Another food-related controversy has come to the Parsippany school district, and this one may leave local kids screaming for ice cream.
Hard on the heels of the ongoing Parsippany Hills High School protest against the new federally-mandated lunch program comes another dictate from the government: no ice cream may be sold in schools during the school day.
The news is a blow for local Parent-Teacher Association groups, which traditionally offer ice cream for sale during lunch periods to raise funds for their organizational efforts.
Superintendent of Schools LeRoy Seitz said the district has no choice but comply with state law.
"7CFR 210.11 and NJAC 2:36-1:10 make it very clear that any type of food sale fundraising done by our PTAs or any other school organization cannot be conducted during the hours when our school nutrition program is in operation," he said. "Our recent directive to our building principals simply directed them to make sure we are in full compliance with these regulations for 2012-2013.
"While we fully understand that our students enjoyed the PTA ice cream fundraisers in the past and that the ice cream sale fundraiser was very successful for our PTAs, we cannot approve activities, including PTA ice cream sales that are in violation of state regulations."
Seitz said he asked principals to investigate other opportunities where ice cream could be sold outside of the school lunch program hours.
"We are also looking into whether our local recreational programs might be able to purchase the ice cream that many of our PTAs have already purchased in anticipation of conducting ice cream fundraisers during the 2012-2013 school year," he said.
The superintendent said that like area PTA members and students, he isn't happy about the news.
"It is unfortunate that we cannot permit the PTA ice cream sales during the hours that lunch is being served," he said.