Are the new nutritional guidelines restricting students’ ability to fundraise?

Back to Article
Back to Article

Are the new nutritional guidelines restricting students’ ability to fundraise?

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Fundraising has always been a large part of the Orcutt Academy community, especially in selling food. However, this year’s new guidelines restrict many food sales at California schools. Are these guidelines taking away a major part of student life, or are they simply causing students to be more creative in their fundraising efforts?

 

Student clubs always have a need for money, whether it’s a class raising money for senior activities or a service club raising money to donate. One easy way for clubs to fundraise is to sell food on campus — it is something easy to get and teenagers will buy. This year, though, guidelines have been put in place by the California Department of Education saying students can no longer sell food at break or at lunch, while the school is selling food itself. If and when the student body does sell food, it needs to be under a certain amount of calories, sugar, and fat, and must be sold 30 minutes or more after school. In the past, most clubs have sold food that is not compliant with the guidelines (so called unhealthy foods) during lunch, but now they cannot continue with their fundraising pursuits via food.

 

Not everyone agrees with the new guidelines. Ms. Leigh Stephenson, ASB advisor, says that clubs have been struggling to figure out what to sell, especially for last week’s club day. She expresses, “If students want to give money by buying certain food items from clubs, I think they should have the right to do that… high school students are old enough to make health-conscious decisions or not.” Junior Shari Ryan emphasizes Stephenson’s point, saying that students should be able to decide if they want to make an unhealthy choice.

 

Unfortunately for the students at this school, the decision is not up to them, and is even out of the district’s control. Bethany Markee, OUSD Director of Child Nutrition, reports how the decision came from the California Department of Education, and that the district had no say in the decision. She also says that while she doesn’t agree with all the rules; she thinks some of them are important, as eating junk food during school can take away from learning. Markee believes that though some of the rules are restricting, and fundraising will be more difficult, it is still possible. “I’m not pretending it won’t be hard,” she says, “but we can figure it out.”

 

As Markee points out, the guidelines are not completely restricting. At Club Day, tacos, popcorn, apple cider, and other guideline-compliant snacks were sold by various clubs and classes. Students were still able to fundraise, and the event seemed successful. Some of the clubs are still planning on selling their food after school.

 

Certainly the nutritional guidelines have restricted student’s ability to fundraise. They have made one of the most common items sold at fundraisers — unhealthy foods — impossible to sell. What is certain is these guidelines should lead to a healthier campus and, in general, student population, which was the intention behind the guidelines in the first place.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email