish in your time working? Finally, who else in your life knows the answers to those questions about you? We are currently living through a time being heralded as “The Great Resignation,” among other things. People are stopping the droned-out rat race and trying to decide more fulfilling ways of living their lives.

Vice President



Find this picture hidden in each issue.

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Click on the picture and fill out this form.

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 COOP. 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 make teams that will keep us up. Find people that you can share a goal with and be encouraged both in your work and in pursuits of the heart. Now the whole team or even part of it may not be in your district. Some of it may be in family or friends. Another great pool of persons to check out is your peers at NYSNA. These are all people and that “get it” and understand what you do. They are also people that, like you, know how to serve others. Why not start with the best talent pool available? Being as transparent as I can, this is where we are spending the most of our time and energy friends. Let’s make the time we share as grand as possible. Sincerely, - Naim - Jon Colby CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE Then at the North East Leadership Conference in NY. The team brought in the dynamic and intuitive Jon Colby, who presented the happiness advantage we have when we stay lit up, joyous, empowered and appreciated. I think we can all agree on most of these concepts. The issue that comes up though, is how? How do we stay positive more consistently? How do we helm the ship with inspiration, when the list is rife with staff being out constantly, food shortages and doing more with less? An answer I like to propose is taking better care of our “Bigs”. We need to nurture the things we want to accomplish both professionally and personally. Just like we plan our menus, schedule deliveries, communicate orders, maintain inventories and logs. Just like we assess staff and prepare for audits. We are already doing the practice. We just don’t apply those practices to ourselves. If we take care of the captain, the ship won’t get lost. The tweak, I believe is that dreaded word “ Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it. - M. Scott Peck Ben Nemtin CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE Recently at our director’s meeting here on Long Island we reviewed SNA’s 2021 ANC keynote speaker Ben Nemtin from The Buried Life, and author of, “What do you want to do before you die”. One take away from his address was the need to share our goals and aspirations. We should be speaking them out to peers, without judgement and assisting each other in the manifesting of them. Dreaming big requires us to find our people and double down with them. pivot again. It is a turn, from operating from a survival mode mentality to more of a directional one. Today, in this very delicate environment we’re all navigating, I think it’s important to get a little selfish and introspective. Now is as good a time as any to

The Game Video

Once your information is entered, you are entered in to a raffle to win a $25 gift card! January 11, 2022 is the deadline for the winter game!


IN THE NEWS As always, Ashleigh & Alyssa are 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



Dear NYSNA Members, We are very excited to debut the association’s new strategic plan! This was a lengthy and detailed process that took place over the summer, and your association leadership has done an amazing job charting the course for NSYNA for the next three years. The 2021-2023 planning group was comprised of sixteen board members and committee chairs, and they all traveled to the NSYNA headquarters office in Clifton Park for a three-day session (don’t worry - you know the NYSNA HQ team added some networking and fun into the mix). We made sure to show the group some of our favorite local dinner spots, and thanks to some beautiful weather, there was a cornhole tournament right in the parking lot. To prepare for the session we sent out a membership satisfaction survey to all NYSNA members back in April, and then that data was presented to the planning group to help guide their decision-making process as they developed the new strategic plan. NYSNA hired an amazing facilitator and a live illustrator to capture the process in an entertaining and cre - ative format. We want to share those pictures here with you so you can see how we brought color, holistic understanding, and visual energy to our process. These live illustrations were also a great way to give the participants a whole new point of engagement. We are looking forward to a new year and moving the association forward. - Jennifer -


NYSNA Executive Director


Donna Riviello PRESIDENT




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.

MISSION: 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. MISSION: 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.

VISION: Promote Excellence in Child Nutrition

VISION: Promote Excellence in Child Nutrition

Jil Swarthout CENTRAL AREA

Katy Headwell, RD EASTERN AREA

Nicole Grandjean NORTHEAST AREA

• Advocate and seek enactment of legislation favorable to Child Nutrition programs and to block legislative initia-tives unfavorable to those programs. • Strengthen relationships with groups and organizations to enhance their understanding of the educational importance and value of school food service programs. • Provide educational opportunities for school food personnel and to align standards of professional growth with USDA requirements. • Promote membership and engagement in NYSNA at the state and local chapter levels. Membership and Community • NYSNA community will be empowered by revitalizing chapters, recruiting new members, enhancing our engagement model and supporting future leaders. Advocacy, Partnerships and Coalitions • NYSNA will e xpand partnerships and collaborate with new alliances to become the leading resource for school nutrition programs in the state and achieve Healthy Meals at No Charge for all students. Organization Sustainability • NYSNA will have a financially sustainable funding model by exploring new revenue streams to align with strategic goals.

Membership and Community • Reorganize chapters to stimulate statewide growth . • Reactivate lapsed members & recruit new members . • Increase member engagement and volunteerism . Advocacy, Partnerships and Coalitions • Expand partnerships, seek new alliances and collaborations to align with NYSNA goals . • Expand grassroots resources for local advocacy efforts . • Achieve Healthy Meals at No Charge. Organization Sustainability • Evaluate all events for perceived value and profitability . • Reassess investment plan to utilize returns . • Explore new revenue streams and expand current revenue streams . • Evaluate staff structure to align with organizational and strategic goals . • Identify and support future association leaders .



Tracie Middleton, SNS WESTERN AREA

STRATEGIC PLAN 20 21 - 202 3











N Y S N A Strategic Plan 2 0 2 1 - 2 3

What is strategic Planning? Strategic planning is an organization’s process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy. Strategic planning is a tool that is useful for guiding day-to-day decisions and also for evaluating progress and changing approaches when moving forward. Why do we need a strategic plan? Because a strategic plan establishes a direction for your business to take, it will help it sharpen its focus in order to get there. Strategic planning can therefore help your organization develop the right goals and targets and help everyone focus their efforts into meeting them. How often does it occur? NYSNA has a planning session every three years to develop a new plan. Participant Testimonials We asked participants, what was your favorite part about the strategic planning process? • Working with likeminded individuals whom all have the same end goal • Open Conversation – the ability to speak out and ask questions without retaliation was greatly appreciated. • Having the time for additional networking in a different setting. • Hearing different points of view and getting to see people and network again! • Hearing ideas and working as a team • I liked the way we were able to get to the objectives. Anyone in the roomwill be able to explain and communicate them. • Exchange of ideas, learning about past practices and realizing that doing the same thing is not resulting in a different outcome • Networking and seeing how the diverse perspectives around the table worked collaboratively together. There was a broad range of ages and experience levels and it was interesting watching and listening to everyone. • Seeing new faces getting involved! • I loved hearing all of the ideas and opinions, however different they may be. It is a testament to this group that at the end of each day they all came together and put all differences aside – true professionals. • Getting to plan the future of the association with a group of individuals who are just as passionate about school nutrition as I am

Thank you to the 2021-2023 Strategic Planning Committee: Megan Bates, NYSNA At Large Director Sue Bell, NYSNA Past President Jeff Bradt, NYSNA Professional Development Committee Chair Debra Donleavey, NYSNA Southeast Area Director Artie Frego, NYSNA Public Policy & Legislation Committee Chair Katy Headwell, NYSNA Eastern Area Director Joe Kilmer, NYSNA Secretary/Treasurer Caitlin Lazarski, NYSNA President Elect Deb Mackey, NYSNA 2022 Conference Committee Chair Diana McCarthy, NYSNA Industry Advisory Committee Chair Bryan McCoy, NYSNA At Large Director Tracie Middleton, NYSNA Western Area Director Craig Orvis, NYSNA At Large Director Donna Riviello, NYSNA President Naim Walcott, NYSNA Vice President Patrick Walsh, NYSNA Southern Tier Area Director Strategic Planning Facilitator: Tom Cote, MBA, CAE, Founder & President of NextGen Management Consulting, LLC Live Illustrator: Matt Orley, Big Paper Strategy Was there anything that surprised you about the process? • The illustrator! This even gave way for additional conversations. • How long it takes and how in depth we went. • No, but it was better than I expected • All of it and I am thankful for the experience. I am really looking forward to the future! • I learned so much about the strategic planning process and the association • I did not know what to expect and I learned a great deal. I feel like I truly understand the goals of the association much better now. FUN FACT: For 56% of participants this was their first-time taking part in a strategic planning session!

NELC is a regional association leadership conference. Each year the states in the SNA Northeast region takes turns hosting this event (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Maine). The state association leaders are invited to get together for a weekend of networking, association training, and fun, and NYSNA was proud to host the event in Clifton Park November 5-7, 2021. The conference theme this year was Providing a Positive Volunteer Leadership Experience and our speakers focused on different ways to help coach and develop stronger leaders and provided tips for making our volunteer leaders our talent scouts and brand ambassadors. We talked about howeverything from providing annual board orientations, to strategically using awards programs for recognition makes a big difference to the volunteer experience. On Friday night our industry partners welcomed all of the state leaders with a cool tabletop display show, followed by a fantastic dinner and TRIVIA (and

some people are more competitive than you might think)! Saturday’s programming was informative, engaging, and entertaining and of course NYSNA provided a Farm to Table dinner experience at the Mouzon House in Saratoga Springs. We also had Matt Orley from Big Picture Strategy onsite to capture the discussions visually as well. On Sunday we closed out the weekend conference with the amazing Jon Colby with his presentation on “The Happiness Advantage” CONFERENCE SPEAKERS

JENNIFER MARTIN MBA, CAE Executive Director New York SNA

JEREMY JOHANNESEN, CAE Executive Director Chief Officers of State

JON COLBY Founder Jon Colby Speaks, LLC

Intern Corner


Simplify your Meal Service with

A NEW PERSPECTIVE: NYSNA ANNUAL CONFERENCE The one thing I will never forget about conference was the amazing smell in the room. From pizza to perogies there was enough food for attendees to taste 100 times over! It is fascinating to me that so many foods businesses tailor their items to the school food service market. The same chicken nuggets that are sold in store are not the same ones the students eat. I really enjoyed talking to vendors about what they sell and how it meets school lunch guidelines. When I wasn’t enjoying the food, I took a minute to think about all the work that went into the day to make it successful. Getting the vendors there was one task but making sure they have what they need is another. All the organizing from setting the agenda for the day to making name tags I learned so much about how to get an event up and running. Moral of the story: anything that is not

Fully compliant Offer Versus Serve (OVS) Meals ™ Simple Choice Meals !


alphabetized is not organized! My favorite part of the day was helping check in vendors and attendees because I had the opportunity to understand their jobs and why they came. It was awesome to see volunteers from the conference committee in action organizing the raffle, checking people in, and making sure vendors were up and running. When I thought about the event the next day, I could not get over how clever of a concept it was. Food Service Directors could physically meet with businesses and discuss foods they can buy to expand their program. An event like this ignites creativity and I am happy to be a part of bringing industries together.


Choose from 7 Varieties of Shelf Stable or Thaw & Serve Meals

JULIA ALOTTA - Julia - Julia is currently a student at the University at Albany working towards a degree in public administration with a concentration in non- profit management. She received her undergraduate degree from the University at Albany last December with a double major in public policy and public health and is expected to graduate with her master’s degree in May 2022. Julia’s goal is to continue to work in school nutrition until every single child has access to healthy and nutritious meals. The sky is the limit! NYSNA Intern MY FIRST CAFETERIA VISIT In October I was excited to have the opportunity to visit Guilderland CSD and shadow the Food Service Director, Megan Bates. I walked in not knowing what to expect especially because I have never been inside a cafeteria kitchen before. Megan took me to the high school’s main kitchen, and then a secondary one that was nearby. It really is true that Food Service Directors never know what their day is going to look like. As soon as we walked into the kitchen Megan had to hop on the cash register and help get the kids checked out. Each student came up one by one grabbing the first thing they saw. Luckily, I came to visit on Italian dunker day, the kids favorite (and mine). I found it fascinating how fast the students went through the line because they had a pin number that they put into the computer. It seems like a simple concept that saves time but most importantly it gives the kids more time to eat and socialize. At the high school, they allow the students to eat outside on nicer days so they can get some fresh air and re-energize. After we did the kitchen tour, I was surprised to see how many students attended the school. I could not believe that almost 5,200 students had to be fed in such a short amount of time throughout the district! Talk about a big task! The cooks and support staff were always smiling! You could really tell how much they love what they do. With that being said, the kitchen is nothing less than superior and I had to take some pictures. There are state of the art ovens, pots, and pans, as well as other kitchen supplies. The only saying that comes to mind “you don’t know what you don’t know” and let me tell you I truly was mind blown! Guilderland CSD is set up for success, and they put the children’s needs first. I am so impressed about how they continued to feed them even during the pandemic. Megan is a true leader and does not tell her staff to do anything she would not do. This cafeteria visit was a priceless experience!

• Solutions for Staffing Challenges & Speed Lines! • So easy to set up Express Lines or Satellite Feeding throughout the School!

Simple Choice Meals contain 3 of 5 of the components needed for a reimbursable meal For a complete meal offer fruit and/or vegetable and milk

• Use for: NSLP/SSO, SFSP, CACFP • Speed though serving lines, no more tough choices • Offer versus serve is covered • Minimize food waste • Grab & go!

Call 516.682.5494 to set up an appointment or visit ESFoods. Always the best solution.







Intern Corner



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!

In early October Ashleigh and Julia met with Queensbury leadership to visit their newly renovated cafeteria. The school district emphasizes progressive steps to build a better school for students to attend. They not only re-did their cafeteria to resemble café style seating for better socialization, but made it as though the kids were in a real life “food court” so they would think of school lunch as a positive atmosphere, similar to businesses, they visit on the weekends to grab lunch or coffee with friends! Press the play button to listen to the podcast with Josh Hodge, Food Service Director of Queensbury UFSD, Amanda Denno, Assistant Principle of the William H. Barton Intermediate School, anmd Scott Whittmore, Assistant Superintendent of Business at Queensbury UFSD and about how their school district has adapted to COVID-19 and how they continue to keep their schools in a progressive state of mind! Queensbury UFSD LISTEN HERE VISITS WITH

Social Media Channels

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

School Nutrition Masterminds

Tips for School Meals that Rock

School Nutrition Collaborative

School Nutrition Professionals



Special Edition!







Good for the planet.

It’s time to plan your SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS!




January 4 National Spaghetti Day January 6 National Bean Day January 9-15 National Pizza Week January 17 Martin Luther King’s Birthday Janurary 24 National Compliment Day

February 4-20 Winter Olympics February 19-26 National FFA Week February 2 Groundhog Day February 13 Superbowl LVI February 18 No One Eats Alone Day Children’s Dental Health Month Black History Month National Hot Breakfast Month

December 5-11 National Handwashing Awareness Week December 12 Gingerbread House Day

Today’s students are curious about the source of their food and its global impact.

Dairy farmers are sustainability leaders and milk is a nutritional powerhouse. With 13 essential nutrients – including calcium, Vitamin D and protein – it’s the perfect complement for every school meal. You can take pride in the fact that the dairy foods you serve are popular, nutritious and sustainable.

December 13 National Cocoa Day

To learn about our programs and sustainability commitment , CLICK HERE or contact us at : •

December 17 National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day

December 21 Winter Solstice

Be Kind to Food Servers Month

Root Vegetables and Exotic Fruits Month Universal Human Rights Month National Pear Month

National Blood Donor Month

National Mentoring Month

NYSNA Executive Director

©2021 ADANE







Eastern Area



Eastern Area

Food Shortages: How are you deal ing wi th them?

Eastern Area Feature

















We keep seeing the same video of the shipping containers off the coast of California with our supplies on it and we all know that the serving trays we need are on those boats! This shortage of food and paper goods has been difficult to deal with, so what are you doing to work around this shortage?



Total Breakfasts & Lunches in September 2020 = 5,972 Total Breakfasts & Lunches in September 2021 = 13,754 Last year to this in September, we fed 7,782 MORE student meals Total Breakfasts & Lunches in October 2020 = 12,549 Total Breakfasts & Lunches in October 2021 = 19,384 Last year to this in October, we fed 6,835 MORE student meals In 42 school days, We served 14,617 MORE meals than the same time in 2020


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.

Mechanicville City School District Food Service Team ROCKS!







Eastern Area


Eastern Area Feature

KIDS GOWILD FORPIZZA We’ve got what you need to feed their pizza cravings! Our pre-portioned, individually frozen products are easy to prepare, with little topping loss, saving you time while providing menu versatility

BY DEBORAH MACKEY, CDM/CFPP FOOD SERVICE DIRECTOR, MECHANICVILLE CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT I got the Golden Lunch Tray Award idea from a workshop I attended a couple years ago. The Golden Lunch Tray Award is awarded to one student (Pre-K - 5) a month. This student shows that they can keep their hands to themselves, uses a quiet voice, uses their manners, does not run, push or budge while in line and is willing to try new things (which we all know is difficult for that age). The real impetus to get it started was to do something fun for the elementary kids. I feel so much has been lost with Covid, that anything we could do to make lunchtime more fun would be a great idea. I was right and our kids were so pumped up about this little event! The winner’s mom jotted me a note telling me that when she picked her son up from school, he was telling her all about his award and other students overheard and started high-fiving him for being the winner! She was so happy for him. Our goal would be to have students that might be a bit rambunctious in line, maybe don’t use good manners, or those that are reluctant to try new menu ideas might be encouraged to step outside their comfort zone. It was a great little presentation and this little boy was as proud as can be. Even with his mask on you could see him beaming! We will continue this monthly. I went to the dollar store and bought 10 trays and spray painted them all gold. My staff will be watching for kids who are really trying to on good behavior and use their manners and try new things. Dear Parent/Guardian: Keep up the spectacular parenting! Sincerely, Deb Mackey Food Service Director 518-450-4085

Dear Parent/Guardian:

Each month the Food Service Department chooses a GOLDEN TRAY AWARD WINNER. The guidelines for consideration include; NO running or budging in line, Keeping your hands to yourself, Using your quiet (inside) voice, and Using your manners. We wanted to show our students appreciation for their excellent be avior while in our Cafe. The chosen WINNER will receive a “Move To The Head Of The Line” Pass that will allow them to be a leader to the cafe each day for the whole next month! AND. . .a coupon for a FREE treat !

Each month the Food Service Department chooses a GOLDEN TRAY AWARD WINNER. The guidelines for consideration include; NO running or budging in line, Keeping your hands to yourself, Using your quiet (inside) voice, and Using your manners. We wanted to show our students appreciation for their excellent behavior while in our Cafe. The chosen WINNER will receive a “Move To The Head Of The Line” Pass that will allow them to be a leader to the cafe each day for the whole next month! AND. . .a coupon for a FREE treat ! Their name and photo will be proudly displayed on a Golden Tray in the Cafe for the whole month! This year is proving to be challenging for us all and a little fun and appreciation to our students goes a long way. We are so proud and honored to have your child in our school. Thank you for being a great role model and thank you for allowing us to feed your children! Keep up the spectacular parenting! Sincerely,

Deb Mackey Food Service Director 518-450-4085

Their name and photo will be proudly displayed on a Golden Tray in the Cafe for the whole month!

This year is proving to be challenging for us all and a little fun and appreciation to our students goes a long way. We are so proud and honored to have your child in our school. Thank you for being a great role model and thank you for allowing us to feed your children!

and the great taste kids crave. Whether you serve them in the lunchroom, the classroom or send meals home as grab-n-go, we’ve got you covered – with our StuffedCrust Pizza, MaxStix , Pizza Quesadillas , Calzones, and more. We’re here to serve you!

Here’s our FIRST winner Jamison in Kindergarten He’s been described as using great manners each day always being kind and helpful to his friends and willing to try new menu ideas. He walks quietly and sets a great example! We are all so proud of him!

For More Information, Contact Your Waypoint Representative, Jim Loforte 1-585-698-3684







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