Cookies, chocolate and wrapping paper aren’t just hallmarks of the holiday season, they’re also staples of school fundraising initiatives.
While the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act is bringing more dark red, orange and green vegetables to students’ lunch trays, children are also raking in the green with foods more likely to be served at sleepovers than in schools.
“Candy is probably the biggest seller in fundraisers,” said Tim Ditch, a sales rep with The Chip Shoppe. “Candy and cookie dough and pie and pizzas, all that stuff sells really well.”
The Chip Shoppe is a company that provides food, magazines and gift wrap fundraising opportunities to organizations throughout the Midwest. Ditch has worked with schools in Cedar Rapids, Marion, Iowa City and throughout Iowa. Armed with catalogues full of culinary goodies, students sign up to sell Chip Shoppe goods and earn a percentage of the profit for their parent teacher groups, which then reinvest that money back into the schools.
“The whole fundraising topic and the way it’s handled can be kind of a mixed message,” said Linda Snetselaar, a professor of epidemiology in the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa.
Snetselaar, whose work focuses on preventive nutrition education, said approaches to food at home, in school and even at church should all be cohesive.
“If we can get all of those areas to think in terms of health and the way in which we can have an environment that’s very healthy is important,” she said. “If you only talk about one area, you could be missing important elements.”
Read the story linked above for more background. What do you think of school fundraisers? Do you buy products from the fundraising efforts? Do you think the products being sold need to be modified?