Raising money for PTA groups, high school bands and class trips by holding a bake sale will soon be illegal in one state...and parents say the plan is "half-baked".
In an ongoing war against childhood obesity, the state of Massachusetts has decided that â??competitiveâ?? foods â?? those sold or served during the school day in hallways, cafeterias, stores and vending machines outside the regular lunch program, including bake sales, holiday parties and treats dished out to reward academic achievement, need to be banned during school hours. The ban takes effect August 1st.
But they don't want to stop there.
According to the Boston Herald, state officials are pushing schools to expand the ban 24/7 to include evening, weekend and community events such as banquets, door-to-door candy sales and football games.
â??If you want to make a quick $250, you hold a bake sale,â?? Sandy Malec, vice president of the Horace Mann Elementary School PTO in Newtonville, told the Herald.
Maura Dawley of Scituate said the candy bars her 15-year-old son brought to school to help pay for a youth group trip to Guatemala â??sold like wildfire.â?? She worries the ban â??would seriously affect the bottom line of the PTOs."
â??The goal is to raise money,â?? Dawley said. â??Youâ??re going to be able to sell pizza. Youâ??re not going to get that selling apples and bananas. Itâ??s silly.â??
The Massachusetts Departments of Public Health and Education contend clearing tables of even whole milk and white bread is necessary to combat an obesity epidemic affecting a third of the stateâ??s 1.5 million students.
Middleboro School Committeeman Brian Giovanoni, whose board will discuss the mandatory meal makeover this week, told the Boston Herald, â??My concern is weâ??re regulating what people can eat, and I have a problem with that. I respect the state for what theyâ??re trying to do, but I think theyâ??ve gone off the deep end. I donâ??t want someone telling me how to do my job as a parent. ... Is the commonwealth of Massachusetts saying our parents are bad parents?â??
Dr. Lauren Smith, DPHâ??s medical director, says "No".
â??Weâ??re not trying to get into anyoneâ??s lunch box,â?? Smith told the Herald. â??We know that schools need those clubs and resources. We want them to be sure and have them, but to do them a different way. We have some incredibly innovative, talented folks in schools who are already doing some impressive things, who serve as incontrovertible evidence that, yes, you can do this, and be successful at it.â??
Do you think banning bake sales will help to curb childhood obesity? Or should the state keep its fingers off of people's food? Is it bad that so many school organizations have to depend on selling sugary treats and candy to raise money? Sound off!