Students are chattering about a rumored new law that affects New Hope-Solebury High School. This law has prevented the sale of certain snacks during the school day.
The Future Business Leaders of America’s pretzel sales, National Honors Society’s snack stand, Junior Class’ Donut Wednesdays, and more clubs’ popular food sales were all abruptly halted for the 2014-15 school year due to the new rule. The infamous law, enacted in June 2014 by the United States Department of Agriculture, is taking course under terms to create a, “Healthier School Day.”
National regulations have been set regarding the nutritional aspects of foods sold as fundraisers, or any foods not sold during a lunch period from the school itself. The rule remains in place for 30 minutes after the end of every school day; at NH-S, this is until 3 p.m. Among several other specific regulations, snack items sold must have equal to or less than 200 calories and be either rich in whole grains or have a fruit, vegetable, dairy product, or protein as its first ingredient. These requirements eliminate the existence of many annual food sales at NH-S.
The junior class student government is scrambling to raise funds for Prom 2015, and is considering off campus fundraisers that don’t occur during school hours, such as last year’s Chipotle fundraiser, or a Five Guys fundraiser. Fundraising tactics involving food have proven to be most popular among students.
National Honor Society President MacKenzie Cavanaugh believes that the “Healthier School Day,” is overall “beneficial to our school,” but the NHS was “given no advance notice of these policy changes...we have to scramble to find other ways to fundraise. We are also left with all our extra snack stand supplies that we are now no longer allowed to sell."
The law does, however, allow each state to designate a set number of days when school fundraisers can occur that do not follow the determined health guidelines.
Cavanaugh states that, “students are going to eat junk food no matter what, especially since the vending machines are still operating just down the hall."
The USDA’s new rule may be somewhat beneficial, but it isn’t solving any major problems regarding student health.
Cavanaugh, along with her classmates, are questioning if the United States government should have such a substantial role in students’ health, since it already holds a strong stance on what schools provide for lunch. Whether or not it is politically ethical to interfere with snacks being sold in school, New Hope-Solebury must cope with the USDA’s “Smart Snacks in Schools” regulations for the 2014-15 academic year and beyond.