Parsippany Superintendent of Schools LeRoy Seitz said the district must uphold the legally mandated ban on selling ice cream in school cafeterias during lunch periods.
The news is a blow to area Parent-Teacher Associations that traditionally raise funds for student events by selling the frozen treat once a week at lunch time.
Seitz's comments came in response to a letter from Intervale School parent and PTA member .
Sadowski last week researched pertinents parts of federal law and found provisions that by his interpretation would allow the sales if the item for sale met state nutrition guidelines and if a school-approved nonprofit organization was the recipient of any money raised.
According to Sadowski, PTAs would meet the requirement as an approved school group and that the ice cream they sell would meet federal nutrition standards.
But Seitz said state statutes address the matter more directly than federal law.
He said that according to New Jersey law, any money made from sales of food or beverage sales during school breakfast and lunch hours must go to the School Nutrition Program.
Seitz also pointed out that under state law, PTAs are specifically prohibited from conducting food sales during breakfast and lunch, the hours when the school nutrition program is in operation.
"I appreciate your concerns regarding the state’s regulations that prevent our PTAs from selling ice cream," Seitz wrote in his response to Sadowski. "I feel the same way and wish the regulations were not so restrictive."
While the superintendent said that the ban on ice cream sales will continue for the time being, he said the district will continue to see if the state might consider waiving the regulations to allow PTA ice cream fundraisers to return.