Wednesday June 1st, 2016 3:37AM

Ga. considers exemptions to school food standards

By Ken Stanford Reporter
ATLANTA (AP) -- Georgia officials who call new federal nutrition standards an over-reach want to give schools plenty of loopholes to sell sweet treats during fundraisers.<br /> <br /> The state's Board of Education has proposed up to 30 exemption days per school every year. School officials can allow fundraisers to sell food no longer allowed in schools under a federal law passed in 2010 that is part of first lady Michelle Obama's anti-childhood obesity effort.<br /> <br /> The proposal is up for public comment for 30 days, and will be considered by the board in August.<br /> <br /> Georgia school officials said they support providing healthier food options for kids, and understand that fundraisers are part of setting that example. But they're concerned that changes to traditional sales of candy bars, fast food items or doughnuts will cut money used to support student clubs, sports and other programs.<br /> <br /> Jason Miller, principal of Twin Oaks Elementary School in Leesburg, Georgia, said he's committed to improving kids' health. But candy bar sales and other campaigns have raised as much as $10,000 in some years, money the school has used to help clubs travel to events or bring in speakers, Miller said.<br /> <br /> The school is working with fundraising contractors to find alternatives, from hats or T-shirts to decidedly practical items like bed sheets. Miller admits that could take some salesmanship.<br /> <br /> "If a young child asks you to buy some candy bars, most people say yes," he said, laughing. "It might be different for trash bags."<br /> <br /> Meeting federal food standards is nothing new for schools across the country, and the fundraiser requirements are the latest portion of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 to be phased in. The law required more whole grains, fruits and vegetables and limited foods with too much sugar, fat and salt in school meals and in vending machines or cafes available to students during school.<br /> <br /> Congressional Republicans and some advocacy groups have turned against those meal standards in recent weeks, arguing that schools are losing money because students won't buy the new items. Georgia Superintendent John Barge and State Board of Education Chair Helen Rice said in a statement that the fundraising rules are "an absolute overreach."<br /> <br /> Some Georgia schools already have begun planning for the changes.<br /> <br /> Kevin Dowling, principal of Lee County High School in Leesburg, Georgia, said the local school board last year asked officials to move away from high-sugar or high-fat items for fundraisers. Krispy Kreme doughnut coupons by clubs and cookie sales by the math department were eliminated, in favor of fruit and peanuts despite some grumbling.<br /> <br /> "There was some discomfort because our bigger fundraisers didn't meet those guidelines," Dowling said. "But these are our guidelines, and we'll adjust."
© Copyright 2016
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
US stocks post sixth straight year of gains
U.S. stocks ended a strong 2014 with moderate declines Wednesday.
4:43PM ( 1 year ago )
Palestinians push ahead in pursuit of war crimes charges against Israel
Stung by a resounding defeat in the U.N. Security Council, the Palestinians announced Wednesday that they joined the International Criminal Court to pursue war crimes charges against Israel.
1:57PM ( 1 year ago )
Business News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 1 year ago )
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 1 year ago )
Sheriff: Man shot 2 on I-85 because he wanted car
A 22-year-old man shot two people who stopped to give him a ride on Interstate 85 in South Carolina on Christmas Eve because he wanted their car to drive to Georgia, a sheriff said Wednesday.
5:21PM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
US off war footing at year's end, but wars go on
Taking America off a permanent war footing is proving harder than President Barack Obama may have suggested.
6:13PM ( 1 year ago )
GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists; party leaders rally around him
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
6:08PM ( 1 year ago )
Conviction of Putin foe sets off protest in Moscow
President Vladimir Putin's chief political foe was convicted along with his brother on Tuesday in a fraud case widely seen as a vendetta by the Kremlin, triggering one of Russia's boldest anti-government demonstrations in years.
6:03PM ( 1 year ago )
Fire Tuesday night heavily damages Banks County home
A Banks County home was heavily damaged by fire Tuesday night.
2:31AM ( 1 hour ago )
AUDIO: UNG offers new summer food program for hungry kids
Pamela Elfenbein, a professor of human services and sociology with the University of North Georgia, joined the Afternoon News Wrap this week to discuss UNG's new summer food service program.
By Afternoon News Wrap
10:43PM ( 4 hours ago )
Pedestrian fatality temporarily shuts down stretch of I-85 in Jackson Co.
‚ÄčA pedestrian was pronounced dead in Jackson County Tuesday afternoon, possibly hit by a vehicle on Interstate 85 at the Dry Pond Road exit, emergency officials said.
By AccessWDUN Staff
7:02PM ( 8 hours ago )
Obama urges public to get ready for hurricane season
President Barack Obama is urging the public to prepare for the coming hurricane season and warning against what he says is a growing "complacency" when it comes to dangerous weather
6:07PM ( 9 hours ago )
Forsyth County shooting suspect's vehicle found abandoned in Buford
The vehicle belonging to a suspected wanted for a double shooting in Forsyth County has been found in Buford, near the Mall of Georgia.
11:58AM ( 15 hours ago )