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.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Feds Candy Crackdown, Part II

After I learned that many minor sports booster teams would be adversely affected by a federal regulation that is far too over-reaching, I expressed my disapproval at the school board meeting and then I emailed the Florida Department of Agriculture, the entity that oversees Florida's implementation of  federal lunch regulations.  Here was my email, top, and the quick response I received from the head of the Florida School Lunch Program, below:

Fundraiser Exemptions For Minor Sports Boosters
Jeffrey Bergosh

Fundraiser Exemptions For Minor Sports Boosters

I'm contacting you to express a concern regarding what I feel to be an egregious overreach by the Federal/State Government into local school control.

Specifically, the latest information I have is that Florida WILL NOT be requesting any exemptions for infrequent fundraisers on our campuses for booster clubs in compliance and as allowed under the Healthy and Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010.  I think this is a dangerous oversight and or lack of action on the part of Florida and I want to know who made this decision and why?

First, if the law is truly about ending obesity among students-why will we still allow some boosters to sell terribly unhealthy foods on school property, e.g. nachos, chili-cheese fries, greasy burgers, candy bars, etc., all of which will be permissible on school property after hours.

Unlike sports like Football and Basketball--minor sports and their boosters (the sports that are for the most part not self-supportive via ticket sales)rely on student sales at various times of the year to help defray costs; some of the most successful of these fundraisers (that I personally have participated in--I have three kids that play minor sports)include selling candy bars.

I think Florida need to invoke it's right to add some commonsense exemptions--as the law permits--to allow sports teams the ability to hold 1-2 (infrequent) fundraisers yearly, including candy sales.

Failure to do this will cause parents to have to pay more out of pocket, and will also serve as a deterrent to participation in minor sports by some students who are economically challenged.  Some common sense would go a long way here, an occasional snickers or twix is not going to hurt anybody.

Please contact me at your earliest convenience so we can discuss.


Jeff Bergosh
Escambia County School Board 
District 1 Board Representative

FW: Fundraiser Exemptions For Minor Sports Boosters
"Safley, Robin"
"Schrowang, Melanie" , "Field, Erica"
Friday - March 14, 2014 10:48 AM
FW: Fundraiser Exemptions For Minor Sports Boosters
Dear Mr. Bergosh,

Commissioner Putnam asked that I reach out to you regarding your concern over the new smart snack rule.  I am the Director for the Division of Food Nutrition and Wellness and will be responsible for the implementation of the new federal smart snack rule.  The email that went out yesterday from staff was misleading in the way that it was written.  Our goal is to find out from Districts what types of

 fundraisers they currently have so that we can better understand the climate as we go forward and make recommendations regarding potential exemptions.  At this time, we are do not have enough knowledge as to what types of fundraisers are important at the local level to craft an exemption.  We truly look forward to working with you to ensure that the new federal rule does not create undue hardship.  The rule will not go into effect until July 1, 2014.

If possible I would like to set up a time to discuss your thoughts and get input.

Robin C. Safley
Division of Food, Nutrition and Wellness Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
(850) 617-7436
(850) 617-7402 Fax

The Holland Building
600 South Calhoun Street (H2)
Tallahassee, Florida 32399

Please note that Florida has a broad public records law (Chapter 119, Florida Statutes).
Most written communications to or from state employees are public records obtainable by the public upon request. Emails sent to me at this email address may be considered public and will only be withheld from disclosure if deemed confidential pursuant to the laws of the State of Florida.

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