Bake sale rules change in Manchester schools as NH officials push USDA nutrition standardsBy PAUL FEELY
New Hampshire Union Leader
October 23. 2017 10:11PM
MANCHESTER — City school board members voted Monday to amend district regulations governing bake sales to incorporate new rules issued by state education officials.
The state Department of Education issued a technical advisory to school districts across New Hampshire on Sept. 13, alerting local officials to a change in the rules governing non-compliant bake sales.
State education officials had previously allowed just three non-compliant events — bake sales offering food deemed non-compliant with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrition standards — of up to three days over the course of a school year.
According to the technical advisory, the state will now allow up to nine such one-day events.
Under the new policy, schools may configure the bake sale and fundraiser exemptions several ways to meet individual school needs, such as nine different events over the course of a school year, or three events that are each three days in duration, etc.
The USDA nutritional standards do not apply to items sold at bake sales or fundraisers held after school, off campus or on the weekends. The new regulations also don’t limit the number of fundraisers that sell non-food items or fundraisers which sell food or beverages which meet USDA nutritional standards.
The amended policy approved by school board members Monday night for Manchester schools reads, “The principal or designee may allow their school to hold up to nine exempt bake sales or fundraisers, which are one day in duration, per school year. The sales should not be in competition with the school breakfast and lunch programs.”
The policy also dictates that all ingredients used to make the items being sold in these bake sales “shall be reviewed and approved by the school nurse for students with known allergies prior to disseminatiion.”
School board members approved the amended policy, with only Committeeman John Avard of Ward 10 opposed.
While Avard did not address the topic last night, he did explain his opposition to the policy in its entirety when the topic came up last month.
“This policy, even the foundation of this policy from the first day that it was written like this, this goes back years. I have been standing against this policy because I think it is riddled with a lot of health, diet, nutrition assumptions and fallacies that are based on what is now coming to light as very faulty science,” said Avard at a Sept. 25 school board meeting. “Now we have a society that is riddled with diabetes and other diseases because of poor dietary habits, that we thought we were eating well (but) we were eating very poorly in this country. I think this policy continues with that. I think this entire policy needs to be scrapped and we should go back to some realism in the way we approach nutrition in this country.”