Authors of ‘Smart Snack Law’ should go back to school
August 17, 2014 04:00 AM | 3811 views | 7 7 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Should it be Washington’s job to micromanage what snacks are consumed by school students in this country? With test scores generally stagnant and with many critics saying our schools are lagging well behind those of many other Westernized countries? One would think the federal Departments of Agriculture and Education — and their boss in the White House — would have more important things on which to focus. But no.

The Smart Snack Law, which took effect July 1, requires any school that takes part in the federal school lunch program to ensure all foods, even those sold in vending machines or at fundraisers, be “whole grain rich,” or consist primarily of a fruit, vegetable, dairy product or be protein rich. And yes, they also must be very low in calories.

There are no restrictions on water. Yet.

The new law applies even to snacks consumed on campus by high school upperclassmen — students old enough, and mature enough, to legally drive a motor vehicle, marry and, in some cases, serve in Afghanistan with the U.S. Marines.

“I think when you’re talking about high school and you’re talking about sales that happen outside of the cafeteria … with 16, 17, 18, 19-year-old kids, they’re perfectly capable of making these kinds of decisions for themselves,” Marietta High School Principal Leigh Colburn says.

The well-intentioned but poorly conceived new law also puts a severe crimp on school fundraising activities by stipulating foods sold during school hours as part of fundraisers (such as the popular sale of Chick-fil-A biscuits in many local schools) must adhere to the new regulations.

“I mean, let’s face it: at these fundraisers, people aren’t going to be selling broccoli bars. These people aren’t going to want to buy something else,” Marietta School Board member Tom Cheater has said.

The loss of revenue by the booster and other clubs selling such items will be devastating to them, predicts Cobb School Board Vice Chairman Randy Scamihorn.

The new law is aimed at trying to reverse the growing trend toward obesity, the evidence of which is nearly everywhere you look these days. But it has left a sour taste, forgive the pun, with many of those who actually run our schools. And they have been anything but quiet about it.

The Cobb and Marietta school systems have each sent complaint letters to the state Department of Education about the new law. And the state DOE says it will ask the feds for a waiver that would allow schools to have 30 opportunities to sell banned snacks at fundraisers that would last no longer than three days each.

That would be helpful — but it also serves to emphasize what a perverse bunch of “Mickey Mouse” rules the Obama Administration has dumped on our schools.

What’s next? Guidelines from Washington not just mandating what snacks are sold, but decreeing students must eat a certain number of bites of them? Requirements that they “clean their plates” in the lunchroom or else get a failing grade? Or worse — a rule prohibiting private fundraising by school clubs at all, thereby serving to increase the public’s dependence on the school bureaucracy? Stranger things have happened.

We don’t need a waiver from the Smart Snack Law. It’s a “snack” that needs radically rewritten — or skipped altogether.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
Pure craziness!
August 19, 2014
The very idea that we would sit back and let a president's wife decide what foods are good for our own children is ridiculous! This whole nutty thing even extends to fund-raising! Well, people, either take it or do something about it. We are not living under a dictatorship even though it sometimes feels like it.
xian dictatorship
August 21, 2014
We live under a Christian dictatorship called "Republican controlled Congress" that currently dictates we do nothing at all about anything at all, because any little success on anything at all might be attributed in some way to Obama
August 18, 2014

"The Smart Snack Law, which took effect July 1, requires any school that takes part in the federal school lunch program to ensure all foods, even those sold in vending machines or at fundraisers, be “whole grain rich,” or consist primarily of a fruit, vegetable, dairy product or be protein rich. And yes, they also must be very low in calories."

If you do not want to participate in the FEDERAL school lunch program, then don't. If you want to participate, and take the FEDERAL MONEY that comes with participating, then follow the FEDERAL RULE.

You can't have it both ways, and this is common in legislating. For example, FEDERAL highway money is tied into having a drinking age of 21, as well as DUI enforcement at 0.08 DUBAL.

Why aren't you complaining about that? Oh wait, you aren't focused on hating the people who lobby for MADD, just hating on any Democrat... Because they are evil. And they eat babies. And they are wrecking your country. And that job-killing Obamacare. Which was invented by Romney, but who cares. And they are Moslem, Atheist, and Communist and want to detroy the country... Why? I dunno, But they are doing it so that we fail. Sure, it doesn't make sense, but they must have a reason. But no one can point to one good reason for why Obama would want to wreck it, but he has to be trying to wreck it onaccounta Fox news says so. Even though a president would want the country to thrive and prosper for a long time and promote his own legacy... But if Rush or Glenn Beck says he might be trying to make the US fail, well...
Rhett Writer
August 18, 2014
Another liberal Kool-aid drinker sounds off with a bunch of gibberish, while making no sense and leveling charges at people that are both nonsensical and unsubstantiated.

Tune into MSNBC for another dose of propaganda.
Rhett is wet
August 22, 2014
Given Governor Deal's refusal of Medicare funds because he did supposedly not like the strings attached, by your rules, Gov Deal is a bed wetting MSNBC liberal.
really now
August 18, 2014
School officials don't care if fundraiser candy bars make children fat. The obesity will be somebody else's problem before the resulting health issues cause "huge" problems.

Just like Kroger and Publix and Wellstar and the US 41 and Barrett car dealers and the asphalt and gravel and cement companies, the school board has a business plan that includes converting body composition into profit, no matter the consequences, and they do not want to see their profits diminished!

Every fat little kid is money in the bank for Cobb BoE, and without the calorie laden revenue stream, the BoE might have to, well, work.

Rhett Writer
August 18, 2014
@ "really now" What a bunch of utter nonsense you have written here!

I'm not sure where your bitterness comes from, but you need to send it back. You make yourself appear to be nothing more than a blithering simpleton when you write things like this which cannot be suppoprted by one single shred of credible evidence.
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