Meet Lori Adkins, SNA’s New President

As president for the 2022-2023 school year, Adkins will represent SNA’s 50,000 school nutrition professional members nationwide.

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Lori Adkins speaks during School Nutrition Association's Annual National Conference 2022 last month. Courtesy of School Nutrition Association.

From overseeing kitchen remodels and managing multimillion-dollar budgets to handling contract negotiations and assisting meal program operators, Lori Adkins has done it all in the realm of school foodservice.

Adkins, who’s served as a foodservice director, child nutrition consultant and school foodservice educator in Michigan schools, has a resume almost as long as her nearly four decades in the industry. And now she’s adding another title to the list: president of the School Nutrition Association. As president for the 2022-2023 school year, Adkins will represent SNA’s 50,000 school nutrition professional members nationwide.

Throughout her career, Adkins has worked to expand student access to meals and ensure school foodservice operations thrive, while providing leadership on the national, state and local levels. Since 2010, Adkins has supported child nutrition professionals in Oakland County, Mich., working in 28 school districts and serving 175,000 students. She provides guidance and develops and conducts training sessions on program regulations and operations, covering topics like food safety and nutrition analysis.

Through her work, she’s credited for helping Oakland County school meal program operators improve their menus and services, manage finances, expand access to school meals and boost student meal participation. She also led the county’s “Better With Breakfast” program—which SNA says was the first of its kind nationally—to address food insecurity and student access to breakfast.

Before her work with Oakland County schools, she spent 25 years as a foodservice director in three districts in southeast Michigan. There, she expanded student access to meals by launching breakfast in the classroom, summer meals and fresh fruits and vegetables programs. She also serves on the Oakland County Food Policy Council, helping lead diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility efforts surrounding community food access.

Adkins has been an SNA member since 1997 and has served on the association’s public policy and legislation committee and resolutions and bylaws committee. She also served as president and legislative chair of the Michigan SNA.

Her honors include a FAME Silver Special Achievement award, Michigan SNA’s Outstanding Director of the Year award and Michigan School Business Officials Distinguished Service award.

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