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Manhattan Borough Board Resolution In Support of Repealing DOE Regulation A-812 Limiting Bake Sales

Whereas, the Department of Education, in June 2009, enacted a policy to ban all bake sales in city schools; and

Whereas, bake sales are an important fundraising component of many schools, providing significant assistance to many extracurricular programs that would otherwise not exist; and

Whereas, bake sales provide a vital social component, offering individuals an opportunity to share cultural heritage, sample family recipes, and showcase individual skills; and

Whereas, in the fall of 2009, DOE modified its policy to allow bake sales on the condition that only pre-packaged products that are manufactured by DOE's contracted vendors are sold, and which are currently available in school vending machines, such as Hydrox, Pop Tarts, Frito-Lay, Doritos, and Snapple, among others, all of which contain high fructose corn syrup and/or other unhealthy industrial food additives; and

Whereas, home bakers use healthier ingredients, having little or no access to industrial food additives; and

Whereas, under these new rules there is little or no incentive for students to buy products that are readily available elsewhere in the school building every day, and which have no unique personal appeal; and

Whereas, the key to making children and teenagers healthier is to educate them to make healthier choices, not to impose bans; and

Whereas, common sense dictates that there is no correlation between occasional bake sales, which have been a regular feature of school support since the early part of the 20th Century, and the threefold increase in childhood obesity in the United States that has occurred since the 1960's when schools began offering less healthy food options in lunch rooms and vending machines; and

Whereas, the main reasons cited for the increase in childhood obesity are:

Whereas, decreasing and preventing childhood obesity will also lead to a decrease in heart disease, diabetes, strokes, and many other serious problems; now

Therefore, Be It Resolved that the Manhattan Borough Board urges the Department of Education to repeal its ban on selling home baked foods at bake sales, and calls upon our elected officials to review this DOE policy and seek its repeal; and

Therefore, Be It Further Resolved that the Manhattan Borough Board supports efforts to increase school-based opportunities for physical activity among youth, and to decrease their consumption of industrially prepared foods and beverages.

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