Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Snacks For Schools

2007-2008 Concession CatalogueLike some of you, we here at Costless Express have children heading back to school. For us, it's about 100,000 children, give or take a few!

You see, our company has been delivering snacks, candy and beverages to over 150 schools in BC for the past three years. We fell into this business quite by accident when we were approached by a soon-to-be-bankrupt candy company, and overnight we started supplying schools. It is an interesting side story that maybe I'll tell next time, but for now, I wanted to stand up on my soap box and have a bit of a rant about the current government legislation to ban all "unhealthy foods" in schools.

Here we go.

I agree, children are eating far too much junk food and live a very sedentary lifestyle. Congratulations to Gordon Campbell this week for implementing mandatory physical fitness in schools for all children. Hey, it's a start. Also you can now write off your child's sports dues. I only wish they allowed the sports gear to be written off also. Okay, okay, you came to read me ranting and raving.

I'm sure you have heard about the government imposed legislation that will commence starting this year. No candy, kick out the vending machines, NO MORE JUNK FOOD IN SCHOOLS hooray!

What you haven't heard are studies showing 1 in 4 students who leave school grounds at lunch never return. Where are they going? To the corner store, McDonalds, the mall?

Take a look at a school that has already banned all "unhealthy" food and drink, and what you'll see are swarms of kids jaywalking across busy 4 lane highways to the nearest 7-11. Once the kids reach their destination, there is a line up out the door, and usually a security guard or some kind of policy about how many kids are allowed in the store at one time. You see, kids will be kids, and if they want to eat junk food, they'll find it! Costless Express also supplies schools with healthy choices, such as granola bars and even fresh fruit, but it just sits on the shelf and no student will buy it. Not when Mickie Dees and Timmy Hos are just a walk away from most senior high schools. Coincidence?

The question is safety and absenteeism? How long before a kid gets run over sprinting across the street for a bag of chips? How many kids wait so long in the store line-up that they miss class? I want my kids to be safe at school, learn, and come home in one piece. If they eat a chocolate bar or god forbid - get fat, as a parent, that is my responsibility. Why should the school be responsible for my child's diet? Dont let me off the hook so easy! As a parent of two young boys, it's my job to see they get exercise, teach them self control, moderation and pride in their appearance.

Ohhh now you got me going! I'll cut it off here and pick this up next time.

"Junk food" sales in schools directly generated revenue for sports activities- ironic, isn't it.

Calvin Johnson