Each year, thousands of school nutrition professionals from across the country descend upon Washington to attend the Association's annual Legislative Action Conference (LAC). For some, it's a chance to walk in the midst of historic national monuments and in the halls where our nation's decisions are made. For others, it's the opportunity to meet like-minded colleagues and hear from Washington insiders. But most important, for the last 40 years it's been a chance for all involved in school nutrition to be part of something big. It's a chance to put a stamp on the future of the federal school nutrition programs.
That's right, this year marks the 40th anniversary of LAC, and SNA is counting on you to help us celebrate this milestone by bringing your expertise, your passion and your stories to Washington, D.C., to attract attention to school nutrition programs and children's health. This year's event will take place March 4-7, 2012, at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in the heart of the nation's capital.
At LAC 2012, you will gain firsthand knowledge of the inner workings of the democratic process, as you learn about the legislative and regulatory issues facing school nutrition programs both locally and nationally. You also will have the chance to visit Capitol Hill, where you can let the elected lawmakers of the U.S. Congress know your priorities as a child nutrition expert. Plus, you will hear valuable updates from representatives of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), as well as political insights from keynote speaker Charlie Cook, one of Washington's most highly respected political analysts and commentators.
And when the learning and lobbying is done for the day, you will meet old and new friends during the LAC Banquet and the annual A Possible Dream Gala, a special evening that celebrates champions of child nutrition while supporting the Global Child Nutrition Foundation's efforts to combat global child hunger.
As USDA begins implementing the new law and its many provisions, and as we approach the presidential election, LAC provides the ideal setting to discuss issues and challenges, share ideas that will help move us forward and build upon the milestones of the last 40 years. We look forward to seeing you in Washington, D.C.!