More than 60 school nutrition directors from the largest school districts in the American Dairy Association North East region participated in the annual “Big 30” school nutrition event, which was held this week online rather than in-person. School nutrition directors learned about resources available to help school districts and their communities serve more children during the pandemic in a safe environment for all.
“Supporting our school nutrition directors is critical because they are on the frontlines of getting meals to our children while school is out during the covid-19 quarantine,” said ADA North East CEO Rick Naczi. “With more than seven million students in our territory, the challenge of getting them fed is extraordinary, and we are working closely with schools to help make sure they’re able to include milk and other dairy products with their meals.”
USDA Deputy Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Brandon Lipps participated in the Big 30 conference, highlighting federal efforts to help get meals to students in urban and rural areas while out of school. He also recognized the school nutrition directors’ dedicated efforts to feeding students.
In New York City, 495,000 meals are served Monday through Friday from 491 grab and go hubs in the city’s five bureaus, in addition to delivery options to children and families living in shelters, as reported by Tracy Cashin, Director of Operations, Office of Food Nutrition Services for New York City Department of Education.
In Camden, N.J., school nutrition staff began serving dairy-heavy pre-cooked foods that can be reheated at home. They recognized ADA North East for help in getting milk to families in the area, and they have applied for a GENYOUth grant to get equipment for serving dairy products.
The Syracuse City School District partnered with ADA North East to help secure nearly 2,000 gallons of milk donated from Dairy Farmers of America to share with students’ families, as part of a distribution effort on April 22.
Other Big 30 conference discussion topics included: meal preparation, staffing logistics, strategic partnerships, available resources and employee morale.
As part of ADA North East’s Fuel Up to Play 60 partnership with the National Football League, several players rallied to put together a video to thank the hard work of the school nutrition staffs.
To learn more about ADA North East’s youth programs, visit AmericanDairy.com, and click on “Dairy in Schools.”
About American Dairy Association North East
American Dairy Association North East (ADA North East) is the dairy farmer-funded organization funded by participating dairy farmer’s checkoff investment to build demand and sales for milk and dairy foods throughout the local region. Representing more than 10,000 dairy farm families in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and northern Virginia, ADA North East develops and implements local programs to drive milk and dairy sales at retail outlets and in schools. The organization also conducts consumer education about dairy through events, traditional and social media, and in collaboration with health professionals through National Dairy Council®. ADA North East works closely with Dairy Management Inc.™, the national dairy checkoff organization, to support nutrition research, national partnerships and developing export markets for dairy to bring a fully integrated promotion program to the region. For more information, visit www.AmericanDairy.com, or call 315.472.9143.