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.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Feds Candy Crackdown, Part III

Will Florida Seek an Exemption, After All? 

I had the opportunity to speak with the director of Florida’s School Lunch Program, Mrs. Robin Safley, yesterday afternoon. I had emailed concerns regarding the State of Florida’s decision to not seek an exemption for infrequent fundraisers in our schools for the 2014-2015 school year under the healthy and hunger-free kids act of 2010. I was pleasantly surprised when Mrs. Safley returned my call and she first and foremost wanted to clarify one big thing: Information that had gone out in several emails from her staff that stated Florida would not seek to request an exemption—that information was incorrect. Mrs. Safley stated that her department was seeking input from school districts, school foodservice personnel, superintendents, board members, and parents. She stated that she was heading to Texas to meet with her peers from the Southeast region, to see what other states’ exemptions look like. Safley said she was not opposed to requesting an exemption, but that she wanted to make sure that any exemption Florida requests under the Smart Snack regulations takes into account stakeholder input, meets the spirit and letter of the law, and does not create unintended negative consequences. She reiterated, several times over, that her department was willing to listen to concerns like the ones I expressed in my email to her and that she believed there were many more persons interested in this, intent upon making their voices heard on this issue. I thanked her for her time in returning my call. I intend to watch this issue very closely, as I do feel it is an extremely bold and unabashed overreach by a Federal Government that is bent on dilution of local control, irrational limitation on individual choice, and ultimately the diminution of personal freedom. I hope Florida and local school boards do not shrug their collective shoulders, roll over, and play along…… A Candy bar for kids here and there is not what's causing their "obesity epidemic"--but it's much easier and more expedient to attack local school districts over food items sold on campus rather than confrontation of the video game makers, right? They fight back.....

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