New federal law changes fundraising in Bibb County

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Doughnuts, candy and chocolate–all items that can make money for high school clubs.

But now, students will have to make healthier choices in the food they eat and sell at school.

First Lady Michelle Obama isn’t trying to stop students from making money for their extracurricular activities.

But, she is pushing for healthier food options in schools.

Howard High School Principal Dr. Shannon Norfleet says this new law will affect a lot of students.

“The number one fundraiser in a school for most clubs and extracurricular teams is food,” said Norfleet.

High school students generally have a big sweet tooth.

“Candy is a big seller at high school,” said Norfleet.

But health-wise, that isn’t so good.

“We want our kids to be healthy,” said Director of School Nutrition Dr. Cleta Long.

A new federal law is pushing better choices in the kinds of items clubs sell for fundraisers.

“They’re not prohibiting fundraisers, they’re just asking that they be 30-minutes after the school day,” said Long.

And it limits what can be sold.

“When they discovered part of fundraising was selling things that might not be as healthy, they started looking at some regulations,” said Long.

Regulations Howard High School Principal Dr. Shannon Norfleet figures won’t go over well.

“They’re going to react negatively when you tell them their number one fundraiser is off the table,” said Norfleet.

It’s off the table for boys’ track coach Richard Redding.

“I realize doughnuts aren’t necessarily the best thing in the world, but everyone likes them,” said Redding.

The track team sells doughnuts to fund team needs.

“We need new uniforms,” said Redding. “We’d like to buy a pole vault apparatus which we don’t have here at the school.”

So to follow the law, they’re changing their target audience.

“We’re going to sell them to the parents out in front of the school in the morning instead of trying to sell them to the students,” said Redding.

Long hopes the regulations will help.

“I would encourage of them instead of choosing unhealthy fundraisers, looking at healthier fundraisers, whether its granola bars or some things that might meet the regulations,” said Long.

Georgia school officials may decide to fight back against the federal law.

Long says the state board will decide on August 21st whether to allow any non-healthy items to be a part of school fundraisers.

If it passes the exemptions, schools will be allowed to sell whatever they want to raise money.

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