Everyone knows the bumper sticker that reads: “It will be a great day when schools have all the money they need and the military has to hold a bake sale.” Well, honey, that’s not even a possibility any more. You know why? Schools can’t sell food.
Well, technically that isn’t quite true. However, a couple of laws have changed the way that food can be used or sold at school. I’m sure we can point red and blue fingers at each other to determine who’s more litigious (it’s a tie, my friends), but the point is someone developed this big bag of suck the joy out of life policy.
First, everything has to be prepackaged from a commercial facility. That’s right, we can buy food-born illness in a bag of spinach or a jar of peanut butter, and that’s still preferable to whatever home-cooked thing you’ve made. This means that cookies and cupcakes for class parties need to come from a store. This means that parents can’t just put on a bake sale. They have to put on a re-sale bake sale. Not that this could really happen because…
There are wellness laws regarding “snacks” that are served or sold at schools. You see, education has made kids fat. It’s all those damned birthday parties — they happen all the time, are full of fatty, sugary foods, and add to the obesity epidemic. Lord knows that’s not the decreased recess time because schools can’t afford yard supervision, but I digress. The food served at school needs to fit into specific calorie and fat guidelines. This means most cookies and cupcakes are O-U-T.
Current policies include hosting birthdays one day a month, with strict food guidelines, and not allowing snacks or treats on any other day of the month. Class parties, when done right, look like a vegan’s lunch — tofu, carrot juice and lima beans. No nuts, no refined flour, no sugar, etc. I’m sure the idea is to disconnect food with fun. What kind of society is that? Look at me? I AM body by fun food. Just so you know, I bought it for me. The school system is NOT responsible for my physique. 🙂 Food should be fun and celebratory. Oh well.
I know many people who circumnavigate and circumvent these food laws because they have no other choice. In order to make any kind of money for the PTA or Home-School Club it became necessary to disobey this law. I’m sure the law is well-intended. However, in solving one problem, another was created.
Now we can’t even raise money from a bake sale. Thanks!