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It Takes a Community to Feed a Community


​The Illinois State Board of Education Nutrition Department's annual School Nutrition Programs Back to School Conference will be virtual for School Year 2021-22. This year’s theme is “It Takes a Community to Feed a Community.” The virtual conference features recorded trainings, exhibitors, and live webinars set for July 19-21, 2021.​

 View On-Demand Trainings

Additional archived trainings for School Nutrition Programs are available on the Resources, Webinars, and Workshops webpage. Topics include Certification of Household Eligibility Applications, Direct Certification, Verification, and more. Please note that some topics will have updated guidance. Please direct questions to cnp@isbe.net or call (217) 782-2491 or (800) 545-7892. Updated trainings will be offered by the ISBE Nutrition Department throughout School Year 2021-22. Watch for announcements under What’s New?

 Visit Our Exhibitor Tables


ABCs of School Nutrition is a partnership between University of Illinois Extension and the Illinois State Board of Education to provide professional development opportunities for Illinois school nutrition professionals. Extension educators throughout the state are connected with schools through SNAP-Education programming, community coalitions, and policy, systems, and environmental work, uniquely positioning us to support child nutrition staff – from frontline workers to school administrators.

Resource Highlights:

  • Monthly “On Your Tray" e-newsletter: Stay up to date on grant funding and upcoming professional development opportunities, plus check out what other schools are doing in their cafeterias with featured success stories.
  • Facebook page: Connect with us and other Illinois school nutrition professionals.
  • Website: Access a variety of self-paced modules and recorded webinars on our course portal and find downloadable resources such as sample cycle menus, recipe compilations, signage, and more.

Contact: Trinity Allison; Extension Specialist, Family & Consumer Sciences; schoolnutrition@illinois.edu; (217) 300-8609


Farm to school is a free program that connects kids and their communities to fresh, healthy food, gardens and local food producers. Farm to School programs can include local procurement, food education and activities and edible gardens. The Illinois Farm to School Network coordinators provide training, connect partners, and share resources about all aspects of farm to school. We are the Illinois Core Partner for the National Farm to School Network.

Resource Highlights:

  • Toolkit and Newsletter: The Illinois Farm to School Network provides a free toolkit chocked full of resources to help build your program and create activities to fit your site, and your community. Sign up for the monthly newsletter to stay informed.
  • Illinois Harvest of the Month: This program celebrates a different in-season, locally grown, or garden food every month. Registered feeding and garden sites receive a promotional calendar of seasonal foods, printable resources, food service recipes and curriculum, as well as, one-on-one program assistance. It's a flexible way to buy, grow and serve healthy foods while teaching students about healthy eating, nutrition, and agriculture.
  • Illinois Great Apple Crunch: This is a one-day, free event on the second Thursday in October. All K-12 schools, early childhood sites, boarding facilities and community programs, along with businesses and organizations across Illinois can join the loudest “Crunch" heard across the Great Lakes! New this year families at home can register for the Crunch and celebrate alongside programs across the state. Be sure to register your site.

Contact: farmtoschool@sevengenerationsahead.org, (708) 660-9909

Illinois School Nutrition Association (ILSNA)

ILSNA is a state affiliate of the School Nutrition Association (SNA), an organization of more than 58,000 school nutrition professionals. Membership in ILSNA/SNA offers a variety of benefits to help food service professionals meet the challenges within the ever-changing profession of school nutrition. Our mission is to assist our members in advancing the availability, quality, and acceptance of school nutrition programs as an integral part of education.

Resource Highlights:

Membership with ILSNA offers a variety of benefits. Whether you are just beginning your career in school nutrition or seeking to deepen your understanding of the intricacies of school feeding programs, ILSNA has the resources you need. ILSNA provides resources for school nutrition professionals to obtain relevant information they will use in their ongoing operations. These resources include:

ILSNA offers a variety of Professional Development. These programs are developed to meet specific training needs for ILSNA members and to support the SNA certification and credentialing programs. Members have opportunities to receive scholarships and grants.

ILSNA offers a variety of conferences throughout the year where members can network and collaborate with their food nutrition professional peers, learn about recent trends from the industry members and earn continuing education hours.

Contacts: Lynn Threewitt,info@ilsna.net, (815) 753-9171


Lanter Distributing is a warehouse, distribution, and logistics group with locations in Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, Georgia, and Texas. We have been warehousing and delivering USDA commodities in Illinois for over 40 years.



We represent dairy farmers across the Midwest region, including Illinois. We focus our efforts on sharing insights and developing programs and resources for our retail, health and wellness, school food service and industry partners.

Resource Highlights:

  • Fuel Up to Play 60: The leading in-school health and wellness program empowers students and educators to work together to build healthier schools and create healthy, high achieving students. The program offers a variety of opportunities for adults, students, and schools, both in person and virtually.
  • Discover Undeniably Dairy Education: America's dairy farmers and Discovery Education offer a suite of no-cost virtual learning resources that take middle school students behind-the-scenes of the dairy community. Resources include a virtual field trip, virtual experiences, and STEM bundles.
  • Discover Dairy: Discover Dairy is an engaging, interactive, cross-curricular educational series that meets Common Core standards for Math, Science, and Reading. In addition to STEM activities, schools and classrooms can participate in the Adopt a Cow program, a year-long program where students learn where your food comes from.


  • Robin Brown (northern Illinois counties except Cook County); Manager, Wellness; rbrown@midwestdairy.com; (872) 201-0474
  • Selena King (Cook County and Central and Southern Illinois counties); Manager, Wellness; sking@midwestdairy.com; (773) 967-2787


St. Louis District Dairy Council is a nonprofit organization whose mission is nutrition education. We are dedicated to promoting dairy foods and providing science-based dairy and nutrition information. On most days you will find us out in the field, working directly with consumers, educators, health professionals, and members of the media in the 131 counties we serve.

Resource Highlights:

Contact: Jill Williams, MPH, RD, Nutrition Educator, jwilliams@stldairycouncil.org, (217) 726-8480


The Office of Community Food Systems (OCFS) helps child nutrition program operators incorporate local foods in the National School Lunch Program and its associated programs, as well as the Summer Food Service Program and Child and Adult Care Food Program. In addition, OCFS staff works with tribal communities to respond to their desire to better incorporate traditional foods into our meal programs. OCFS accomplishes this through grant makingtraining and technical assistance and research.

Resource Highlights:

Contact:  Jenna Segal; Midwest Farm to School Regional Lead, USDA-FNS-MWRO; jenna.segal@usda.gov; (312) 886-4613​​​​​

 2020 Presentations and Materials

Live Webinars

On-Demand Trainings

Fact Sheets

Financial Management

 2019 Presentations and Materials

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