Officials at a South Carolina school district claim that new laws forcing them to offer only nutritious snacks may leave them too broke to offer any nutritious snacks.
Greensville County School District officials said the school has already lost more than $5,000 per day in snack sales since the rules took effect in July — a trend which will wind up costing the school $1 million dollars by the end of the year if it continues.
School district spokesman Oby Lyles attributed this loss of funds to decreased sales of snacks such as Chick-fil-A sandwiches and Papa Johns Pizza, items which have become less popular since the vendors have had to change their recipes to meet the standards.
For example, the pizza now has lower-fat cheese, and the sandwiches have a smaller chunk of chicken, according Sarah Shockley, a school specialist with LiveWell Greenville.
Lyles said that the loss in funds has ironically made it more difficult for the school to purchase more expensive nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables.
One of the schools in the district, Wayne Hampton High School, used to bring in between $30 thousand and $40 thousand per year in snack sales from its General Store, according to Debbie Strickland, the improvement council chair for the school’s PTSA.
Strickland said the school uses General Store earnings for tutoring and transportation programs.
Federal law allows states to grant districts up to 30 days worth of exemptions from the no-junk-food rule, presumably to allow for fundraising events such as bake sales.
South Carolina, however, has not granted its districts any exemptions.
Greenville County’s School Board of Trustees has sent the state a letter asking for emergency relief through exemptions, but administrators said they believe it could take up to a month to receive a response.
— Katherine Timpf is a reporter at National Review Online.