THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234
Office of P-20 Education Policy
The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA) directed the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to establish nutrition standards for all foods and beverages sold to students in school during the school day, including foods sold through school fundraisers.
Section 10 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, 42 USC 1779, as amended by the HHFKA, requires that all food and beverages sold outside of the school meals programs, on the school campus at any time during the school day must meet the nutrition standards set forth in the interim final rule titled, “National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program: Nutrition Standards for All Foods Sold in School as Required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010”. This interim final rule, also known as “Smart Snacks”, was published on June 28, 2013 and is effective July 1, 2014. The rule can be accessed online at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-06-28/pdf/2013-15249.pdf.
In accordance with Section 210.11(b)(4), the New York State Education Department (SED) is electing to establish a policy that no fundraising exemptions may be granted and is prohibiting any food related fundraisers that do not meet the nutritional standards from being held during the school day.
This approach supports the intent of the HHFKA and the Smart Snacks nutrition standards to ensure the development of healthier school environments. Implementing consistent nutrition standards throughout the school building will enhance the learning environment and contribute to the overall health and well-being of all students. In addition, consistently providing healthier foods and beverages everywhere on the school campus will build on the great strides being made in the cafeteria.
USDA has defined a fundraiser as any activity where currency/tokens/tickets, etc., are exchanged for a product in support of the school or school-related activity. For example, giving away food but suggesting a donation would be considered a fundraiser, since funds would be raised as a result. Vending machines used to support school-sponsored clubs or activities such as the school band or football team is another example of fundraising.
Schools should be aware that selling non-food items, such as pencils or notebooks, to students and then giving them non-nutritious food items as a “bonus” or marketing the sale of non-nutritious food items to parents and teachers to be given to students during the school day undermines the intent of the law and sends inconsistent messages to students.
Although SED recognizes that fundraisers play a vital role in providing additional income to school districts to support extracurricular activities such as sports, drama and music, we strongly encourage school administrators to promote non-food fundraisers.
There are many healthy fundraising options available to schools including selling books, fresh produce, school spirit merchandise or other non-food items during the school day. Your school’s local wellness committee may have some great tips on how to raise funds and help students make healthy choices at the same time. Further guidance can be found on the USDA website at https://www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/tools-schools-focusing-smart-snacks, as well as at the Child Nutrition Knowledge Center at www.cn.nysed.gov.
We appreciate your commitment in implementing the Smart Snacks standards in your schools and creating healthy learning environments for students.