At the 2021 Annual Conference in June, the School Nutrition Association of Wisconsin (SNA-WI) recognized Urban School Food Alliance (USFA) Executive Director, Dr. Katie Wilson, with the creation of the Katie Wilson Lifetime Achievement Award. Established in 2020, the purpose of the award is to recognize SNA-WI members who have outstanding contributions to SNA-WI and school nutrition.
“This award recognizes lifetime achievement in school nutrition and no one in recent history has accomplished more in school nutrition than Dr. Katie Wilson,” SNA-WI said in the announcement. “Dr. Wilson was a school nutrition director in Wisconsin for 23 years and has volunteered tirelessly as an advocate for school meals programs. From supporting professional standards for employees, sound science based nutrition standards, to increased access to meals for ALL children, she continues to dedicate her career by sharing her message and expertise throughout the US and around the world.”
Dr. Wilson has served in many leadership roles before joining USFA, including as SNA-WI President, SNA National President, Executive Director of the Institute of Child Nutrition, and was appointed by President Obama to serve as Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services at the US Department of Agriculture.
“I am humbled and honored to have an award created in my name and to receive it at the state School Nutrition Association annual conference was really memorable,” Dr. Wilson said. “Those in attendance were my long time friends and colleagues, the very same people that gave me their vote of confidence and supported me so many years ago. We are truly a family in school nutrition and we all help each other complete the same mission: nourishing our nation’s children. I hope I have been a mentor and an inspiration for new professionals in this rewarding career. ”
Dr. Wilson also presented her namesake award to the first recipient, Lyn Halvorson, at the conference. Halvorson spent her career in school nutrition, most recently as the Supervisor of School Nutrition Programs at the School District of La Crosse, before retiring last year.