State Advocacy Tools

Many organizations, groups and policymakers are focused on ensuring America’s children have access to healthy and nutritious meals. SNA members are on the frontline of the battle against hunger and are the experts on how to run nutrition programs. It is no surprise that many consider SNA members as experts in this area and rely on them for advice and insight. This site is geared to empowering the membership on how to best advocate for their programs at the grassroots and state level.

Here you will find guides on how to create a positive message, moving forward positive legislation, best practices and how to best respond to problematic policies. Many of these can also be used at the more local, grassroots level as well. If you need any further guidance or assistance, please contact SNA’s Government Affairs & Media Relations Center at (703) 824-3000.

Tools and Tips

Unpaid Meal Charge Talking Points
National news stories and state legislative proposals have brought attention to “school lunch shaming” and unpaid meal charge policies. These talking points can assist members in responding to questions about unpaid meal charges and educate parents, reporters and legislators on the challenges school nutrition professionals face when students are unable to pay for their school meals.

State Unpaid Meals Legislation Tracking
SNA tracks state legislation impacting school nutrition programs, and this includes bills pertaining to unpaid meals. This resource offers an overview of common provisions in unpaid meals bills, a breakdown of bills introduced in seven states and a nationwide look at states that have passed or introduced such bills.

Massachusetts State House Luncheon: Bring Lunch to Your Local Policy Makers!
This toolkit provides a step-by-step guide to planning your own successful Legislator Luncheon, like SNA of Massachusetts did! From forming a panel of speakers to executing the presentation, this guide offers great insight into the best way to bring your message to your local policymakers.

Good Policy: A Case Study on Vermont
This report is a case study of when Vermont passed legislation to cover the cost of reduced price lunches. It highlights the importance of coalition building, creating relationships and how good policy can be a marathon, not a sprint!

State Advocacy Presentation Template
Need help putting together a presentation on how to advocate for your programs in your State Capitols? This template provides an outline and suggestions for how to put your best foot forward!

Cafeteria Site Visit 101  
One of the most effective ways to show off your programs is to invite policy makers to your schools. This step by step toolkit will assist you in the journey!

Hiring a Lobbyist for Your State Association
Are you thinking of hiring a lobbyist to advocate for your State Affiliate? This should help you decide if it is the right decision for your state as well as to hire the best fit for your needs. This template on writing an RFP can also help.

Preparing a State Legislative Position Paper
Interested in drafting a Position Paper for your state? This brief one pager can help get you started!

For other helpful guides, please visit our Advocacy Tools section.

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SNA State Associations

The School Nutrition Association has a presence in every state across the country. View links to many of the state associations to find out more about what SNA is doing nationwide. 

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