By Jesse Grossman ’15 and Diana Grinberg ‘15
There was once a time when one could walk into school and buy a warm bagel and a nice baked good. Now, bake sales are limited to once a month. According to a New York Times article from October 2009, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg restricted all bake sales to once a month.
“Personally I think teenagers are old enough to make their own decisions on what they put in their bodies,” said Principal Michael McDonnell. “So it should be up to them to decide if they want a cookie or a donut.”
According to the 2011 National Survey of Children’s Health, 32.4% of New York adolescents, ages 10-17, are overweight or obese. Those same adolescents spend somewhere between 4 and 6 hours in school each day more than 160 days a year.
However, students like Karina Yushenko ‘14 of the cheerleading team and football player Hasan Farraj ‘15, whose teams have both held bake sales in the past few months, believe that healthy foods would not sell.
“I think the reason why so many kids look forward to bake sales is because of the sweets. Who would walk around the school eating carrots and celery sticks?” said Farraj.
Countless schools across the United States have banned bake sales, even though, according to a report from the Goverment Accountability Office, some schools have raised up to $125,000 from selling junk food at fundraisers.
Midwood Mayor Almas Shafiq ’14 believes that the addition of healthy snacks to the various options of traditional baked goods would satisfy more of the student body, and increase fundraising for teams.
“Some people don’t make fitness and health a priority in life, so the idea of being able to raise money from healthy food doesn’t seem realistic to them,” she said, “but we should be considerate of everyone’s views.”
However, bake sales are not all bad, they raise a lot of money and people enjoy them, even though there is only one each month. The teams’ sales came close to $1000, which will go towards new pom-poms, track suits, and weightlifting equipment.
“Bake sales have long been one of the most popular ways of raising funds for schools, clubs, and teams,” said parent coordinator Carol Ardito. “All of the baked goods are usually donated so it is a profitable fundraiser.”
In place of bake sales, students on teams are also given the option of selling chips, fruit snacks, and candy bars to raise money- all of which have high sugar, fat, and sodium contents. This makes some students question why bake sales are limited to only once a month.
Adela Julevic ’16 asked, “If I’m allowed to buy as many packs of fruit snacks and Doritos as I want, what’s wrong with having a few bake sales here and there?”