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County's school system to focus on healthy food

August 09, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN - No more soda sold during schools hours.

No more fundraising by selling candy bars or baked goods at lunchtime.

High-fat, high-calorie, high-sugar foods and drinks no longer will be sold at Washington County schools from 12:01 a.m. until 30 minutes after the end of the school day.

The Board of Education unanimously passed a systemwide wellness policy Tuesday night that will affect students and staff beginning on the first day of school.

Board President W. Edward Forrest and members Bernadette M. Wagner and Russell F. Williams were absent.

The policy was drafted to comply with the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 that required school systems participating in the National School Lunch Program to have a wellness policy in place by the first day of the 2006-07 school year.

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The policy has guidelines for the types of food and beverages available to students at school and also the type and frequency of physical activity. Nutrition and health education also are included.

Only water, noncarbonated flavored water, milk and juice with no less than 50 percent fruit/vegetable juice will be sold, according to documents presented to the board. Beverages also may only contain sugar as a sweetener, and not artificial sweetener.

Nutrition guidelines are specified for food provided during lunch, in vending machines, during classroom celebrations and sold during fundraisers.

Board Member Wayne D. Ridenour said the policy's ban on fundraising by selling candy during school hours was like "killing the golden goose."

Organizations often raise money during school by selling candy, he said.

"There's going to be a financial impact for fundraising by not being able to sell junk," Ridenour said. "These organizations have to get money somehow. Selling candles doesn't give you the money selling candy does."

Gary Dodds, supervisor of food and nutrition services, said these concerns and others will be reviewed during a six-month evaluation of the policy. After an evaluation, a committee will take any recommendations for change back to the Board of Education, which could vote to make changes in the policy.




How they voted



The Washington County Board of Education voted Tuesday to approve a wellness plan for the public school system. The plan has guidelines for the types of food and beverages available to students at school and also the type and frequency of physical activity. Nutrition and health education also are included.

President W. Edward Forrest Absent
Vice President Jacqueline B. Fischer Yes
Paul W. Bailey Yes
Roxanne R. Ober Yes
Bernadette M. Wagner Absent
Russell F. Williams Absent
Wayne D. Ridenour Yes

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