By Jessica Santina, Reno Mom’s Blog
When my daughter was named her class’s student of the month for October 2015, we were all thrilled, but she was most excited about one thing: getting the monthly pizza luncheon for SOMs in all grades (an elite group for sure). The monthly lunch with pizzas, CapriSuns or bottled water, and a small dessert was not only longer than her usual 15-minute lunch, but it was PIZZA. With FRIENDS! In a special room! With DESSERT!!!
But on October 5, a letter came home from the principal that made it clear this month’s pizza luncheon would likely be the last of its kind. The school was preparing for the Nevada School Wellness Policy rollout and was already making adjustments to comply.
“Nevada’s school wellness policy was based on and developed using USDA’s Smart Snacks Nutrition Standards for all Foods Sold in Schools, Interim Final Rule and the Local School Wellness Policy Implementation, Proposed Rule as required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010,” the letter read. “Under federal law, school districts that receive reimbursement from USDA for child nutrition programs must develop their local school wellness policies to address all of the federal and state requirements (NV School Wellness Policy, p. 3) … The WCSD Wellness Policy must include goals for nutrition promotion and education, physical activity, and other school-based activities that promote wellness.”
After reading the letter, and having heard nothing about the policy before, my first reaction was “Hey! Great!” The foods served in the lunchroom, after all, have been abhorrent, and the food-oriented fundraisers have always left something to be desired. But then I read up on it. This policy doesn’t seem to apply to lunches at all. Rather, it seems to have mostly to do with school snacks, on-campus celebrations involving food, vending machines, school stores, food-as-reward programs, fundraisers, and competitive sales. In short, any food brought in from outside and intended to be distributed among students is effected—not lunches brought from home for individual students, and not cafeteria lunches.
- No more birthday cupcakes.
- No more candy canes for holiday parties or Halloween candy.
- No more special pizza parties for class achievements.