Bake-Sale Battle: A Look at the City's Suggested School Fundraisers

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

(Photo by Rachel from Cupcakes Take the Cake/flickr)

(Photo by Rachel from Cupcakes Take the Cake/flickr)

The city is proposing alternatives to traditional school bake sales in its 19-page booklet called: “Yes, You Can! A Fresh Look at Healthy Fundraisers for Schools.”

Here are some of the highlights from the Health Department's recommendations:

  • Fruit baskets: Apples and citrus could yield profits between $500-$800 for 100 boxes.
  • Non-food merchandise from gift catalogs: Schools can keep 35%-50% of the profits from sales of flowers, candles or holiday cards. 'Sales of such merchandise will help grow school accounts without growing the waistlines of friends and family!'
  • Photo days: Most schools have just one photo day. Adding others, the Health Department suggests, allows schools to keep 20% to 25% of the profits. A digital photo booth is another suggested option.
  • Beads and trinkets: Necklaces that can cost 7 cents can be sold for $1.
  • Novelty shoe laces:  For $2 per pair, estimated profits range from $500-$2,500.
  • 'A-thon' fundraisers: Solicit pledges for events such as a bowl-a-thon, read-a-thon (pledge to read daily for three weeks), dance-a-thon,walk-a-thon, climb-a-thon (pledge to climb flights of stairs for two weeks), water-a-thon (pledge to drink water instead of soda for three weeks). The city suggests schools charge $1 per mile or $.50 per dance, for example.

What do you think of these alternatives? Would these work in your child's school. What else could the Health Department do to cut down obesity in schools?

Leave your comments below.


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Comments [6]

BeanQueen Marcia

How 'bout a fundraiser with a bonus layer of community service & social responsiblity? Selling handmade Women's Bean Project wholesome gourmet food & limited-edition jewelry items returns 35% AND gives a job and lifeskills training to chronically unemployed women.

Jun. 21 2010 11:24 AM
bk mom

reduce testing and increase recess. make our streets safer for kids to play. increase green space. increase school lunch budget so we can serve fresh good-quality food.and stop blaming the victim. also reinstate bake sales.

Jun. 17 2010 10:08 AM

With the dire state of school funding, our schools cannot afford for this to be an either/or situation. My kids' school ALREADY does the nonfood fundraisers (including a fair-trade fundraiser before the holidays) and a heavily promoted read-a-thon. But guess what? It's not enough! If you're going to have an afterschool event, the kids are going to be hungry. You can sell them homebaked/cooked foods that benefit the school (and, yes, cut-up fruit, which is a big seller at our school) or you can expect them to hit the ice cream truck that parks just outside. To me, it's a no-brainer which is the preferable option. (Don't even get me started on the ridiculous 100-calorie Dorito packs. My kids have never had them and I don't need the school pushing them.)

The $ that went to these brochures should have gone to schools instead. And if the health department is serious, do something about the ubiquitous Mr Softee outside nearly every school...

Jun. 17 2010 08:55 AM
Danielle Friedland

I'm glad to options for non-food sales but I'm concerned about the suggestion of selling plastic trinkets. Many of these inexpensive toys contain chemicals that are known or suspected carcinogens like PVC and phthalates. Also, these toys add to the pile of plastic toys toys that our kids grow bored of quickly and forget about.

I DO love the other suggestions like additional photo days, a-thons and fruit (as long as they're organic or at least grown without pesticides).

Jun. 17 2010 08:49 AM
Andrew Wolf

How about giving kids back the joy of childhood, which includes cupcakes, ice cream, candy and, yes, even soda. Childhood obesity? Give them a Spaldeen and send them out to play, unsupervised, for a couple of hours. They'll burn off enough calories for the whole family.

Enough with the food police and Nanny Bloomberg!

Jun. 17 2010 01:01 AM
Remainders: A son interviews his mom, warms hearts

[...] Proposed alternatives to bake sales-gone-healthy, from the DOE. (WNYC) [...]

Jun. 16 2010 07:06 PM

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