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State and federal regulations affect food fundraisers

Senior+William+O%27Connor%2C+dressed+in+a+hotdog+suit%2C+holds+a+sign+to+encourage+passersby+to+get+a+car+wash+on+April+29+near+Joe%27s+Crab+Shack.+The+donations+went+to+the+ROTC+program.
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State and federal regulations affect food fundraisers

Senior William O'Connor, dressed in a hotdog suit, holds a sign to encourage passersby to get a car wash on April 29 near Joe's Crab Shack. The donations went to the ROTC program.

Senior William O'Connor, dressed in a hotdog suit, holds a sign to encourage passersby to get a car wash on April 29 near Joe's Crab Shack. The donations went to the ROTC program.

Photo courtesy of Kyle O'Connor

Senior William O'Connor, dressed in a hotdog suit, holds a sign to encourage passersby to get a car wash on April 29 near Joe's Crab Shack. The donations went to the ROTC program.

Photo courtesy of Kyle O'Connor

Photo courtesy of Kyle O'Connor

Senior William O'Connor, dressed in a hotdog suit, holds a sign to encourage passersby to get a car wash on April 29 near Joe's Crab Shack. The donations went to the ROTC program.

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When it comes to fundraising, National Honor Society (NHS) sponsor Amy Aggus believes students tend to do better when they can sell food to other students because if they can’t sell food, usually what they are selling is more expensive and other students can’t afford it.

Since 2004, the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) has maintained a strict policy on foods provided to school students which, according to tcta.org, “limits the number of grams of fat and sugar” school children in Texas are served, “restricts portion sizes” for certain items, and “calls for phasing out deep-fat frying in schools.”

In the 2014-2015 school year, this policy became even more restrictive when new, more rigid standards were implemented, affecting not just cafeteria lunch but also club fundraising throughout the school because students no longer had the choice to sell candy or chocolate during the school day.

“State and federal regulations have made it where it’s against the law to compete with the cafeteria,” Principal James Crenshaw said. “When the cafeteria is open, by law we can’t sell foods of minimal nutritional value so it kind of knocked those fundraisers out.”

Crenshaw believes this policy has forced clubs to be more creative about ways to raise funds. The law also hurts the school’s principal’s discretionary fund, which is funded by the vending machines throughout school.

“Those rules have hurt the principal’s discretionary fund worse than any other fund in the building because the drinks and the pop machines used to raise money for the Principal Discretionary Fund,” Crenshaw said. “And then I would be able to give that money back to clubs and etcetera.”

Now, the vending machines are only usable before and after school, which highly limits the amount of money it makes for the school.

Alternative ways clubs, like NHS, have raised funds includes selling trash bags, luminarias, and selling tickets to certain events.

“We had a bingo night, and we had a karaoke night,” Aggus said. “And so you have an event that students can purchase tickets for and when they’re there they can buy pizza or drinks that the club will also profit off of.”

Senior Jack Hodges, who is a part of NHS, Science Honor Society (SHS), ROTC, Challenge Team and Quiz Bowl, does fundraising for many of these clubs. He helped sell the trash bags for the NHS bags for bucks program and fundraised for the cancer fundraiser Relay for Life by selling luminaria bags. Along with this, he helped fundraise for SHS by selling tickets for a sci-fi movie night, and helped with a car wash for ROTC near Joe’s Crab Shack that raised around $5,000 in one day.

“Some fundraisers are harder than others,” Hodges said. “Trash bags are kind of a hard sell sometimes. Car washes, if you can get a good location, like with Joe’s Crab Shack, had a lot of traffic coming in so it was pretty easy to sell all that. And everybody loves to support causes like Relay for Life so that was pretty easy.”

Candy was definitely more accessible to sell, Hodges said.

“You just say, ‘hey, give me a dollar,’ and not ‘hey, give me $12 for a roll of trash bag’ or ‘give me $7.50’ or some odd number,” Hodges said. “It’s just, ‘give me a dollar for candy’ and I think that’s what was so easy about it.”

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State and federal regulations affect food fundraisers