Published: September 2016

ID #: CAS022

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The goal of this project was to examine the impact of Smart Snacks in School standards on fundraising practices in districts and schools in a sample of states that allow and do not allow fundraiser exemptions. This study used a series of interviews with key stakeholders to explore the successes, challenges, and financial aspects of implementing these new policies regarding fundraisers and the ways in which schools may or may not have succeeded in transitioning to non-food fundraising strategies. Participants included state-level child nutrition directors; district-level leadership; district food service directors; school-level leadership; and parents or leaders of local, regional, or state parent-teacher organizations. This report focuses on key themes that emerged through the interviews, including barriers and challenges, and ways of addressing them. Overall, interview results revealed that many schools have improved the school nutrition environment, but this has often come at a financial cost to schools and school districts. The factors that appear to be key to the successful implementation of healthier fundraising practices—whether in states that allow exemptions or in states that do not allow any exemptions—are time, patience, champions, and collaboration across multiple levels.

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