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5 Smart Snacking Ambassadors

This week in our Swap Your Snack Countdown, we’re making sure we give a big round of applause to some of the people we work with who have proven to be exemplary in their efforts—and success—in swapping their schools’ snacks well before July 1, 2014!

Put your hands together for our Smart Ambassadors from across the country.

Angela Stark

Lexington, Kentucky

Physical Education and Health Teacher Angela Stark partnered with her middle school students to make sure Southern Middle School’s new healthy snack shop was a success. After being given a three-month test run in 2013, she and her students have proven that if you give kids a healthy option, they’ll choose it!

Angela’s Recipe for Success

  1. Get student buy-in. Let your students sample items and help plan the menu.
  2. Learn by trial and error. If items don’t work, keep bringing in new ones. There are delicious, healthy snacks. You just have to find them!
  3. Keep the items as inexpensive as possible. Students are eager to buy, but very price sensitive.

Learn How Angela Created a Healthier Snack Shack

Susan Wood

Hoover City, Alabama

From vending machines to fundraisers, this food service director took a strong stance on what could be bought and sold a few years ago. Now healthier snacks are happily gobbled up for class celebrations and fundraisers.

Susan’s Recipe for Success:

  1. You can’t do it ”boom, boom, boom,” all at once. It really helps to phase new foods in slowly.
  2. Give students lots of choices, so they do not feel deprived.
  3. Expand your customer base to parents looking for birthday treats.

Learn How Susan Changed Buying Habits

Tony Swan

Klamath Falls, Oregon

Principal Swan at Fairview Elementary School took his love of physical activity to campus. Gone are the days of chocolate bar fundraisers. The school’s new fundraising strategies are actually raising 40 percent more than before.

Tony’s Recipe for Success:

  1. Start small. Make one change at a time, celebrate your success and then move on to the next challenge.
  2. Walk the talk. Tony’s passion for health and wellness has rubbed off on the whole school!
  3. Communicate and build partnerships with your community. The walk-a-thon has become a community event which has increased revenue.

Learn How Tony Raises Funds Through Fitness

Roger Kipp

Norwood, Ohio

Way back in 2011, from the Snack Shack to his lunch lines, Food Service Director Roger Kipp transformed the cafeteria into a healthy place to eat and relax. He got students to be part of the transformation and used conversations with vending machine vendors to not only engage his students in helping to choose what healthy snacks to offer, but also to give them a snapshot into food service careers.

Roger’s Recipe for Success:

  1. Form Student Culinary Council to make decisions and spread the word among peers.
  2. Simplify school store – changed from teacher buying items at big box stores like Sam’s Club or Costco to one vending machine where (compliant) products are delivered. This remains profitable and the teacher is happy with less work.
  3. Offer unlimited fruit and vegetable bar. This helps bulk up school meal and empowers students to customize their meals.

Learn How Roger Uses Student Input for Success

Jessica Shelly

Cincinnati, Ohio

Her state adopted snack and beverage guidelines ahead of today’s Smart Snacks standards and have actually helped this food service director for Cincinnati Public Schools increase her revenue. Learn Jessica’s secrets for padding her district’s wallet.

Jessica’s Recipe for Success:

  1. Take stock of all sources of snack foods in the district and make a plan to improve them.
  2. Ask more of the vendor.
  3. Look for ways to increase breakfast and lunch participation so the snack foods will not be missed.

Learn How Jessica Increased Revenue



Help us spread the word on school success and tools for schools to use for new Smart Snacks standards. Below are premade tweets you can copy, paste and share from your Twitter account.

Happy, healthy tweeting!

  • #SmartSnacks standards are 5 weeks away. Learn how 5 @Healthiergen Ambassadors are getting ready #SwapYourSnack:
  • From vending machines to fundraisers – 5 @Healthiergen Ambassadors share how they do #SmartSnacks. #SwapYourSnack:
  • Join @HealthierGen for the #SwapYourSnack Countdown to get ready for new #SmartSnacks in schools standards.
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