I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Feds Candy Crackdown, Part I

How Federal intrusion and the latest  Federal Power Grab obliterates local control --and becomes a de facto tax increase on parents while simultaneously limiting minor sports  participation by some poorer students….

At today’s special workshop of the Escambia County School Board, we were told that beginning next year; booster clubs in our school district may only sell certain food items at school, certain types of certain foods that meet certain federally established nutritional guidelines.  This was all based upon a law, the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010.  The implementing regulations are being revised and updated still, and apparently this final area is under a USDA regulation entitled “Smart Snacks”.

But here is the rub:  I get that we take millions yearly in Federal Lunch Program money, and even though I have significant issues with all of the strings attached to the school lunch subsidy money—IGET IT, WE TAKE THE MONEY-- AND THEREFORE, THE FEDS CAN GIVE US SOME GUIDELINES ABOUT HOW WE SERVE/WHAT WE SERVE IN THE LUNCHROOM.  I get that.

But who gave the FEDS the license to tell local schools and local school districts what sorts of fundraiser foods booster clubs, athletic teams, and parent organizations can sell—outside of the lunchroom --but on our campuses?  Who is the Federal Government to tell the cross-country team, or the tennis team, or any team that they can’t sell Snickers Bars, M&M’s or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups after lunch or during and between classes??!!??

Here is a newsflash—for many low-revenue producing minor sports like soccer, tennis, cross-country, track, and golf-----fundraisers are the life-blood of the teams!!  Cross Country, tennis, and other local teams get minimal money from the district; subsequently candy sales supplement the high costs associated with the teams’ season.  And parents write checks to cover the difference, which can and does still lead to parents writing checks for hundreds of dollars for their children to participate each season.  This already serves to exclude participation in some sports by some poor students, which is bad enough—but now we’re told we are going to acquiesce and let the feds tell the parents they can’t do candy sales anymore at school—which will lead to a bigger share of sports participation falling on parents, and lower participation by poor students?

The irony:  "They" proclaim this intrusion into local control is to combat obesity and create healthier climates at school.  But "they" specifically exempt from this rule the sales of ANYTHING after school on campuses and off-school property anytime—so at football games, basketball games, and baseball games on school property we will still sell candy, nachos, French Fries, hot dogs, chili-dogs, and all that other “bad stuff” I love!!  They have no control over that, and they know it.  But they do not have the right to dictate to us what is sold at school outside the lunchroom, either.!  They simply don’t have the right, it is none of their business, and this is wrong!  This is America-how dare these Federal Politicians attempt to exert their will over us—They don’t have the right, and I’m going to fight this one all the way!

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