Healthy Snacks and Fundraisers FAQs

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What are the new state and federal guidelines?

New federal and state regulations restrict the sale of food to students on campuses during the school day to only those items that meet nutritional guidelines. Donuts, cookies, cakes, soda, energy drinks, candy, churros, ice cream and chips generally do not meet these guidelines, due to their high calorie content.   

Do these regulations apply to football games and parent-sponsored spaghetti dinners?

The regulations apply to food sold and served to students before school, during the school day and until 30 minutes after the conclusion of any expanded learning program for EK – 8th grade schools.  However, concessions sold at a sporting events may begin 30 minutes after the school day ends at any grade level.

These regulations apply to food sold and served to students before school, during the school day and until 30 minutes after the conclusion of the standard school day for 9-12th grade schools.

The regulations do not apply to food sold to adults.

These regulations do not apply to food sold at events held in the evenings or on weekends.

Instead of selling food to students, can our campus club sell coupons to redeem for food?

The regulations define “sale” as any exchange of money, vouchers or coupons for food.

Do these rules apply to food-based fundraisers for the school or for clubs?

The regulations apply to food sold and served to students before school, during the school day and until 30 minutes after the conclusion of any extended learning program for EK – 8th grade schools. 

These regulations apply to food sold and served to students before school, during the school day and until 30 minutes after the conclusion of the standard school day for 9-12th grade schools.

What kinds of food can be sold or served to students?

Food that can be sold or served must meet certain nutritional guidelines. Allowable foods can be determined using the California Project LEAN’s school food calculator found here.

Can I still bring snacks for the class on my child’s birthday or general classroom celebration?

Yes, as long as the snack meets state and federal regulations for food served during the school day, such as fresh fruit, 100% fruit juice and whole grain snacks.  Most cupcakes/cakes do not meet these requirements.  Other non-food related options are possible, including but not limited to pencils, erasers, or other small items. 

Can our booster club still sell nachos and soda at football games?

Yes, as long as the sales are 30 minutes after the standard school day for any grade level school.

Can our parent group still sell cookie dough (or other non-compliant foods), through a catalogue or social media?

Cookie dough sales (or other non-compliant food sales) and distribution that occurs between adults and/or off campus are exempt.  Items must be handled by and sent home with adults.

Can our high school clubs sell homemade snacks and goodies to students before, during or after school?

No, homemade items must meet the state and federal nutritional requirements and all foods sold to students must be prepared in a licensed facility. 

May our school still sell sports drinks in vending machines?

No, but water and no calorie flavored water can be sold.

Do these new regulations apply to children’s lunches brought from home? 

No.  Parents may decide what they want to serve to their own child for
lunch.

May teachers give students candy/food as a reward for good behavior?

No.  BP 3050 Student Wellness Policy restricts the use of food for rewards.  The district as a whole wants to limit access to unhealthy items during the school day that decay teeth and teach unhealthy lifelong habits.

May the Associated Student Body or other student Clubs continue to sell snacks in the student store?

One student organization may sell compliant snacks per day on campus
 during the school day.  To know if the items are compliant use the
California Project Lean Smart Snacks Calculator.  You can also order compliant items from a vendor who will deliver supplies for student stores.  Check our Nutrition Services webpage for more information.

Are High Schools still allowed to have food fair fundraisers?

Any and all student organizations may sell on the same four designated
days per year.  All items sold during the food fairs must meet the state
 and federal nutritional guidelines.  The district wellness committee will help develop a list of restaurants and vendors that have menu items that meet the nutritional requirements for foods sold on campus during the school day.

Can food be used for instructional purposes?

Food can be sampled if it is part of the curriculum, learning outcomes, and syllabus of a course for pedagogical purposes.  For example, a culinary course, language course, or ethnic studies may serve relevant foods as appropriate. 

How will the government and district know if we’re out of compliance?

California Department of Education will conduct unannounced audits and will examine food sales on campus.  In addition CDE responds to community complaints. Sites identified during an administrative review or reported will be required to develop a written corrective action for CDE. Forthcoming administrative regulations will also seek to address compliance.      

Can my school ask for exemptions from these requirements?

No.  California does not allow for exempted fundraisers. 

What’s the consequence for noncompliance?

The federal government can withhold funding from the reimbursement Nutrition Services receives for student meals.

Why is the government so interested in school food sales?

Childhood obesity is a real problem in America that, if not addressed, will lead to shorter lives spans and add to accelerating costs for health care.  Healthier food choices have been shown to lead to higher attention levels and academic achievement. The intent of the regulations is to encourage fundraising groups to seek out healthy alternatives to unhealthy food sales, such as jog-a-thons, carwashes, T-shirt sales, e-waste recycling drives, etc.

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