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The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Smart Snacks Nutrition Standards went into effect at the beginning of this school year, requiring foods and drinks sold in school vending machines and a la carte lines to be healthier.
According to a VOICES for Healthy Kids report, the state of Nevada went above and beyond the federal standards and passed a policy ensuring that not only all items sold to Nevada students in school during the school day meet the federal nutrition standard, but also all marketing in the schools must also be consistent with the standard. That means no posters, coupons or fundraising efforts promoting unhealthy beverages, candy, or high-fat pizza can appear in the schools.
The new policy is designed to allow schools and school districts to go even further if they want. According to Donnell Barton, the Nevada Department of Agriculture’s administrator for the Food and Nutrition Division, the policy sets a statewide minimum, creating consistency and allowing schools to implement policies that may be stricter.
Some school officials have expressed concern that the new policy will affect the profitability of fundraising programs for school sports, trips and equipment purchases. Barton’s office is helping schools by providing an online list of available healthy fundraising items.
This is especially exciting news for Latino families, since Latinos make up a majority of kids in Nevada public schools.