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GSNA Affiliation

How to Start a GSNA Chapter In Your System

It is not hard to start a local chapter of Georgia School Nutrition Association! Basically, if you have even three people who are interested in participating in nutrition education, legislative, or public relations activities you could begin a local chapter.

The basic steps of chapter organization are:

Get your group of interested people together for a brief meeting to decide on general activites, meeting times and locations.

Complete the GSNA Chapter Affiliation Form (in the President’s Handbook that is available from the GSNA office in Tucker or on the GSNA web site) and send it to the GSNA office by fax, mail, or e-mail. Affiliation forms that are in the office by October 1st are automatically entered into our data base of active chapter. However, Chapter Affiliation may be completed at any time during the year. This form is used in the office for communication back to your chapter officers about activities. The name of the local Chapter should be “The _______ (county or school system name) School Nutrition Association”.

Designate a Chapter President or leader. Each chapter needs at least one “leader” to organize activities. The title of this position may be President, or there may be “Co Presidents” with the responsibility shared by two people. Other officers are optional, especially in the beginning of the chapter. Later, if membership in the chapter grows, you may need additional leaders such as a Secretary, Treasurer, Legislative Chair, or Nutrition Chair. Even though the Affiliation Form asks for the names of additional officers, these are not necessary for chapter affiliation.

Choose meeting dates, location and times. Use the GSNA “President’s Handbook” to help you plan at least three chapter meetings during the year. Choose a topic to highlight at each meeting, according to the suggestions given in the Handbook. These chapter meetings may be held in conjunction with system In-service training or other regular system meetings.

Adopt Chapter Bylaws. A sample set of Bylaws is available from GSNA for your use. The Bylaws specify guidelines for your local chapter such as voting on issues, the organization of committees, and so on. Your chapter Bylaws do NOT have to mirror exactly those used at the state level, or those used by another local chapter. Adopted Bylaws should be sent to the GSNA office.

Have fun with your members! A chapter meeting may be getting together to have a holiday lunch or brunch with a gift drawing, or participating in a health related “Walk” such as Walk for Heart or Walk for Diabetes, or taking part in local community activities such as PTA fundraisers.

There is a special GSNA Award for beginning chapters, called the “Rising Star” Award. The requirements are very simple and are listed in the Handbook. If your chapter fulfills all the requirements, then you will receive recognition and a framed certificate at the Annual Conference.

That’s All!
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