Tuesday October 13th, 2015 2:28PM

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 2015
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 ( 9 months 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 ( 9 months 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 ( 9 months 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 ( 9 months 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 ( 9 months 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 ( 9 months 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 ( 9 months 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 ( 9 months ago )
Jury deliberating in trial of fifth suspect in cabbie murder
The jury is now deliberating in the trial of Margarita Leanos, the woman charged as an accomplice in the murder of Gainesville taxi cab driver Isaias Tovar-Murillo.
12:52PM ( 1 hour ago )
Deal: Tax revenues up for September
Tax collections for the state rose again in the month of September, according to information released Tuesday by Governor Nathan Deal's office.
By AccessWDUN Staff
11:04AM ( 3 hours ago )
'Extreme delays' expected most of week on downtown Gainesville street
Road work is planned again this week on a busy downtown Gainesville thoroughfare.
8:27AM ( 6 hours ago )
Oakwood approves rezoning for new townhomes near JHS
Oakwood City Council voted unanimously to rezone a 12.76-acre tract of land on Poplar Springs Road to allow a townhome community to be built
6:00AM ( 8 hours ago )
Banks County pallet mill destroyed by fire
It took firefighters about five and one-half hours to bring a fire at a Banks County industry under control overnight.
4:13AM ( 10 hours ago )