School Board Member Says ‘5-10 Candy Bar Fundraiser’ Rule is ‘Comical’

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A Saucon Valley School Board member called a revision to the school district’s health and wellness policy that would limit the number of candy bar fundraiser sales that can be held in schools ‘definite overreach’ by the federal government.

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Saucon Valley School Board member Bryan Eichfeld

Bryan Eichfeld said he objected to the revision because “it’s the federal government tellin’ us what we can do with our kids.”

“The comical one is they can have five candy bar fundraisers in the elementary school and 10 in the high school, so I don’t know who’s going to be the candy bar counter in the district and all that,” Eichfeld said. “It’s just–I will vote against that so I don’t know if you want to separate it out (from other motions) because it’s definite overreach.”

Superintendent Monica McHale-Small said there is a new wellness committee that has been formed and includes principal-selected representatives from the three schools.

“We’re continuing to look for more participants,” she said. “Any community volunteers who would like to be part of the wellness committee, they are more than welcome.”

The principals of the high, middle and elementary schools will keep track of how many candy bar fundraisers are being held.

“We’ve been doing this (candy sale monitoring) for a while,” McHale-Small said. “We’ve had a policy like this. There are some additions to it to be in compliance with the new regulations. This is not a brand new policy.”

Board member Sandra Miller said she thought all candy sales in the elementary school had been stopped, which would make the new policy more relaxed than what has been in place.

Board member Ralph Puerta asked McHale-Small if the policy backed by 28 federal regulations–some “silly”–is having a positive impact on the wellness of Saucon Valley students.

“We are trying to make our program a little bit more dynamic and focus more not just on the food but also on the wellness and exercise,” she responded, crediting the work of dining services director Trish Bishop.

“The reason we have to have this policy and we have to be in compliance is because we do participate in the National School Lunch and Free Breakfast Program,” she said.

“Despite where all this is coming from, I really want to believe it’s doing some good,” Puerta said.

“Self-control probably is the best,” interjected board president Michael Karabin.

Eichfeld and board member Ed Inghrim both voted against approving the policy.

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