How does banning unhealthy foods at school concession stands sound as a goal for the Wake County school system?
As noted in today's article, the district's School Health Advisory Council will present to the school board today this list of recommendations as part of its annual report. The most controversial recommendation would ban the sale of unhealthy foods such as "candy bars, donuts, cookie dough, bake sales, etc.” by schools or “school affiliated groups.”
This recommendation would cover fundraisers whether they're held during or outside the school day. It also encompasses the food sales done by the booster groups to help raise money for athletic programs.
"They are restricting my ability to raise funds for the athletic program,” said Greg Weaver, president of the booster club at Broughton High School in Raleigh, on Monday. “People aren’t going to buy celery sticks to watch a soccer game.”
Weaver said concession stand sales account for $47,000 of the club's revenue that goes toward paying the school's $125,000 annual athletic operating budget. The district only provides about $900.
It's a touchy topic, which is why those who are associated with SHAC say it's something that should exist in an "ideal world."
“The council isn’t demanding anything,” said Brian Glendenning, the school system’s senior administrator for healthful living and staff liaison to the committee. “These are just things we thought they should consider.”
Larry Bauder, chairman of the health advisory council, said the goal of the fundraiser recommendation, along with the others that will be presented Tuesday, is to lay out the direction they’d like the state’s largest school system to take. He said that if the school board wants the board to pursue any of the recommendations, the panel can do more research.
Other recommendations, should the school board pursue them, might be more palatable. They include increasing the number of school nurses, increasing bullying prevention efforts, reminding schools not to use unhealthy foods as rewards for academic performance or good behavior and ensuring that all students receive daily physical activity.