District 196's Knight to lead state nutrition group
Wendy Knight, District 196's food and nutrition coordinator, will serve as 2017-18 president of the Minnesota School Nutrition Association.
Knight was installed in the position during a state conference earlier this month in Duluth. She takes the helm of an organization representing roughly 3,000 school nutrition professionals statewide.
In her role as coordinator of food and nutrition services, Knight organizes and administers all aspects of the federal school meals programs in the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan district. With a background in quantity food production, sales and service, Knight provided support and training for 26 food and nutrition services managers operating a new computerized food management system.
Knight received the state association's Thelma Flanagan Gold Award in 1994 and 1998. She has helped lead association before, as chapter president in 1994 and 1998 and president-elect in 2017. In 2010, ISD 196 was the first district in the state of Minnesota to receive the USDA's Healthier US School Challenge Award.
"Wendy's passion for engaging in all aspects of the school nutrition decision process has made her stand out as a leader — educating both students and staff to enhance the wellness of Minnesota's children," said Sharon Maus, executive director of MSNA. "Her partnerships with others in the industry have only enhanced her already vast wealth of experience, advancing our mission as dedicated school nutrition professionals to promote healthier lifestyles for students."
Knight first began her career as a nutrition supervisor for Minneapolis Public Schools. Her years as a registered dietitian began at the University of Minnesota Hospitals and Clinics, working her way up to assistant director of food services at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park. She took what she learned at the hospitals and began working for Upper Lakes Foods, Inc. as a distributor sales representative. It was there that she began consulting with dietary managers and supervisors regarding menus, pricing, food cost, special events, labor reduction, etc. It was only natural that she combined her work experience with nutrition science and began working in a school system, using her knowledge of food services and account management to help plan and implement healthy school meals for students.
Knight has worked at District 196 for 23 years.
She served as a committee chair and member for the Minnesota Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Twin Cities District Dietetics Association and 196 District Wellness Committee Co-Chair. She has held various chair and membership positions throughout her membership with the Minnesota School Nutrition Association.