PTA Dad Continues Fight for Ice Cream Fundraisers

The superintendent of schools' statement says state law specifically bans the sales, but an Intervale PTA member disagrees.

A member of the Intervale Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association says he believes New Jersey law does allow PTA ice cream fundraisers in state public schools.

Andrew Sadowski, a local father, said he takes issue with the recent announcement that ice cream sales in district schools is against state law.

The concerned father told Superintendent of Schools LeRoy Seitz that federal law says fundraising sales involving food products can take place during school hours as long as the food being sold meets government nutrition standards. Many ice cream products do meet those standards, he said.

But Seitz explained that whatever the federal code says, state law specifically forbids food items to be sold in schools while the school nutrition program is in operation—in other words, during breakfast or lunch hours. 

The superintendent added that state law mandates that money made from any food sales must go to the nutrition program and that PTAs may not sell food items during school hours.

Until recently, local PTAs traditionally sold ice cream once a week in school cafeterias to raise funds for student activities.

Sadowski disagreed.

"I have in fact reviewed both the federal regulation as well as the New Jersey Administrative Code  that you have provided and still do not see where the state code has a specific ban on selling ice cream," he wrote in a letter to Seitz.

Sadowski cited questions and answers he found on the New Jersey School Wellness Nutritional Policy.

Q:  Can elementary schools sell ice cream products? 

A:  Yes, but 100 percent of all ice cream products must meet the standards.

"The only reference to foods that can not be sold lists items that are of minimal value," he wrote. "The state provides a list of those foods and nowhere is ice cream ever mentioned." 

Sadowski said the ban could mean the loss of some student activities, as PTA fundraisers make them possible. He said district PTAs as a whole stand to lose about $20,000 if the prohibition continues.

Seitz said that while he agrees that the laws are "too restrictive," he said the district has no choice but comply with directives of the federal and state governments.

Michael Brancato October 09, 2012 at 12:04 PM
"But Seitz explained that whatever the federal code says, state law specifically forbids food items to be sold in schools while the school nutrition program is in operation—in other words, during breakfast or lunch hours." So, why can't they sell ice cream after school? This seems to be a win-win-win to me: the PTA gets their fundraiser, the kids get their ice cream, the teachers don't have to try and teach to kids hopped up on sugar all afternoon.
Andy Sadowski October 09, 2012 at 01:14 PM
Just because Dr. Seitz says something, it does not mean he is always right. Back in March of this year, do you recall when Dr. Seitz stated the state law prohibits the use of paraprofessionals in the classroom unless the class size exceeds 25 students? At the start of the budget, he stated 24 kindergarten aides could lose their job because of this state regulation. Turns out he was wrong because in a kindergarten setting, the use of an aid can be justified due to the age of the children.. There is no way one teacher can handle 24 five and six years old. Luckily he was wrong and the kindergarten aides are still in the classroom. If you look up the regulations regarding the ice cream matter, I am not able to find anything that supports his claims. 1st article when it was 1st announced - http://parsippany.patch.com/articles/boe-approves-preliminary-budget-for-2012-13 Here is the followup article proving he was wrong when he threatened to layoff the 24 paraprofessionals.. http://parsippany.patch.com/articles/boe-passes-2012-13-budget-kindergarten-paras-to-stay
g October 09, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Socialists are Statist, they are absolutely authoritarian in their philosophy. Their long-term goal has always been a Socialistic Dictatorship with full-imposition of a very legalistic society where the individual is simply a part of the collective. The State must step in to save the country and protect the people from the dangers associated with the inherent problems of free enterprise. Today, the call is very similar, the State must step in to protect the people. The State will protect you: NO MORE ICE CREAM NO MORE FREE WILL, THE STATE SAYS SO.
Steven Colpar October 09, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Ahhhh! Be afraid. Be very afraid!!!


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