New clubs handle fundraising restrictions

Rianna Stolper, Contributing Writer

In past years, bake sales proved to be a financial lifeline for many student clubs.  A great number of clubs depended on the lucrative sales to gain funds.  However, the United States Department of Agriculture‘s (USDA) decision to more actively enforce  their Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 to make real reforms in school food sales has now put an end to the sale of baked goods, causing financial distress for many clubs.

The prohibition is meant to help teenagers avoid unhealthy eating habits and to promote a healthier lifestyle.  Unquestionably, obesity is a problem nationwide and there are many active programs targeting this issue, including First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign.

Some believe the ban on bake sales is an overreaction.  Foods deemed unhealthy are still very accessible in places outside of school.  Upperclassmen are still able to walk down Monfort and get any unhealthy snacks they desire.

In the meantime, clubs are struggling to find alternative fundraising methods. Old and new clubs are both negatively impacted, but new clubs struggling to gain traction seem to be feeling the effects more greatly.  The Chinese Culture Enthusiasts Club, founded by junior Jake Knatz, has been experiencing financial difficulties from the start.  This club works to spread the Chinese culture in the Schreiber community while also raising money for the underprivileged schools in China.  Along with obstacles that raising money for charities in China presents, the club has also had its issues raising money for itself.  Chinese teacher and Chinese Culture Enthusiasts club advisor Ms. Tiffany Fan volunteers her time for the club because the school could not afford to pay for her position.

“The lack of bake sales certainly makes it difficult for the club to fundraise,” said Ms. Fan.  “The food options we are left with are extremely limited, really preventing us from doing anything with food.  In a culture club like this, food is an aspect of the culture that many people will be interested in, and also an entry way to understand a culture.”

With the lack of school funding and the ban of bake sales, the club is limited in its ability to raise money.  However, if the club gains a following next year, the school will pay Ms. Fan for her work and consequently let the club focus more on raising money for underprivileged schools in China.

“I certainly understand the prohibition of bake sales in order to promote selling ‘healthy foods,’” said Ms. Fan.  “However, I do think they could open up more food options for us so we don’t have to eliminate food items entirely.”

The Psychology Club, founded by junior Madi Reiter, is also facing financial problems.  The club focuses on sharing and understanding the field of psychology, as well as raising awareness of mental illnesses.  The club has drawn many students’ attention. However, is held back from further growth by the budget strain.  A combination of not receiving funds from the school and not being able to have bake sales during the school day has forced the club to invent new ways of gaining money.

“We mentioned having bake sales outside of school, but it would be so hard to organize and it is really difficult to come up with creative ways to raise money, since we can’t have bake sales in school anymore,” said Reiter.

These clubs and many others are trying to deal with financial struggles from the lack of bake sales.  The circumstances have forced many clubs to think creatively.  The Freshmen Class Club sold pumpkins, while the Model United Nations club organized a car wash in order to increase profits.