Schools Face Bake Sale Restrictions

August 5, 2014

New food restrictions on schools threaten to do away with bake sales, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act is a 2010 law that revamped nutrition policies. More than 30 million children are affected by the new rules, which limit the sodium and fat content in food sold on school grounds during the school day. The U.S. Department of Agriculture was given the power to set the standards (including on food sold from vending machines), and the law gave states the power to decide how many bake sales would be allowed in schools.

  • Schools that do not comply with the states' bake sale restrictions are subject to fines.
  • If a proposed bake sale is not exempted by the state from nutrition requirements, all goods sold are required to meet federal nutrition requirements.
  • Thirty-two states have decided not to allow fundraisers that do not meet the nutrition standards.

Some schools are changing the way that they raise revenue in response to the new rules, replacing bake sales with wrapping paper sales, for example. One school in Huntington, Indiana, has replaced its carnival cake walk with a book walk. And because homemade goods lack nutritional labeling, some schools are only allowing the sale of prepackaged food.

The new restrictions took effect in July. The regulations are a response to childhood obesity, which has quadrupled over the last three decades among adolescents.

Source: Stephanie Armour, "Put Down the Cupcake: New Ban Hits School Bake Sales," Wall Street Journal, August 1, 2014.

 

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