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EFE-E/CHAPTER 51; CHILD NUTRITION PROGRAMS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND INSTITUTIONS
File: EFE -E
Child Nutrition Programs in Public Schools and Institutions
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
This rule; Chapter 51 Child Nutrition Programs in Public Schools and Institutions balances two important policy objectives. The rule is crafted to pertain to the sale of any foods or beverages that would compete with the school's total food service program. This limitation is to ensure that the foods available to students are primarily those that meet the nutritional guidelines of the United States Department of Agriculture.
This objective is balanced with a second objective- namely the furthering of community involvement through the use of the school as a community facility. The rule serves this objective by creating exceptions to the limitation of the sale of food and beverages to only nutritious foods, but does so in a manner that is aimed primarily at the public, not students, thus avoiding competition with students and the total food service program. The further limitation is the rule on the accrual of funds from all foods and beverages to only the school or an approved student organization supports this policy objective and provides additional needed support to the school's non-profit school food service program.
The rule also serves to influence a change in the culture of schools whereby children are constantly faced with abundant foods that exceed recommended caloric allowances, etc. Listed below are questions frequently asked surrounding interpretations of this rule, and responses which clarify the requirements put forth in the rule.
Q. Are sales of foods after school hours, to the public, considered sales to the public, or sales at a community event?
A. After school hours represents a time of day. This is not an event. An event is an occurrence or some type of activity that takes place.
Q. What can be sold in vending machines, before and after school'?
A. Only foods that are not considered foods of minimal nutritional value.
Q. What is the federal listing of specific foods considered to be of minimal nutritional value?
A. These foods appear on line in Federal Regulation 7CFR21O Appendix B: Soda Water, Water Ices. Chewing Gum, And Certain Candies Such As: Hard Candy, Jellies and Gums, Marshmallow Candies, Fondant, Licorice, Spun Candy, and Candy Coated Popcorn. This regulation can be accessed at: www/fns.usda.gov
Q. Can a student sell popcorn or bake sale items to classmates?
A. If the products are not considered foods of minimal nutritional value and the sale is permitted by school board policy.
Q. Are foods and beverages sold in school stores restricted in any way?
A. Yes, all foods and beverages sold in school stores must not be considered foods of minimal nutritional value. Exceptions would apply only if the school store is available to the public during an event and school board policy allows school store purchases by the public.
Q. Can the funds received from the sale of foods and beverages in a school store, vending machines, or from other food sales be retained by the sponsor of the sale? A. Yes, if there is a policy established by the school board.
Q. Can Girl Scout cookies be sold at school?
A. Yes, but only if the sale is to the public and during an event. Girl Scout cookies
may not be sold to students.
Q. Must funds from the sale of foods and beverages sold at any time on school property
revert to the food Service Program?
A. Yes, unless there is a written policy that meets exceptions 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 of the
Q. Can a student organization sell foods of minimal nutritional value to the public
at a community event?
A. Yes, exception 2 would apply.
Q. Can the school board by policy allow soda to be sold in vending machines?
A. No, the policy would violate Regulation, Chapter 51.
Q. Must a food product contain more than 5% of all eight specified nutrients as
defined in federal regulation in order to be acceptable?
A. No, the definition for foods of minimal nutritional value means that if all of the
nutrients that are contained in given food product fail to meet the 5% rule, the
food is considered a food of minimal nutritional value. If, however, at least one
of the nutrients of those contained in a food product meets or exceeds the 5%
rule, the food is acceptable.
Q. What is the definition of “artificially sweetened foods”?
A. An artificially sweetened food is one that is sweetened with a non-nutritive
sweetener such as saccharin, aspartame, Acesulfame, Potassium, and Sucralase.
Q. Can the PTA sell apples to students after school and who benefits from the sale?
A. Yes. The funds received would revert to the Food Service Program, unless school
board policy allows for the sponsor of the sale to benefit from the sale.
Q. If a school dance that is open to students only and food is sold at the dance, who
would benefit from the sales and what foods can be sold.
A. If the dance is not a public event, the school approved student organization or
program sponsoring the dance could benefit from the funds by an approved policy
of the school board. Food items sold must be acceptable in accordance with
exception 5 of this rule.
Q. Does the rule prevent me from continuing to sell cookies, brownies, or cakes
as part of the a la carte offerings?
A. No. However, the cookies, brownies, and cakes that are sold must be acceptable
as defined in this rule.
Q. How does Chapter 51 affect current contracts with beverage companies that
specify that soda (only their beverages) can be sold in vending machines?
A. Such contracts should be renegotiated to specify that only acceptable products
will be supplied by the beverage company.
Q. Are carbonated waters acceptable beverage products?
Q. Can a student organization sell candy as a fund raiser?
A. Yes. However, students may only sell candy off the school property or in
accordance with exceptions 2 and 3 of the rule.
Q. Can students sell non-food items for fundraising purposes?
A. the rule only applies to the sale of foods and/or beverages.
Q. Can foods of minimal nutritional value such as cupcakes or cookies be
provided to students for celebrations/parties?
A.. The rule only applies to the sale of foods and/or beverages. If foods are
provided not sold, the rule does not apply.
Q. If an after school Teen Center, sponsored by a community program, which is
open to students only, and held in a facility on school property sells food to the
students, must the foods that are sold meet the nutritional standards of this rule?
Who benefits from the sale of foods in this situation?
A. The foods and beverages that are sold to students at this Teen Center must meet
the nutritional standards of this rule. The sponsor of the Teen Center can benefit
from these sales, only in accordance with school board policy.
Q. Are cough drops and chewing gum defined as foods?
A. Yes. Federal Regulations consider cough drops and chewing gum foods of
Minimal Nutritional Value. This regulation can be accessed at www.fns.usda.gov
Q. Can soda, chips, and candy be sold to the school staff?
A. Yes. Exception 1 of the rule applies to such sales.
Q. Can school staff collect money from students to support a classroom pizza party?
A. No. The collection of money to pay for students’ participation in a classroom pizza
party represents a food sale.
Q. My High School does not participate in the National School Lunch Program; does
this rule apply to my school?
A. No. The rule only applies to schools participating in the National School Lunch
Q. Can a student bring foods of Minimal Nutritional Value from home?
A. Chapter 51 does not apply to foods and beverages brought to school by students.
Q. If a School Food Service Department is contracted to provide banquet catering
for a community or public event, must the food service program benefit from the
A. Yes. However, exception 2 or 3 of the rule could apply to such situations.
Q. Can the Career and Technical Education Programs (CTE) sell lollipops to
students during school hours?
A. No. Lollipops are considered foods of Minimal Nutritional Value.
Q. Can nutritious foods and beverages be sold to students during the school day
through vending machines and school stores? If so, can the Board by policy
allow profits to accrue to approved student organizations, or must these funds to
to the Food Service Program?
A. Yes, with a policy in place the profits are allowed to go to the student organization
as long as you are not selling foods of minimal nutritional value.
Q. Can student groups sponsor sales of nutritious foods and beverages to students as
well as staff? If so, can the Board by policy allows the profits to accrue to
approved student organizations?
Q. If vending machines with nutritious foods and beverages are available to students
after the school day; can the Board by policy allow funds from these vending
machines to accrue to approved student organizations?
Q. We believe that it is the DOE’s intent that outside groups (Lions Club) that sell
foods and beverages (nutritious or not) in accordance with the Boards facilities
use policy are allowed to keep their profits for their own use. Can you confirm
that this is correct?
A. Yes, if this is a public event with a policy in place.
The complete rule can be viewed on the secretary of state page or by using this link
Adopted: June 15, 2006
Reviewed: December 7, 2006; June 3, 2010