Jul 2 2009

Food Issues Related to High-School Fundraisers

Food items are an important element for the success of any high-school fundraiser; but when organizing such fundraisers, you have to be aware of the guidelines related to the quality of food that can be served in such fundraisers.

You should check if you can serve foods of minimal nutritional value (FMNV) during a fundraiser. The same is true for sugared carbonated drinks, the quantity that can be served and the size of the bottles.

Is there a limit on the amount of fat in a food item at one time; are there any exempt food items to this rule, for example peanut butter. Are you allowed deep-fat frying on the site when serving food? Are you required to re-heat food items that have been pre-fried, flash-fried or par-fried by the manufacturer?

Potato products are popular food items but these can only be served baked without pre-frying, flash-frying, or par-frying. The products may have to carry trans-fat information to be made available on request.

Your fundraising food items will have to be particularly compliant with respect to portion sizes and nutrient information; the reason is that schools are centers of learning where students learn to do the right thing and eating fatty foods that carry a lot of empty calories is certainly not the right thing, more so when America is already in the midst of an obesity epidemic.

The issue is that most of these food items that are empty in calories are high on the taste buds; kids and adults love candies, colas, burgers, fried potato chips, chewing gums, water ice candies, etc. In a fundraiser these will surely sell but concerned parents are not going to take kindly to a fat- and calorie-filled fundraiser. So you have to strike a balance. You need have fruit and vegetable-based dishes too. Natural juices are a great attraction and they are healthy as well.

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