Massachusetts Department of Public Health Removes "Bake Sale Ban"

May 11, 2012

After State Representatives and Senators passed special legislation this week that would allow school districts to exempt themselves from the provision in the Nutritional Standards for Competitive Foods in Schools that would prevent school from selling sugary sweets during school hours for special events such as fundraisers, the Department of Public Health has come up with amendments to the regulations that would take effect in August.

John Auerbach, Commissioner of the Department of Public Health, says that the regulations that will take effect before the next school year will keep junk food away from students in regular school hours.

Passed by the legislature in 2010, the “Act Relative to School Nutrition” required the Department of Public Health to set the new standards on school lunch programs and snacks made available to students. Commissioner Auerbach says that hampering school fundraising events was never the intent of the law.

Bob Ericson, chairman of the Mount Greylock Regional High School Committee says that he supports a plan to keep sweets out of schools, regardless.

Ericson did mention that he has observed students and parents bringing healthier foods to after-school events.

The outcry from lawmakers over learning about the so called “bake sale ban” led Governor Deval Patrick to instruct the Department of Public Health to amend the provisions to exempt fundraising events. The Nutritional Standards for Competitive Foods in Schools program, which will still take effect in August with the new amendments, will still apply restrictions on junk food in school 30 minutes prior to the school day through 30 minutes after.