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Take Action: Contact the State Board of Education

healthy_vending350Healthy Kids are better students. Kids deserve healthy foods in schools – no exceptions! Three out of four South Carolina parents agree, but does the State Board of Education?

USDA recently issued updated guidelines for snack foods and beverages sold in schools for the first time since 1979. State agencies now have to decide how often they will apply these nutrition standards to food-related fundraisers during the school day.  The State Board of Education (SBE) is currently taking public comments on exemptions for fundraisers.

Now, the SC State Board of Education (SBE) has proposed a Rule that would allow fundraisers selling junk foods during the school day to occur up to 90 days per school year. That means children will have the option to purchase unhealthy snacks and beverages one out of every two days school is in session. With children consuming up to 50% of their calories at school and SC having the second highest childhood obesity rate in the nation, this proposal is irresponsible.

Time is ticking. The proposed rule can be commented on until November 24, 2014.  Tell the SC Department of Education and State Board of Education that you support healthy food in schools by requiring all in-school fundraisers meet the USDA Smart Snacks standards with ZERO exemptions.

All comments should be addressed to Dr. Juanita Bowens-Seabrook, , Office of Nutrition Programs, SC Department of Education. Additionally, we’d like to ask you to include your South Carolina Board of Education representative. You can find your representative’s contact information below.

Here are some talking points to help you craft your message:

  • Healthy fundraisers are good for kids’ health.
  • Parents support healthy food in schools.
  • The board is responsible for ensuring that students are able to perform at their best academically, which includes ensuring a healthy learning environment. Healthy kids are better students, so there should be no exceptions for fundraisers.
  • Students may need time to adjust to healthier options, but they will, and there are examples of schools that have already done this successfully. The board should base its decision on the best interest of students, and allowing zero exemptions for fundraisers is what is best for children’s health.
  • Three out of four parents in South Carolina say that all food in schools should be healthy. Just like schools follow nutrition standards for meals and snacks, they should also follow them for fundraisers so that students have a consistent message from the classroom to the cafeteriathroughout the school day. This reinforces the healthy habits that parents are trying to instill at home. We will not undermine parents’ efforts to raise healthy children.
  • Students need to be physically active andeat nutritious foods to maintain good health. This cannot be achieved by physical activity alone. Kids spend more time in school than anywhere else outside of their homes and consume up to half of their daily calories during the school day. The food available to students at school through fundraisers, meals, and snacks play a major role in their overall health.

Education isn’t easy. It takes a lot to master reading, writing, arithmetic and the skills that turn children into productive and successful adults. Add in the pressures of growing up, and there’s already plenty on a kid’s plate. The last thing they need is more junk food at school that will distract them from making healthy choices.

Join us and send a resounding message to the State Board of Education that in SC we don’t want to cash in our kid’s healthy future.  Take action today!

Send your letter to your State Board of Education representative:

  1. Mr. Barry Bolen, Chair: 11th Circuit (Edgefield, Lexington, McCormick, Saluda)
    133 Congaree Park Dr, West Columbia, 29169
  2. Dr. Traci Young Cooper, Chair-Elect: 5th Circuit (Kershaw, Richland)
    120 Stonebrook Dr, Blythewood, 29016
  3. Dr. Samuel Alston: 1st Circuit (Calhoun, Dorchester, Orangeburg)
    251 Myers Lane, St. Matthews, 29135
  4. Mr. Jim Griffith: 2nd Circuit (Aiken, Bamberg, Barnwell)
    144 Highland Reserve Ct, Aiken, 29803
  5. Mrs. Lonzena Harry: 3rd Circuit (Clarendon, Lee, Sumter, Williamsburg)
    352 Calvary Church Rd, Bishopville, 29010
  6. Dr. David Blackmon:  4th Circuit (Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Marlboro)
    1106 Pinehurst Dr, Hartsville, 29550
  7. Mr. James Stroman: 6th Circuit (Chester, Fairfield, Lancaster)
    1018 Stroman Drive, Chester, 29706
  8. Mr. Neil Willis: 7th Circuit (Cherokee, Spartanburg)
    168 Clear Creek Dr, Boiling Springs, 29316
  9. Dr. Ivan Randolph: 8th Circuit (Abbeville, Greenwood, Laurens, Newberry)
    250 Noble Estate, Abbeville, 29620
  10. Mr. Larry Kobrovsky: 9th Circuit (Berkeley, Charleston)
    402 Sea Breeze Ln, Sullivans Island, 29482
  11. Mr. Jeff Kubu: 10th Circuit (Anderson, Oconee)
    109 Buttercup Trail, Anderson, 29621
  12. Mr. Tom Ewart: 12th Circuit (Florence, Marion)
    1208 McIntosh Woods Road, Florence, 29501
  13. Dr. Danny Varat: 13th Circuit (Greenville, Pickens)
    40 Douglas Dr, Greenville, 29605
  14. Dr. Rhonda Edwards: 14th Circuit (Allendale, Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton, Jasper)
    22 Maple St., Ridgeland, 29936
  15. Dr. Thomas Shortt: 15th Circuit (Georgetown, Horry)
    85 Bonnyneck Dr, Georgetown, 29440
  16. Mr. John Rampey: 16th Circuit (Union, York)
    307 Brookside Dr, Union, 29379
  17. Mr. Michael Brenan:  Governor’s Appointee [Serves at the will of the Governor]
    1215 Jennings Ct, Columbia, 29204