POTTSTOWN PA – On the grounds of Pottsgrove School District buildings, and others across the country, say goodbye this summer to kid-favored snacks like cookies, candy, chips, donuts and soda. They’re being replaced, district Assistant Business Administrator Ronald Linke says, with healthier fare.
The federal government this month is implementing what it calls “Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards” that apply to all foods and beverages sold to students outside of school meal programs. That, according to Linke, encompasses not only a la carte items but those sold in vending machines, school stores, snack carts, and in fund-raising efforts.
Instead of the sugared stuff, the program asks districts to offer items like nuts or seeds, popcorn, baked chips, fruit cups and plain water. Its intent: “enhance the learning environment and contribute to the overall health and well-being of students.”
The good news for parents, particularly those who bake goodies for their children’s classes, is that the new standards don’t apply to foods served in classroom celebrations, or during evening, weekend or community events. Instead, Linke said the effect of Smart Snacks is limited to the school day (officially, that’s from the midnight before to 30 minutes after the end of classes) across the entire school campus.
Some fund-raising efforts are likely to be affected, he warns. Foods and beverages sold to students as fund-raisers during the school day must meet Smart Snacks standards. Non-food fund-raisers, or those that include only foods and beverages that meet the standards, are not limited.
Linke acknowledges the program probably will raise questions about what’s now acceptable to sell as snacks … and not. For more information, call him at 610-327-2277.
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