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For over 50 years children in Pennsylvania and throughout the nation have depended on School Food Service to provide nourishing school meals. Changing consumption patterns and disease rates led to changes in regulations related to school meals. The legislation mandating these changes is the "School Meals Initiative for Healthy Children" (SMI). Understanding the required changes and being able to incorporate needed dietary recommendations into school meals has precipitated massive training needs among all levels of School Food Service personnel. To address the training needs for school food service personnel in Pennsylvania, Project PA was initiated in September 1995. Through funding and direction from The Pennsylvania Department of Education, and with the guidance of School Food Service Directors, Penn State University planned and implemented the educational campaign known as Project PA. In August 1996 a collaborative effort between PDE and Penn State resulted in the award of additional funding, from USDA, for a "Team Nutrition" grant for Project PA to develop computer training for Food Service Directors in Pennsylvania. In response to needs assessments, four major needs were identified to help Pennsylvania School Food Service meet the SMI standards; strategies were developed, implemented, and evaluated accordingly.

Team Nutrition Projects

Project PA has undertaken various projects since 1995:

  • Computer Training for School Foodservice Employees: 1996-1998
  • Model Schools: 1998-2000
  • Showcase Schools: 1999-2001
  • Nutrition-Friendly Schools: 2000-2002
  • Parents' Project: 2001-2003
  • Environmental Nutrition Strategies: 2004-2006
  • Promoting Nutrition and Physical Activity Through Afterschool Programs: 2005-2007
  • Local Wellness Demonstration Project: 2006-2010
  • Promoting Nutrition and Physical Activity Mini-Grants: 2008-2010
  • Training for School Foodservice Personnel in Response to School Meals Initiative for Healthy Children: 1995-1997
  • Administrative Reviews and Training: 2006-current (active)
  • Breakfast Brigade: 2003-current (active)
  • Master Instructors: 1998-2004
  • Promoting School Meals Participation: 2002-2004
  • Promoting Farm to School Programs in Pennsylvania: 2009-current (active)
  • Training for New School Foodservice Directors: 2009-current (active)
  • Support for Local Wellness Policy Conference: 2009-2010

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