Rep. Potvin seeks to lift bake sale ban in schools

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State Rep. Phil Potvin, R-Cadillac, introduced legislation and a resolution today so public schools can have food-based fundraisers during school hours.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Smart Snacks in School standards require all public schools to offer healthier foods to students, including ready-to-eat food sold to raise funds for extra-curricular activities. Most bake sale items, such as brownies and cookies, along with candy bars, do not meet these federal standards, so they are no longer allowed to be sold during school hours.

“Bake sales and other food-based fundraisers are time-honored traditions used year after year to raise funds for important school activities, annual class trips, and sports boosters,” Rep. Potvin said.

Under the federal law, states are allowed to determine if a set number of in-school food fundraisers will be allowed. Twenty-one states have created exemptions, but since the Michigan Department of Education has declined to do this, local schools must stick with the federal requirements.

“A lot of school groups depend on these food sales as the primary source of income to fund those special opportunities for students during the school year.  By joining the other states that allow more flexibility, Michigan school districts will have greater local control in deciding what fundraising is appropriate,” Rep. Potvin said.

House Bill 4230 and the resolution will be referred to committee for consideration next week.