SOURCE: School Nutrition Association

July 07, 2006 15:45 ET

Governor Schwarzenegger to Address National School Nutrition Conference in LA

Whole Grains, Fresh Fruits and Healthy Snacks to Headline School Nutrition Association's National Conference

ALEXANDRIA, VA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- July 7, 2006 -- The stars will be out next week in Los Angeles to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the National School Lunch Program -- star fruit and celebrity school lunch candidates, that is. Soy protein tortillas, multi-grain pastas and wheat pizza are among new items on the menu at the 60th Annual National Conference of the School Nutrition Association, July 16 - 19, at the Los Angeles Convention Center. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will address attendees on the strengthening of school nutrition and fitness programs during the closing ceremonies of the conference at Universal Studios - Hollywood on Wednesday, July 19.

More than 4,600 school nutrition professionals from all 50 states and 17 countries will meet at the conference to taste test menu items for the new school year at the world's largest gathering of school nutrition professionals. Education sessions will cover timely topics including healthy cooking techniques, food safety efforts and nutrition standards for vended and a la carte foods and beverages. The conference will also kick-off a nationwide campaign encouraging students to vote for their favorite school lunch and spread the word about the positive changes in school lunch over the years.

Additional highlights of the four-day conference include:

--  Vote for School Lunch: Attendees will cast votes in a 'primary'
    election to choose their favorite school lunch entrée from celebrity
    candidates Rocco Taco, Sally Salad, Pete Pizza, Ricky Chicken and Heddi
    Spaghetti.
    
--  Local School Wellness Policies: Education sessions will highlight
    implementation and evaluation strategies to develop and implement a Local
    Wellness Policy. Every school district is required by federal law to have a
    policy in place by the start of the 2006-2007 school year.
    
--  Exhibit Hall: To meet schools' demands for nutritious foods and
    beverages, exhibitors are displaying a variety of innovative and appealing
    new items.  Fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, low-fat flavored milks,
    100% juices, reduced fat and organic snacks and antibiotic-free chicken are
    among new products.
    
--  USDA Commodity Program: A series of education sessions will explore
    changes to the commodity program that have made more nutritious food
    products available to school lunch programs.
    
--  Global Child Nutrition Forum: Prior to the conference, the Global
    Child Nutrition Forum (July 13 - 16, 2006) will feature school feeding
    experts from 17 countries discussing global child nutrition programs.
    
The world's largest gathering of school nutrition professionals also includes more than 80 accredited education sessions on commodities, leadership, managing resources, marketing, food safety and security and wellness and nutrition. More than 800 exhibit booths will display innovative new foods, beverages, equipment and technology that all contribute to healthy school meal programs. Members of the press are welcome to attend. Contact Erik Peterson for information on scheduling interviews with SNA leaders and for free press registration: 703-739-3900 ext. 124.

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

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