As the American Heart Association’s South Carolina advocacy network, we’re working to ensure we build healthier lives for everyone – especially our kids. Thank you for joining us in the fight to build a healthier generation. In our state, we have a long way to go to make sure we keep unhealthy fundraisers like the sale of candy bars, pizza and donuts out of our kids’ schools. We all know that healthy kids are better students. Currently, South Carolina ranks 2nd in childhood obesity for children ages 10-17. The last thing our kids need is more junk food at school that will distract them from making healthy choices and focusing on what matters most: learning!
Recently, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) improved guidelines for snack foods and beverages sold in schools to make sure our kids have more access to healthy options. State agencies now have to decide how often they will apply these nutrition standards on an infrequent basis to food-related fundraisers during the school day. The SC State Board of Education (SBE) has proposed a rule that would allow unhealthy fundraisers during the school day to occur up to 90 days per school per year. That is exactly half of the 180 day school year, ignoring the rule guidance of allowing infrequent fundraisers. However, 27 other states, 8 of them Southern states, have opted for no exemptions
We are working right now to make changes through policy focused on this issue. If we don’t take action for our kids’ future now, it will cost us dearly—up to $8 billion in projected health costs. Our students are at risk for cardiovascular disease and other chronic illnesses before they even graduate from high school.
The last thing they need is more junk food at school that will distract them from making healthy choices and focusing on their classes. Schools need to provide an atmosphere that helps our kids learn to make good, healthy choices.
We thank you, our South Carolina You’re the Cure network, for joining us as we move forward to change this policy for our children, and for our state.