According to UC Davis Health, there are more than 55 million children and teens who attend public schools in the U.S. Kids eat between 35% and 40% of their daily calories at school, which means it’s important for these calories to be from healthy food choices. SNAC club, created by MISD’s head children’s nutrition director, Lena Neugebauer, allows for a way for students to give their input on menus and food options, as well as providing a healthier atmosphere on campus.
“Being a part of SNAC allows me to represent my right as a student to make healthy choices when it comes to nutrition,” junior Lairscey Grifin said. “I think everyone needs to be aware of how to exercise that right.”
Krista Scott, who has worked with the MISD Child Nutrition department for seven years, attends the SNAC meetings to oversee the student’s discussions. She plans menus for all 10 campuses, while ensuring that all USDA and TDA rules and guidelines are met. She also creates new recipes for students, purchases food from vendors, and creates daily production records for each campus.
“When I came along, I was desperate to bridge the gap between the child nutrition department and the students,” Scott said. “Ultimately, students are our customers and having their direct input is so important. The most we can impact is the cafeteria menus and foods, but we can certainly play a part in helping student’s voices be heard.”
At the meetings that are held once a month, SNAC representatives lead discussions regarding the specialty sandwiches of the month, taste testing new items to get on the menu for the following months of the school year, and planning events.
“For the following months, I’m in SNAC I hope to get the menu all around more appealing to students while keeping that nutritious status quo,” senior Andre Morgan said. “I also want to get more students informed on the importance of nutrition and eating healthy. Health is wealth.”
Some goals for the remainder of the school year are to introduce a Recipe of the Month that students can access in the cafeteria, along with an Instagram account created for the club. SNAC is promoting social media to raise more awareness for what the club represents and to possibly recruit more members next year.
“I think it’s important that our student body is aware of SNAC club because it’s their voices that affect what is being served in the cafeteria,” senior Lily Hens said. “Their feedback ultimately determines what’s on the menu!”