Selling Brownies Is Taboo? Try Hand Sanitizer Instead

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Lynn Carlson, who teaches law and history at a Queens public school, could once count on bake sales and candy drives to raise thousands of dollars for her annual trip with students to Washington or Boston. In our Michael Kors handbags outlet shop, cheap Michael Kors Handbags outlet hot sale at an affordable price. All Michael Kors outlet on sale in free shipping.Buy popular Michael Kors Bags and get free shipping with $99 purchase.There are various Michael Kors purses here on our website,and they all have perfect designs and high quality..

That was before the New York City Department of Education, as part of an anti-obesity drive, began restricting what could be sold in machines and in fund-raising events held in schools. Out were brownies; in were granola bars. Out were chocolate chip cookies; in were gummy fruit snacks. Bake sales began to seem like little more than trips to a nutritionally correct vending machine.

The only truly successful item on the cleared list was brown-sugar Pop Tarts. Ms. Carlson ordered some from the city’s vendor, which charged 60 cents for a package of two, with the students reselling them for a dollar, she said. But last fall, Ms. Carlson said, the Pop Tarts came just one per package, and still cost her 60 cents, almost double what she would pay if she were to buy them at the supermarket.

“That, to me, is ridiculous,” she said. The students’ fund-raising committee agreed, refusing to sell their peers a Pop Tart that cost $1. So now they are without their best-selling item. “They understand supply and demand,” Ms. Carlson said.

Schools and student clubs around the city have been wrestling with the regulations, sometimes scornfully, since they were handed down in 2009. Snacks on an approved list have no more than 200 calories per serving, no more than 200 milligrams of sodium and no more than 35 percent of their calories from fat. Other approved foods include Trix cereal bars, Baked Lay’s chips and Squeezable Fruit.

Students could still hold bake sales — though little baking was actually involved — as long as they held them outside the cafeteria and stuck to the list of approved foods. Parent-teacher associations received an exemption: once a month, they could hold a sale in the school with any food they wanted.

The mother of one student in a Manhattan school said student-run, illicit bake sales there were frequent. She asked to remain anonymous and, like Ms. Carlson, did not want the school named. “After 2009, it was cease and desist and everyone stopped selling all food,” she said. “But once the dust settled, people started to sell a little here and a little there.”

That mother, who has been active in her school’s parents’ association, said she sympathized with the city’s position. “Their hearts are in right place,” she said. “Kids are overweight. And as a quasi-germaphobe, I don’t know what conditions those brownies were baked under.”

But the fund-raising barriers have added unnecessary stress. “There’s nothing as easy as bake sales for kids or school communities to do,” she said. “You put a call out for some baked goods and people will always deliver.”

In an e-mailed statement, Marge Feinberg, an Education Department spokeswoman, said the department had struck a balance between fund-raising needs and health.

“Our schools have made good nutrition and wellness a priority, and with more than 40 percent of public school children overweight or obese, these lessons are critical for a healthy lifestyle,” Ms. Feinberg said.

Ms. Carlson said she knew that other schools simply ignored the rules. But she wanted to set a good example for her students. “If the chancellor says something, you follow it,” Ms. Carlson said.

But following the rules is not easy. Department regulations about different types of fund-raising, when and where snack sales can take place, and how items can be delivered can read like a legal document. In a “frequently asked questions” guide the department posted online, schools are told that food sold at fund-raisers does not have to be bought from the city’s approved vendor, Answer Vending, which supplies all school snack machines. But the next sentence says that “only the D.O.E. vendor can deliver the items to the school.”

Some schools take that to mean that buying from, say, Costco is fine as long as Costco is not delivering the items to the school. Other schools, like Ms. Carlson’s, simply require that everything be bought from Answer Vending, to eliminate any possible trouble.

The department statement says, “Schools may use vendors other than Answer Vending, but they must be reviewed and certified to ensure student and school safety.”

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