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Wellness Policy

Wellness Policy

The School Reform Commission in conjunction with the Central Level School Health Council will begin to implement a federally mandated, United States Department of Agriculture, district-wide Wellness Policy that will support student and staff population to become “fit, healthy and ready to learn”. Through implementation of this Wellness Policy plan, students, staff, families and communities will become more knowledgeable and skilled in making behavior choices that support optimum health.

POLICY 145 STUDENT AND STAFF WELLNESS

 

Snack Standards

Foods and beverages sold to students outside of the school meal programs, on the school campus, and at any time during the school day are subject to new federal guidelines effective July 1, 2014.  The food standards apply to foods sold in vending machines, a la carte lines, schools stores and school based fundraisers.

Smart Snacks in School are competitive food and nutrition standards required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. This legislation required the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to establish nutrition standards for all foods sold in schools except foods and beverages sold under the national school lunch and breakfast programs. These standards represent minimum standards schools are required to meet.

In response to growing concerns over obesity, national attention has focused on the need to establish school nutrition standards and limit access to competitive foods. As a result, over the past few years, school nutrition policy initiatives have been put into place at federal, state and local levels.   The School District of Philadelphia (the District) has been ahead of the curve in working with community partners to establish snack and beverage standards that limits foods sold to students.  In 2004, the District implemented one of the most comprehensive beverage policies in the country limiting beverages to Milk, 100% fruit juice and water.   The following year snack standards were established that limited the sale of snack foods in schools including vending machines, school stores and on-site school fundraisers.

Impact on Current Standards -

While the current District standards are comprehensive, the new Smart Snacks standards will require the District to amend the wellness policy to further restrict snack items allowed in schools. Changes include:

  • Limiting sodium from 360mg to less than 230mg per serving and trans fat from .5g to 0g per serving.
  • Incorporate language that limits any food sold in schools to being a fruit, vegetable, dairy product or a protein food.
  • All grain products must be Whole Grain- Rich.
  • While the Federal standards do allow carbonated beverages, The District will maintain the restriction of NO carbonated beverages allowed including NO carbonated fruit juice and no carbonated calorie free drinks.

The Division of Food Services will make information available about the revised standards to the school community using all communication avenues available including the principal bulletin board, newsletters, regional superintendent meetings and the Division’s website.

Fundraising in Schools -

School fundraisers are included in the standards. A fundraiser is considered an event that includes an activity which currency/token/tickets, etc. are exchanged for the sale/purchase of a product in support of the school or school-related activities.  Examples include:  bake / pretzel/ candy bar sales where profits are used to support a school-sponsored club or activity, such as the school band or sports team. 

The PA Department of Education has determined for the 2014-2015 SY that a maximum of five exempt fundraisers will be permitted in each elementary and middle school building per year, and a maximum of ten exempt fundraisers will be permitted in each high school building per year.  Each fundraiser may not exceed one school week. 

Exemptions only apply to fundraisers that do not meet the requirements for foods sold in school in the Smart Snack Standards.  Non-food fundraisers and food fundraisers that meet the requirements of the Smart Snack Standards do not require an exemption.  Exempt fundraisers may not be sold in the food service areas during the meal period.  Additionally, the Smart Snack Standards only apply to foods sold to students during the school day.  Therefore, the Smart Snack Standards are not applicable to fundraisers that take place after the school day (i.e., fundraisers where a brochure is sent home, such as frozen pizzas, subs/sandwiches). 

Impact on Schools -

 

All parts of the school selling food to students during the school day have a role in meeting the new standards.  Food and beverage sold in schools as fundraisers must meet the nutrition standards. Fundraiser foods or beverages may not be sold in competition with school meals in the food serving areas during the meal service.  The snacks standards do not apply to foods brought into the school by parents or other groups that are provided to student, not sold (i.e. birthday parties, special events).  

Compliance -

Principals will be required to communicate and enforce the competitive snack standards in their buildings. This includes all staff, teachers and school supporters who sell competitive foods in school during the school day. Schools must keep a record of all exempt fundraisers to assure they are not exceeding the yearly limits. Fundraising records must be kept on file for 4 years and made available upon request.  The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) is responsible for monitoring compliance to the Federal competitive food standards. During school Year 2014-2015 PDE will be conducting an Administrative Review of the District, which will include monitoring of competitive food sales in schools.

Click here for a .pdf summary of the Snack Standard Information 

Snack Standard Resources

How do I know what is approved?

Click the Image below for a summary of the snack and Beverage Standards. 

The alliance for a healthier generation has a few on-line tools to help.   Keep in mind that the district beverage policy is more strict then the snack standard. The calculators and product finder can only be used for Snack Items not beverages.

Use this link to connect to the Smart Snack Calculator for Snack Foods Only (Exclude Beverage Information).

Use this link to connect to the Product Navigator for Snack Foods Only (Exclude Beverage Information).