Take the Healthy School Fundraiser Challenge
|September 10, 2014||Posted by Stacy under Healthy fundraising, Improving school food, Junk food in school, Local food, Making change, USDA policy, Wellness policy|
Does your school have a history of peddling junk food for profit? From bake sales to movie nights to major fundraisers, cookies, candy and other unhealthy stuff has been sold to our children and out in our community—for a good cause, of course. But enlisting kids to sell junk food to friends and families sends the wrong message and undermines nutrition education efforts. We have to stop paying for education by borrowing from our children’s health.
This fall, instead of our traditional gift wrap and candy catalog sale, our school PTA is partnering with FarmRaiser to host a local food fundraiser in honor of Food Day. Good-bye, wrapping paper, chocolates and brownie mix. Hello, Idaho grown apples; salad kit with fresh greens and balsamic dressing; organic veggie box; veggie chips; and whole-grain pancake mix with local jam or fruit butter. By selling nutritious, locally produced food, we can support both the physical and economic health of our community. A win-win for all!
Thanks to new regulations from the 2010 Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act that took effect in July, schools around the country are making healthy changes during the school day. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Smart Snacks in School rules established nutrition standards for all foods and beverages sold on school campuses during school hours, including those sold through fundraisers. While some states are granting exemptions to allow the sale of junk food to continue, more than half are requiring ALL fundraisers held while kids are at school to adhere to the USDA nutrition standards (see the National Association of State Boards of Education’s State School Healthy Policy Database and your school district wellness policy for the rules where you live).
Fundraising activities that take place outside of school, however, aren’t covered by the Smart Snacks standards. Which means, in many places, it’s still fair game to send students out into neighborhoods to sell donuts, cookie dough and other foods that will only further the epidemic of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other diet-related health problems. Enough already!
THE 2014 HEALTHY SCHOOL FUNDRAISER CHALLENGE
Plan a healthy fundraiser for Food Day (October 24). Not enough time to pull one together? We challenge you to commit to planning one for the 2014–2015 school year. From Walk-a-thons and fun runs to hula hoop competitions and cookbooks, there are many ways to earn money for your school while encouraging kids and families to make healthy choices. Start researching ideas, talk to your PTA and offer to help spearhead a healthy school fundraiser today (see Getting Your PTA on Board with Healthy Fundraising).
WANT TO HOST A FARMRAISER AT YOUR SCHOOL?
FarmRaiser helps schools and community groups to raise funds through the sales of healthy products that are grown or made right in your community. They firmly believe that the tradition of product-based fundraisers in schools has been lost in a sea of sugar and junk food. We can do so much better for our kids!
FarmRaisers work to educate students about the importance of eating a healthy, whole-food diet while supporting the local economy. The result is a fundraiser that helps students understand their food system; brings healthy, local foods into the homes of those who don’t normally shop with these ideals in mind; and supports farms and businesses within your community.
FarmRaiser currently operates throughout Michigan, the Seattle area, and (any day now) Washington DC—but they’re growing fast and hope to be available in your community before too long. For more information, visit their website and sign up for more information to host a campaign at your school or be the first to know when FarmRaiser is available in your area.
Click the following links for more information and ideas for hosting a healthy fundraiser at your school:
Sweet Deals: School Fundraisers Can Be Healthy and Profitable (The Center for Science in the Public Interest)
Healthy School Fundraiser Fact Sheet (The Center for Science in the Public Interest)
Healthy Fundraisers (Action for Healthy Kids)
This post originally appeared on FoodDay.org.
Is it OK to sell junk food if it’s to raise money for important school programs? Or do you agree that healthy fundraising is the way to go? Please weigh in! Scroll down and leave a comment below.