School nutrition professionals are on the front-lines of managing food allergies every school day. Charged with helping to prevent accidental ingestion, they need to have reliable, evidence-based tools and resources to help them do their job. The National Peanut Board (NPB) partnered with the School Nutrition Association (SNA) to sponsor its online SNA Food Allergy Resource Center. Launched in 2017, the site is a trusted resource for school nutrition professionals with popular sections like The Big 8, FAQs and Webinars. The resource is available for free to both SNA members and non-members, however, some resources (e.g. webinars) do require SNA membership.
Designed as a clearinghouse, the Food Allergy Resource Center aims to help school nutrition professionals answer common questions and find resources for themselves and their staff. With links to food allergy trainings, access to webinars for SNA members, frequently asked questions (FAQs) and more, school nutrition professionals are sure to find answers to their most common queries. Addressing critical questions about federal guidelines, identifying a reaction, and what to do when parents ask for food bans, the FAQs were born out of real questions asked by SNA members. In the unlikely event that an answer is not readily available on the site, the Resource Center has an “Ask the Expert” section where visitors can ask specific questions to be answered by an allergist, physician, registered dietitian, or other qualified professional.
The Resource Center has broad appeal, from local school foodservice staff to district administrators to state departments of education staff, there’s something for everyone to use on the site. Says Sherry Coleman Collins, registered dietitian nutritionist, “The SNA Food Allergy Resource Center helps give school foodservice professionals the tools and confidence they need to safely serve all potentially allergenic foods, including peanuts.”
While the site is directed toward SNA members, the SNA Food Allergy Resource Center is accessible to the public and can be of benefit to anyone looking to learn more about managing food allergies. Along with PeanutAllergyFacts.org, NPB offers a variety of resources that stakeholders can use to educate local school leadership, school boards, and others with questions about this issue. To learn more, visit the Food Allergy Resource Center at https://schoolnutrition.org/education/food-allergy/