Uncle Sam even puts kibosh on popcorn - The Packer

Uncle Sam even puts kibosh on popcorn

04/22/2014 01:11:00 AM
Tom Karst

Tom Karst My wife Sally is a first grade teacher, a wonderful, passionate, animated and unbelievably hard working professional.

 I say that by way of introduction to a short story she told me about her school and the "nutrition environment" The elementary school principal recently told the staff that the Parent Teacher Organization fundraising sales of popcorn to students will no longer be allowed.

 The weekly popcorn sales helped fund school activities and resources for the teachers. So it will be missed. And for what reason is it banished? The USDA school food environment regulations are apparently to blame. Teachers were assured that, yes, cupcakes were still acceptable for "celebrations" in the classroom, but the popcorn sales are nixed. Surely, teachers believe, sales of whole grain popcorn aren't so terrible to warrant banishment.

 The USDA's proposed rule on the Local School Wellness Policy Implementation under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act says this:

This proposed rule would require all local educational agencies participating in the National School Lunch Program and/or the School Breakfast Program to meet expanded local school wellness policy requirements consistent with the new requirements set forth in section 204 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. This proposed rule would establish the framework for the content of the local school wellness policies, ensure stakeholder participation in the development of such policies, and require periodic assessment of compliance and reporting on the progress toward achieving the goals of the local school wellness policy. This proposed rule would also require local educational agencies, as part of the local school wellness policy, to implement policies for the marketing of foods and beverages on the school campus during the school day consistent with nutrition standards for Smart Snacks. Additionally, this proposed rule would require each local educational agency to make information about local school wellness policy implementation for all participating schools available to the public on a periodic basis. The provisions of this proposed rulemaking would ensure local educational agencies establish and implement local school wellness policies that meet minimum standards designed to support a school environment that promotes sound nutrition and student health, reduces childhood obesity, and provides transparency to the public on school wellness policy content and implementation.

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