Fundraising Requirements


Throughout the school day, as students get hungry, they can easily find someone selling Sarris chocolate covered pretzels to tame their hunger.  Organizations sell the pretzels as a fundraiser to raise money.  This fundraiser has become wildly popular because it is one of the few options that meet the state required nutritional guidelines for fundraising. 

Food service director Ms. Jillian Meloy said, “In about 2005, the state regulated that all schools have to have a wellness policy and within that wellness policy came regulations for foods that are offered on the school campus outside of lunch.”  This policy regulates fundraisers, student store sales, and even classroom parties. 

The requirements that every fundraiser must meet include: “The items have to be in single serving packages, less than 250 calories, less than 35% total fat, less than 10% total saturated fat, less than 35% sugar, and contain no trans fats” said Ms. Meloy.  But there are special exceptions for nut products. 

However, even though these guidelines were put in place to help students be more healthy and nutritional, it has had a major impact on student-run organizations that need to fundraise.  “We used to have hot dog sales that were really popular, but we can’t do that anymore,” said Key Club advisor Mr. Snyder.  “There are a lot of restrictions that have made it prohibitive to have easy fundraisers and ones that everybody likes.”  Instead, they now have fundraiser such as fruit sales and coupon book sales.  Also, Key Club recently held a pancake breakfast that had to take place before 7:15 a.m. in order to bypass the restrictions.  “If you have a fundraiser that is happening after school it does not need to meet the regulations,” said Ms. Meloy. 

As a result of these nutritional guidelines, Sarris Candy, the popular candy company, made special changes to their chocolate covered pretzel rods in order for them to be sold in schools.  “What Sarris did was they came up with a way to have their pretzels meet the criteria.  But what we had to do was get all of the nutritional facts.  Mrs. Kalp the co-advisor of the yearbook met with Ms. Meloy in the cafeteria and she had to go through all the nutritional facts to make sure that it matched.  Then we had to get administrator approval to be able to sell them,” said yearbook advisor Mrs. Butler.  The yearbook staff is the main source of the chocolate pretzel sales at our school, selling about six to eight boxes per member throughout the year.  This fundraiser helps keep the price of the yearbook around $80. 

So, while there are both positives and negatives that come from the nutritional guidelines for fundraisers, there are ways to work with them and still pull off a successful fundraiser.  Even if a group can’t think of an idea for a fundraiser, Ms. Meloy is willing to work with the group and help them find something that they can sell, proving there are effective and healthy ways to earn money and help the school’s student-run organizations.