SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - The 2015 School Nutrition Association's (SNA) National Conference kicked-off Monday with more than 5,500 school nutrition professionals, industry members, and allied partners coming together to share their passion for child nutrition. USA Rice participated as a conference exhibitor, distributing information about K-12 resources available on MenuRice.com, including five new rice recipes developed specifically for school foodservice menus.
USA Rice developed the standardized rice recipes to make it easy for schools to meet nutrition requirements and increase rice usage. Visitors at the USA Rice booth were given the new recipes as well as the Rice 101 Cooking Guide that provides rice preparation instructions, taking into account the various types of equipment found in school kitchens. Attendees also had an opportunity to spin the famous "Rice Wheel" to test their knowledge on U.S.-grown rice and win a Think Rice rice crispycake.
"The prize wheel definitely draws a crowd to the booth and is a great way to interact with people," said Katie Maher, USA Rice's manager of domestic promotion. "Many are surprised and proud to learn that a majority of the rice American's consume is grown right here in the U.S. by American farmers, and that rice farming positively contributes to the environment."
During this year's conference, USA Rice staff met with school nutrition directors from Kansas, California, Louisiana, and Texas, to learn more about the challenges they face complying with federal nutrition guidelines and how that affects menu planning and food purchasing decisions.
"The directors are responsible for program roll-out and training in their individual states and districts," said Maher. "Meeting face-to-face with these influential people gave us the opportunity to share our recipes and resources, find out how we can continue to be a valuable foodservice partner, and talk about opportunities for interactive and engaging promotions in their states."