Candy Prohibition

OHS food fundraisers are put on hold

New changes at the Owatonna High School have made some clubs and students unhappy. New rules have been established by the federal government about the Wellness Policy are affecting states and local school districts. Districts have established policies to students safety towards students health  and to help students live to see a healthier life. To help students cut out junk food and to start exercising more rather than just sitting on the couch and watching tv all day. It is also to help change our bad eating habits, starting with sugary treats. One new rule at OHS is that students and clubs are not allowed to sell chocolate bars, lollipops, or any other sugary treats during schools hours. They are allowed to sell them after 3:00 P.M.The students and faculty are allowed to sell treats a half an hour after the school day ends. “This standard was set by the U.S.D.A. as a federal law and the Owatonna School District is trying to follow it,” said Food and Nutrition Director Rachel Valesano.  These new rules are enforced to help students eat better and pay more attention to what they consume on a daily basis. It is also trying to help students steer clear of unhealthy foods and snacks. This means OHS clubs will have to figure out a way to fundraise money for their club without selling chocolate bars or lollipops, which were their top sellers.There is currently no penalty for violating these rules, but there have been state talks of funding being taken away if schools do not treat the new policies seriously.

This has caused some rethinking for advisers for fundraising ideas. Mr. Scott Pierce of DECA and Mrs. Julie Haugan of Student Council are advisors of the most affected clubs. Mr. Pierce said, “It seems to me that the government is overreaching into telling us what we can and cannot do. I’m not a fan of it.” It will change how much money they take in because teens, especially high schoolers, love to have a quick sugary snack. One of DECA’s fundraisers was selling their famous DECA cookies which sold out almost every time. “Being health conscious, I understand. It’s a really good thing that we are trying to do, but it is a fundraiser for us. So, it’s now finding other ways to raise money. It’s been hard, but we have found some ways to make that happen,” said Mrs. Haugan. School clubs would try to sell their sugary treats in a fun way. For example, last year Student Council would sell candy canes during the holiday seasons. Students would be able to write a message with the candy cane to whomever they were sending it to. This was a different and fun way to send a candy cane to one of your friends and an easy way to earn money. “We made $525 on candy cane sales last year,” Mrs.Haugan said. Selling candy canes were not the only thing student council would sell. Student council also sold crush sodas that you could send to whomever you chose to send it to and they also did another fundraiser that was aimed more towards seniors and their last days at OHS. The fundraiser was were students were able to send a chocolate Hershey kiss to any senior in OHS signifying farewell to them from high school and to literally kiss a senior goodbye by sending them a Hershey kiss with a note attached. This new Wellness Policy does not only change school clubs fundraising, but it also changes the school lunches that are served to students. The lunches are changed by introducing more fruits and vegetables that are going to be healthier for students than having only a slice of pizza. The new lunches are designed to provide healthier choices to students and to move them to a healthier lifestyle. To help students learn not to eat more than they should. One in three American kids and teens are overweight or obese; nearly triple the rate in 1963.

The new Wellness Policy (Policy 533) is focused towards students’ health as well as how parents and schools should be teaching and showing students how to start eating right, to start exercising more, and to control our calorie intake and many other things. “I think the new rules is a great idea. I think it will be really hard to implement in schools, to figure out exactly, know what can you sell because there are all kinds of rules as far as the number of calories, sugar, fat, all kinds of things that are going to be tricky to find things that can be sold that still follow, and that don’t get too expensive, and kids don’t want to buy,” Mrs. Haugan said. The new Wellness Policy is implemented into schools to help fellow students lean more towards eating healthier and to help lower the rate of obesity.

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