Many schools are reconsidering whether selling low-nutrition foods as part of school fundraisers is an appropriate way to raise money, given the high rates of childhood obesity and children's poor diets. In addition, USDA will soon propose nutrition standards for competitive foods sold in schools, including fundraisers. While it will be a new approach for many schools, practical and profitable healthy fundraising alternatives are available. CSPI has pulled together examples of healthy school fundraising ideas. CSPI also has a fact sheet on healthy fundraisers and a list of healthier fundrasing options.
In preparation for the USDA's upcoming proposed rule on snacks and beverages in schools, the NANA subcommittee on school foods has updated a number of its fact sheets on competitive foods in schools. Click on the PDFs above to learn how school fundraisers can be healthy and profitable.
The Maine Department of Education's Child Nutrition Services has developed a long list of creative school fundraisers as alternatives to the traditional candy and unhealthy fundraising programs so many schools have run. From items to sell to community fundraising events to academic activities, Maine is committed to implementing healthy options. Click on the PDF above to view Maine's alternative fundraising brochure.
Alabama's Action for Healthy Kids has developed its Guide to Healthy School Fundraising. The Guide gives an overview of the problem and then outlines a laundry list of ideas, from healthy foods to other fun "stuff" and creative events. You can view Alabama's brochure above.
North Carolina's Eat Smart, Move More also has a wealth of healthy fundraising ideas. Eat Smart, Move More encourages schools to make sure that healthy fundraising is covered in school district wellness policies and that school wellness committees, principals and school families all work to support healthy alternatives.
In Montana, through support of a USDA Team Nutrition Training Grant, the Montana Team Nutrition Program developed a Farm to School Fundraiser to promote healthful and Montana made products. The Idaho Team Nutrition Program originallly developed the fundraiser idea. The Montana team is eager to share its experiences and help others launch a similar event.
Indiana's Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity is compiling success stories of healthy fundraising activities. Click on the Word files above to learn about Indiana's experiences.
The Tennesse Department of Health's Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Director reports great success with an active fundraiser: "The kids run and walk a 200 yard track for one hour. They get sponsors for the number of laps they run/walk. Some elementary schools in our area have made this an annual event around Thanksgiving and call it their annual Turkey Trot. Most schools raise well over $10,000, but some have raised over $100,000! The parents really seem to get into it as well, by volunteering to count laps, bring snacks and water, etc. Every child that raises a certain dollar amount receives a t-shirt and then bigger prizes are awarded to top fundraisers. It gets the kids physically active and they raise a lot of money!" For more information, contact Rick Canada at 615-253-8729.
Maine's Physical Activity Coordinator reports great success from another healthy school fundraiser. The school sold fresh Florida citrus by the cases. Maine's Doug Beck reports that it was a "very good fundraiser, not without a bit of work, but a quality product. The oranges arrive in a semi-truck, so you need a crew to help off-load the truck, but again, a good healthy product and good profit margin. Doug suggests googling "Florida Citrus Fundraiser" for some citrus companies that work with schools.
Boosterthon is physical activity-oriented fundraiser. Schools can apply to Boosterthon to sponsor an event. The company coordinates the entire fundraiser, kids can track donations online if they are interested, and schools make money without a lot of work from teachers and parents. Boosterthon also includes daily lessons on character and leadership.