New food regulations cutting off sweets for students

Published 08/14 2014 05:30PM

Updated 08/14 2014 08:21PM

New regulations for items being sold in school took affect on July 1st. Not only is it affecting what's sold in the lunchroom, but also fundraising opportunities. Schools use to turn to cookie dough, candy bars and baked goods, but now they'll have to find news ways to bring in extra cash.

"We've been doing that since i was a child,” said Donna Windham. “You had baked sales and candy bars and it works and you continue to do it. When that's removed and you have to think of other things there is a lot of trial and error."

Marie Payne, Assistant Child Nutrition Director for Houston County Schools, said these are the most strict guidelines shes seen.

"The guidelines all have to meet certain criteria. They must be whole grain rich or have their first ingredient to be fruit vegetable, protein or dairy product” said Payne.

The food item also can't be more than 200 calories or have a sodium content of  more than 230 mg.

So, this limits fundraising options and the Parent Teacher Organization President at Beverlye Magnet School said the new guidelines have made it difficult to raise money.

"When we were doing baked sales and candy bars the kids were actually selling them, they could buy it there at the school,” said Windham. “But when we went to coupon books and spirit cards the parents were selling them and so it was a constant selling to work and selling to family and it just became too much, it was a burden."

So Beverlye Magnent is doing away with fundraising all together. They're turning to what they call Fundraising Insurance. Parents can make a one time donation to the school or they can ask a business to sponsor their child. This way the money is raised and they don't have to deal with any coupon books.

Payne said she's received phone calls from parents saying the guidelines are too strict, but she said these are regulations she has to follow.

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