Archive for Saturday, December 4, 2010

Hold the brownies! Bill could place limits on bake sales

December 4, 2010

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Don’t touch my brownies!

Fairmeadow Elementary School fourth-grade student Juliet Lee, left, orders pepperoni pizza during a school lunch program Thursday in Palo Alto, Calif. More children would eat lunches and dinners at school under legislation passed Thursday by the House and sent to the president, part of first lady Michelle Obama’s campaign to end childhood hunger and fight childhood obesity.

Fairmeadow Elementary School fourth-grade student Juliet Lee, left, orders pepperoni pizza during a school lunch program Thursday in Palo Alto, Calif. More children would eat lunches and dinners at school under legislation passed Thursday by the House and sent to the president, part of first lady Michelle Obama’s campaign to end childhood hunger and fight childhood obesity.

A child nutrition bill on its way to President Barack Obama — and championed by the first lady — gives the government power to limit school bake sales and other fundraisers that health advocates say sometimes replace wholesome meals in the lunchroom.

Republicans, notably Sarah Palin, and public school organizations decry the bill as an unnecessary intrusion on a common practice often used to raise money.

“This could be a real train wreck for school districts,” Lucy Gettman of the National School Boards Association said Friday, a day after the House cleared the bill. “The federal government should not be in the business of regulating this kind of activity at the local level.”

The legislation, part of first lady Michelle Obama’s campaign to stem childhood obesity, provides more meals at school for needy kids, including dinner, and directs the Agriculture Department to write guidelines to make those meals healthier. The legislation would apply to all foods sold in schools during regular class hours, including in the cafeteria line, vending machines and at fundraisers.

It wouldn’t apply to after-hours events or concession stands at sports events.

Public health groups pushed for the language on fundraisers, which encourages the secretary of Agriculture to allow them only if they are infrequent. The language is broad enough that a president’s administration could even ban bake sales, but Secretary Tom Vilsack signaled in a letter to House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller, D-Calif., this week that he does not intend to do that. The USDA has a year to write rules that decide how frequent is infrequent.

Margo Wootan of the Center for Science in the Public Interest says the bill is aimed at curbing daily or weekly bake sales or pizza fundraisers that become a regular part of kids’ lunchtime routines. She says selling junk food can easily be substituted with nonfood fundraisers.

“These fundraisers are happening all the time,” Wootan said. “It’s a pizza sale one day, doughnuts the next... It’s endless. This is really about supporting parental choice. Most parents don’t want their kids to use their lunch money to buy junk food. They expect they’ll use their lunch money to buy a balanced school meal.”

Not all see it that way.

Some parents say they are perplexed by what the new rules might allow.

In Seminole, Fla., the Seminole High Warhawks Marching Band’s booster club held a bake sale to help send the band’s 173 members to this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York. One of the bake sale’s specialties: New York-style cheesecake, an homage to the destination they’d pursued for 10 years.

“Limiting bake sales is so narrow-minded,” said Laura Shortway, whose 17-year-old daughter, Mallory, is a drummer in the band. “Having bake sales keeps these fundraisers community based, which is very appealing to the person making the purchase.”

Comments

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 8 months ago

Does this mean that the War industry can no longer raise money through bake sales?

Oh, yea, they do that by bribing Congress.

number3of5 4 years, 8 months ago

This is down right stupid. If parents pay the children's lunch money directly to the school, the child cannot spend it on junk food. If it is the child's money in the first place, they will spend it on junk food at school or at a store. Parents need to teach children how to eat for health. Bake sales are not the culprit of our children's obesity problems. Also a person deprived of all sweets will develop a craving for them, if they have had them in the past. Everyone get together to stop this bill.

Scott Drummond 4 years, 8 months ago

I see the accompanying picture does a better job of depicting the issue than the article. Pizza from a local fast food chain. That's what we all think of when we hear of a local bake sale, right? And this socialist regulation will hurt jobs. Why does the President hate pizza delivery drivers?

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

"I see the accompanying picture does a better job of depicting the issue than the article. Pizza from a local fast food chain. That's what we all think of when we hear of a local bake sale, right?"

Actually, if you read the caption, the pizza is being served as part of the school lunch program.

kernal 4 years, 8 months ago

Replaces lunches in some schools? What?? That is the stupidity of the school, not the law, and needs to be addressed on a local or state level, not federal.

I'm not familiar with this AP reporter so not sure if that first paragraph is reliable or not. Sounds a bit far fetched to me.

Clevercowgirl 4 years, 8 months ago

We want to limit pizza and bake sale items, so our children will eat the healthy food at school? OK, now that I've stopped laughing, I wonder what exactly they think is served to our kids? Let's see, off the top of my head..... Chicken fingers, corn dogs, pizza, mozzarella sticks, hot dogs.... you get the drift. At least the bake sale items don't contain huge amounts of sodium, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, nitrates, etc. This whole bill is predicated upon the assumption that school food is healthy. The Dept. of Ag. should be charged with making school food healthy. Now that's a bill I would support.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

That actually was one of the primary purposes of the bill. It tightens up standards on what can be served for subsidized school lunches. It was expanded to give the USDA the authority to regulate what gets sold in schools other than what gets served in the lunch lines (including vending machines).

RobertMarble 4 years, 8 months ago

so apparently the proles do need to be told what & when to eat..

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

The best part of all this is that they funded it by taking money that was supposed to go to food stamps. So they made more low-income kids eligible for free lunches, expanded after-school program snacks into full meals, then took away money that their families could have used to feed them at home.

kernal 4 years, 8 months ago

Except for those parents who use food stamps as money to get drugs.

booyalab 4 years, 8 months ago

No, you've got it all wrong. They can only use food stamps to buy food. So they have more of their own money to buy drugs.

booyalab 4 years, 8 months ago

Make kids only go to school for 3-4 hours. Teach math and English, then maybe alternating between history and science when older. Kids can go home for lunch and stay home for the rest of the day. Or make it illegal for 5 year olds to eat a cookie, that's good too.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 8 months ago

Is the Klingon going to swear off Five Guys burgers to show her solidarity with the healthy lunch program?

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