In an effort to promote healthier eating on campus, nutritional services will no longer allow the Club Day tradition of distributing candy for the upcoming Club Day on Sept. 21.
“As a school district that takes part in both the National School Lunch and the School Breakfast programs, we are required to follow certain regulations,” said Alva Spence, Nutrition Services director for the Palo Alto Unified School District. “Each year both USDA and California Department of Education strengthen the regulations.”
According the Spence, the most recent changes concern the snacks offered on campuses.
The new “smart snack” policy states: “Youth will achieve their full potential only if they are well nourished and healthy. The district will maintain high nutritional quality of all foods made available to students while they are in school, both through food school food service and sales by other groups.”
Though the restrictions only specify the sale of food, the district is committed to promoting healthy choices, according to Spence.
“I recognize that student clubs are not selling but, rather giving away the candy,” Spence said. “PAUSD District [is] committed to promoting healthier and nutritious items available to students during the school day and candy does not meet the standards of either the district policy or USDA/CDE guidelines.”
While the restriction has good intentions, some club leaders believe that it may be trivial.
“Yes, kids need to be healthier, ” junior and YCS Co-President, Ibby Day said. “But all teenagers love candy, and it’s just a small treat to motivate joining a club which could change your life and your thinking. A couple pieces of candy is nothing compared to Halloween.”
Some club leaders, however, believe the ban may lead to sign-ups based more on interest rather than candy incentives.
“I feel like having the candy takes away from the point of Club Day,” said Karina Chan, senior and president of Works of Art Club, “even if you’re a [legitimate] club, you still feel like you need it because everyone else uses it to entice people to their booths but it shouldn’t be about that.”