Amnesty International finds healthy alternatives

Cassie Hanson, Photographer

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A new policy regarding the sale of unhealthy foods may impact student groups and their sales.

As Amnesty International found out after attempting to sell popcorn as a fundraiser, there is a new school policy banning the sale of unhealthy foods during school hours. This rule could have serious effects on club and activities, particularly in the financial department.

Amnesty was trying to raise money to aid Syrian refugees on Sept. 22, but their plans were paused just as they were getting set up when Principal Rob Bach explained the new rule to them.

Bach had to postpone sales because, “There are new policies in place in our district that pertain to food sales… so those guidelines just recently got shared with us as administrators.”

The new guidelines could have a financial impact on clubs.

Senior and co president of Amnesty Erica Oren said, “[The popcorn machine] was our main source of income for fundraising, without the popcorn machine we have no income at all.”

And in order for Amnesty to make a difference they need funding.

Senior Nikki Yang, a Vice President of the club, said, “We can always volunteer locally, but if we want to help internationally we need to fundraise.”

To continue helping with human rights issues on a global scale, they must find a new source of funding since the club does not collect a fee for joining.

Oren looked into finding our foods to sell by checking out the health initiative called Let’s Move, lead by Michelle Obama and found “one of the healthier snack alternatives was popcorn so I thought that was kind of ironic.”

But Amnesty is still working to find a solution, after ruling out options such as fruit cups, since they believe no one would want to buy them, they have come full circle to the idea of selling popcorn.

Oren wants to continue selling popcorn, but a “healthier version with lower butter, less salt,” in hopes that they can comply with the new school rules, but continue selling popcorn.

The entire purpose behind the new school policy is not only to encourage healthy lifestyles, but to earn money from the HealthyMOVES PEP grant. This grant would get the school $2 million in federal funding.

Deb Van Klei, the coordinator of the grant has  the same goal of selling healthier popcorn.

Van Klei said, “Popcorn doesn’t need to be eliminated, what we want to look at is the type of oil we are popping the popcorn in, and still offer popcorn.”

With both students and administration ready to a make change for more nutritious snack options, it seems that our school’s clubs will soon be back at it and eagerly selling a healthier kind of popcorn.

Van Klei further explained that the ” popcorn doesn’t need to be eliminated , the type of popcorn we’re popping needs to be changed.”

Students, now having a brand new popcorn machine, and an abundance of ideas of how to make healthy popcorn, are ready to continue the tradition of selling this snack to fund raise for their cause.