The School Nutrition Association (SNA) has recognized Past President Dr. Josephine Martin for her passion, commitment and outstanding service to school nutrition with an award presented before more than 900 SNA members gathered in Washington, DC for the Association’s 40th annual Legislative Action Conference. In a year when school nutrition programs welcomed new nutrition standards to ensure all students have access to healthy, well-balanced meals at school, SNA sought to recognize one of its own who has worked for over half a century to advance the nutrition, quality and availability of school meals.
“Dr. Martin has been a fervent and tireless advocate for child nutrition and a role model and mentor for school nutrition professionals nationwide as we work to expand and enhance our programs for America’s children,” said current President Helen Phillips.
Dr. Martin launched her career in school nutrition at the Georgia Department of Education in 1950 as the assistant school lunch director. She soon became a vocal advocate for child nutrition, influencing legislation on the community, state and federal levels and testifying before Congress at least 50 times. In the 1960’s she accompanied then-Senator Herman Talmadge (D-Ga.) on a tour of hunger in Georgia and played an influential role in passage of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966.
As national president of the School Nutrition Association (then the American School Food Service Association), Dr. Martin was instrumental in securing federal authorization for the National Food Service Management Institute. Ten years later, she was coaxed out of retirement to become the first full-time director of the Institute.
Dr. Martin has received numerous awards and honors, including the 2006 Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award.