Friday, May 18

Sugar-free fundraisers in schools

The fifth article I ever wrote when this blog started last July was about how the Pennsylvania Dept. of Education had issued guidelines on food and fundraising and the local PTAs were concerned they will lose revenue if they couldn't sell pizza and candy to kids at sporting events.

More and more attention is being given to the issue as school fundraisers are adapting to a rash of restrictions passed last year. An article ran in yesterday's Fairbanks Daily News about how schools in Alaska are coping.

The school district’s wellness policy, approved by the Fairbanks North Star Borough Board of Education in April 2006, requires that only healthy food be sold or provided to students during school hours. The new rules have led to some creative fundraising tactics as groups across the school district have had to think outside the brownie pan.
As a result, schools are turning to healthier fundraising practices that don't involve taunting children with sugar. The article points out an importance difference:
A $500 fundraiser to buy books for a classroom is small change compared with the hundreds of thousands of dollars brought in each year through vending machines in the schools.
One district in Alaska used to receive more than $500,000 in annual vending sales.
Vending machine sales in Fairbanks schools have plummeted this year, according to Dan Thompson, the president of VendAlaska, the company that stocks the school’s snack machines.

“The first week (of school) it dropped to 25 percent or less of what we did the previous year,” he said.

There isn't going to be an easy answer for this.

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