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.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Feds Candy Crackdown, Part IV

At the NSBA 2014 conference, one of the issues that I wanted to learn more about was the issue of Federal Regulation of what snacks can be sold in schools.  At this lecture, Julie Brewer from the USDA gave a presentation about changes to the snacks that can be offered in schools under the interim final rule: nutritional standards for all foods sold in school.  This rule stems from the Healthy and Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010.

I have been vocal in my opposition to the increasing levels of Federal Intervention in schools, and in particular with respect to this topic, which I discussed here, here, and here.

What right does the Federal Government have to tell any school what foods it can sell via fundraisers outside of the lunchroom and in times other than lunch periods?  I'm amazed at the willingness of so many to just go along with this.  Two important issues came out of this conference.

1.  According to Julie Brewer from USDA--States can implement their own fundraiser exemptions, and as an example one Board Member in attendance from Wyoming stated that her state had implemented a "no more than five non-compliant fundraisers per school per year policy"

2.  According to Julie Brewer from USDA--the federal government "Will not be reviewing states proposed fundraiser exemptions--states are free to implement them as they see fit"

She did, rather ominously, state that " if states tried to do too many fundraiser exemptions, that the Federal Government through FDA could come back and make hard rules that would apply to all states"

My next course of action will be to again speak to Robin Safely at the Florida Dept. of Agriculture to ask her why Florida is moving so slowly on this if it A.  Won't require review by the FEDs and B. Other states like Wyoming have already implemented their fundraiser provisions.

I have a call in to her as of Friday, and I will be asking her these questions!

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