Question: Selling food concessions at PTO events

Do the new USDA nutritional regs for schools (healthier food choices in vending machines, a la carte lunch lines, school stores, etc.) also impact PTO events or fundraisers?

Asked by dkmurphy



Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
Good question. According to the USDA FAQs on the topic, the rules do not affect fundraisers or events outside of school hours. In addition, there is an exception for birthday parties and other special events.

Here's a link:

Community Advice

dkmurphy writes:
Thank you Craig! The FAQs in the link above were very helpful. The FAQs cover 4 pages, but the 2 paragraphs I copied below is the section I found most relevant.

Snip: "Through the new [USDA] standards, state agencies, not the federal government, will have the flexibility to set a reasonable threshold for the number of exempt occasional school-sponsored fundraisers."

Snip: "...USDA recognizes that revenues from school stores, vending machines and occasional fundraisers can play an important
role in supporting student clubs, parent teacher organizations,
and booster groups. That is why the new standards offer a significant amount of flexibility on food items sold by these groups:
--All foods that meet the standards could be sold during fundraisers during school hours.
--The standards do not apply to items sold during non-school hours, weekends or off-campus fundraising events, such as concessions during sporting events and school plays."

Community Advice

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