School fundraisers that involve food must meet the new federal nutrition guidelines; state hasn’t sought an exemption

Fundraising with foods that don’t meet schools’ new federal nutrition guidelines will not be allowed during the school day in Kentucky, Valarie Honeycutt Spears reports for the Lexington Herald-Leader.

One of the most popular fundraisers for schools is the sale of candy, which formerly could be sold after lunch.  Those days are over in Kentucky; the state has not requested an exemption to hold such fundraisers.

Fundraisers using foods like cookie dough and frozen pizza, which are meant to be eaten at home, have not been restricted and there are no fundraising restrictions on foods that meet the Smart Snacks standards, the Herald-Leader  reports.

Schools are adapting to these changes.  One in Lexington reports moving to fundraisers that focus on physical fitness rather than food, and Kona Ice, a firm that sells shaved ice, now offers products that meet and exceed the new standards for snacks, company spokesman Jamie Izaks told the newspaper.

Marty Flynn, executive director of the Kentucky School Nutrition Association, told the paper, “Regulations that stem from the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, although well-intentioned, have been enacted too quickly, and without attention to the availability of acceptable products, acceptance of students and the financial consequences to the self-sustaining school meal programs. Many food service directors have indicated that for the first time in many years their programs lost money and have been faced with declining participation.”

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