Check out our member spotlights here!

June 2024

  • Julie Kronabetter, Food and Nutrition Services Director for Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 and MSNA Nutrition Chair, was featured in the Sun Thisweek for her efforts in diversifying menu offerings to students. These efforts helped her win the 2024 MSNA Director of the Year award.

May 2024

  • What's happening at MSNA? Check out the May feature.
  • Brooklyn Middle STEAM School’s nutrition manager Sandra Hirdler is highlighted in the Sun Post for being named School Nutrition Association 2024 Midwest Region Manager of the Year.
  • MSNA President Michele Hawkinson, President-elect Emily Malone and Vice President Glen Ritter presented at the Minnesota Association of School Business Officials (MASBO) conference on "What's Next in Free School Meals: Seeing Down the Line for your District". MSNA also hosted a booth at the exhibit show. Check out photos here.
  • A variety of lunch heroes were recognized at their schools in honor of School Lunch Hero Day! Congratulations to: Minnesota’s Director of the Year: Julie Kronabetter, Burnsville Eagan Savage ISD 191;  Manager of the Year: Sandra Hirdler, Brooklyn Middle STEAM School; Employee of the Year: Melissa Willhite, Tracy Area Schools; MSNA Hero Award: Pat Tasse, Five Hawks Elementary; and  MSNA Hero Site Award: Alexandria Area High School. View photos and read more here.

April 2024

  • Congratulations to Jennifer Walters, Director of School Nutrition for Winona Area Public Schools, who received the Winona State University President's Civic Engagement Community Partner Award. Check out photos here
  • Congratulations to Heather Hart and Antonia Nelson from Mounds View Public Schools' Sunnyside Elementary School for winning an honorable mention award from the Minnesota Department of Education in its recent "Say Yes to School Breakfast campaign photo contest."

March 2024

  • Our March member spotlight features Katie Possone, Kitchen Manager at St. Michael-Albertville Schools. Read about Katie here.
  • What's happening at MSNA? Check out the 'What's Happening at MSNA' March Feature.
  • Three Minnesota school nutrition programs have received national recognition for their outstanding summer meal programs. Congratulations to Centennial Schools, Foley Public Schools, and Lake City Public Schools for being awarded the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Turnip the Beet Award.
  • Emily Malone, Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools' director of child nutrition and MSNA President-Elect, was interviewed by the Prior Lake American, discussing challenges in school nutrition, as well as her experience at the School Nutrition Association’s annual Legislative Action Conference.
  • Christine Haslock, Burnsville High School Food Service Associate, was awarded with the school district's Spirit of Excellence award as part of the annual district's Community of Excellence award program.
  • Darcy Stueber is the Edge Magazine's national CDM, CFPP of the month! Read about her experience in school nutrition and learn what she urges young professionals to do. Darcy is the MSNA Public Policy Committee Chair and Director of School Food Service for Mankato Schools.
  • Everyone is seeing an increase in this, and now the stigma is gone." MSNA President and Food Service Director for Tracy Area Schools, Michele Hawkinson, was interviewed by the Marshall Independent on the topic of school meals.
  • Jess Pena, Nutrition Director for Red Wing Schools and SNA Public Policy & Legislative Committee member, talked to the Republican Eagle about her expectations for SNA’s Legislative Action Conference.
  • In support of MSNA's 2024 Position PaperPresident Michele Hawkinson testified in support of HF 3556 to increase student seat time, and HF 3471 was introduced to address milk reimbursement.

February 2024

  • Our February member spotlight features Jennifer Walters, School Nutrition Director at Winona Area Public Schools. Read more about Jennifer here.
  • What's happening at MSNA? Check out the 'What's Happening at MSNA' February Feature.
  • Testimony by MSNA President Michele Hawkinson in support of increasing seat time was included in this Minnesota News Network brief, and reference to the MSNA position on the issue was also included in a related story on FOX 9 KMSPMichele was also featured in KMSP (Fox 9)'s story on "Students benefit from longer lunches, but can districts afford it?"
  • Winona Area Public Schools (WAPS)' Nutrition Director, Jennifer Walters, received a Farm to School Full Tray grant from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture for $11,500 to use between January 2023 and 2024. WAPS used the grant to purchase beef from a local farm. The Winona Post covers the story.
  • The MSNA Position Paper advocates for a minimum of 15 minutes of seat time for students to eat their meal. WJON radio interviewed Darcy Stueber, MSNA Public Policy Committee Chair and Director of School Food Service in Mankato, on the matter. Read the article here.
  • Learn more about what MSNA is advocating for in the 2024 Position Paper, drafted by the Public Policy Committee. Read and share the press release here.
  • Angela Richey, nutrition services supervisor for Roseville Area Schools, was featured in an MPR News article, discussing Roseville Schools' expansion of fresh, local, healthy food offerings since the implementation of MN Free Meals for All. 

January 2024

  • Our January member spotlight features Kerry Peterson, Food Service Director at Murray County Central School District. Read more about Kerry here.
  • What's happening at MSNA? Check out the 'What's Happening at MSNA' January Feature, and stay tuned for more monthly member spotlights and features!
  • Upper Lakes Foods held a series of events in Eden Prairie and Cloquet for MSNA members and industry partners. New lunch menu recipes were shared and attendees had a chance to network. Download the recipes here.
  • Congratulations to MSNA member, Maria Amerman for being named a 2024 Healthy School Food Pathway Fellow from the Chef Ann Foundation. Maria is the Assistant Nutrition Director for Roseville Area & St. Anthony Schools- Nutrition Services.
  • How does Prior Lake-Savage Area School District make farm-to-school an integral part of the school day? Nutrition director, Emily Malone, described how her school got involved with the program and where it's taken them.
  • MSNA Vice President Glen Ritter appeared on WCCO & CBS News Minnesota to talk about ways to get children to eat healthier in the new year. Glen shared two popular dishes the nutrition team from St. Michael-Albertville School District makes for students.


December 2023

  • Three Minnesota School districts have been named a 2023 Minnesota Grown Farm to School District of the Year by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) Minnesota Grown Program. This first-ever statewide contest recognizes schools for their exceptional efforts to serve and promote foods grown in the state to their students. Check out the winners here.

October 2023

  • Heather Elhke, Maple River Schools, has been recognized by General Mills as a "Tray Blazer." This annual Awards Program asks school districts from around the country to nominate directors and staff who are making a difference in School Food Service.
  • Alexandria School District switched from cartons of milk to a bulk milk system to reduce waste and save costs. Read the Echo Press article to learn what School Nutrition Director, Janeen Peterson had to say about this positive change.
  • MSNA President-Elect and Nutrition Director for Prior Lake-Savage Schools, Emily Malone, was invited to speak on WCCO-TV to promote healthy school meals as a part of National School Lunch Week. Check out what was shown during lunch tray show-and-tell!
  • The SNA Board of Directors approved small increases to the SNA Certificate Program fees, effective October 1, 2023. Changes to the SNA Certificate Program fees are listed here

September 2023

  • Minnesota is one of nine states that are picking up the tab for students’ breakfast and lunch in many of their schools. Hear what MSNA President and Nutrition Director at Tracy Public Schools., Michele Hawkinson, has to say to about free meals in Minnesota. Check out the CNN politics' article.
  • MSNA Public Policy Chair and nutrition director in Mankato Area Public Schools, Darcy Stueber, joined Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan and Leah Garden from Hunger Solutions on Minnesota Public Radio to discuss the start of the Free School Meals for Kids program. Listen to the interview here and check out photos here.

August 2023

  • Julie Kronabetter, MSNA Nutrition Chair, and Nutrition Director for Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191, is pleased that Minnesota is the fourth state to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students. Read more in the Sun This Week article
  • "Since I’ve taken this job in 2020, every year it’s changed." Katie Wahl, director of nutrition for Robbinsdale Area Schools was interviewed by CCX media on free meal preparation.
  • MSNA Public Policy Chair and Nutrition Director at Mankato Schools, Darcy Stueber, spoke with the Mankato Free Press on participation in the free meals program.
  • During the Annual Conference, WCCO-AM radio interviewed past President Cheryl Pick on meal budgeting.
  • WJON-AM provides exhibit show photos and insights from MSNA members Cheryl Pick, Noah Atlas, and Michele Hawkinson.
  • KTSP (FOX) News spoke with MSNA President Michele Hawkinson regarding the start of school preparations with the start of free meals.
  • MSNA Member Sarah Motl and the owner of Deeply Rooted discussed plant-based option lunch options. Check it out on St.Cloud Live.
  • KARE-11 (NBC) News interviewed MSNA Board Members Emily Malone, Jess Pena and Chery Pick about sampled exhibit show items and preparations for free meals.

July 2023

  • Congratulations to MSNA President, Cheryl Pick, for receiving the President's Award of Service at the School Nutrition Association Annual National Conference (ANC) in Denver! Check out the other winners here.
  • The Minnesota School Nutrition Association (MSNA) is excited to announce the outcome of the 2023 Board Member Election! The election occurred May 28 through June 11. Congratulations to our 2023-2024 MSNA Vice President Glen Ritter, St. Michael-Albertville District 885, and congratulations to 2023-2025 Leadership Development Committee (LDC) member Amy Kimmel, Spring Lake Park School District. Learn more about these two new board members here.

June 2023

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture has allocated an additional $20.8 million in Supply Chain Assistance (SCA) funds for Minnesota school districts to purchase domestic foods (commodities) for SY 23/24. State agencies will distribute the 4th round of funding to eligible SFAs in the same way as previous rounds. Learn more here.
  • Winona Area Public School (WAPS) district served up food and fun for the summer. Check out Lunch Bus & Beans!
  • MSNA President-Elect and School Nutrition Director for Tracy Area Public Schools, Michele Hawkinson, speaks on the shortage of food service workers in this StarTribune article.

May 2023

  • MSNA Public Policy Chair and director for Mankato Public Schools, Darcy Stueber, was featured in a May 31 Civic Eats article, discussing her challenges ensuring students are fed, as well as her journey in advocating for free school meals in Minnesota.
  • Governor Walz proclaimed May 5, 2023 as School Nutrition Lunch Hero Day. School nutrition professionals, thank you for your dedication in nurturing Minnesota's children. We honor and express our sincere gratitude and appreciation to you. See the proclamation here.
  • Jess Pena, MSNA Nutrition Chair and School Nutrition Director for Red Wing Public Schools, has been appointed by SNA to be the Midwest Region Representative for the Public Policy & Legislation Committee.

March 2023

  • Governor Walz signs universal school meals bill into Minnesota law. Read what Gov. Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan said, as well as learn about the bill's implications, in this MPR News articleMSNA commends Governor Tim Walz and the Minnesota Legislature for moving to permanently offer all students breakfast and lunch at no charge starting in SY 2023-2024. The MSNA 2023 Position Paper, released in January, underscored the need for all students to have equal access to school meals and for necessary reimbursements and funding to be directed to school nutrition programs to ensure long-term sustainability... continue reading here.
  • Mankato Area Schools nutrition director and MSNA Public Policy Chair, Darcy Stueber, urged congress to fund school meal programs. Read what Darcy had to say here
  • In honor of National School Breakfast Week, Jess Pena, MSNA Nutrition Chair and School Nutrition Director for Red Wing Public Schools shares with CBS News popular items for high school breakfasts and how it impacts students’ health. Watch the video here.
  • Cheryl Pick, MSNA President and Foley Public Schools nutrition director, was interviewed by WCCO-AM on current challenges in school nutrition and details of the Legislative Action Conference in Washington D.C. Read her interview here

February 2023

  • Share your expertise at MSNA's Annual Conference: Submit a session proposal.
  • Scholarships are open! Apply for an MSNA Scholarship to attend an SNA or MSNA conference. The deadline to apply is March 15 at 11:59 PM, CST.
  • Two Minnesota districts were awarded the silver Turnip the Beet award for Summer 2022 meals. Congratulations Foley Public Schools and Lake City Public Schools! Read a full list of winners here.
  • Read MSNA's 2023 Position Paper

January 2023

  • Prior Lake-Savage schools share flavorful lessons in healthy eating. Read what school nutrition director, Emily Malone, has to say about trying new foods in the lunchroom.
  • Angela Richey, nutrition director for the Roseville and St Anthony-New Brighton school districts, was quoted in the Associated Press article "No More Nuggets? School Lunch Goes Farm-To-Table — For Some" regarding school lunch debt.
  • Mankato Area Schools nutrition director and MSNA Public Policy Chair, Darcy Stueber, explains the importance of pushing for free school meals for all. Read and listen here
  • Emily Malone, Prior Lake-Savage schools nutrition director and MSNA vice president, was invited on CBS-Minnesota to discuss healthy new year tips in the lunchroom, including "Try it Tuesday" in which new students have the opportunities to taste new foods.


Have you seen an MSNA member in the news? Let us know!