Start Date: August 2015

ID #: CAS022

Organization: Boise State University

Project Lead: Lindsey Turner, PhD

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The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) “Smart Snacks in Schools” rule, which updated nutrition standards for competitive foods sold in schools, went into effect July 1, 2014. Under this rule, USDA requires states to establish a maximum number of “infrequent, exempt” fundraisers schools may hold each year that do not have to meet the “Smart Snacks” standards. The goal of this project is to examine how fundraiser exemption policies are being implemented across the country and whether or not they are a “Smart Snacks” loophole. The investigators will conduct in-depth case studies (approximately 5-8) of state fundraiser exemption policies, with an emphasis on implementation of the policies in school districts across each state. Data will be collected from school and district stakeholders to identify barriers and opportunities to implementing these policies, compare the number of fundraisers conducted under exemption policies with fundraisers conducted in previous school years, and examine revenues generated from fundraisers. Findings will help researchers, advocates, and policymakers gain a better understanding of how exemption policies are being implemented and the challenges regarding implementation of healthier fundraisers.

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