USDA Smart Snacks in Schools Nutritional Guidelines

Navigating through the new Smart Snacks in School rule can be confusing. Check out our resources below to help you understand how it will impact your next food fundraiser.

The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 directed the USDA to establish nutrition standards for all foods and beverages sold to students in school, during the school day. This also includes foods sold through school fundraisers on the school campus, during the school day. The new Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards has sought to balance the need of schools to conduct fundraisers, while still ensuring that students have access to healthier foods and beverages during the day.

Yes. Per the USDA, you can fundraise with frozen pastries as long as they are sold off campus, after school hours.

Yes. As long as the product is not unwrapped or consumed on the school campus during the school day. The school day is defined as the period from the midnight before, to 30 minutes after the end of the official school day.
Yes. As long as the products are not sold on school campus during the school day. Promotions are permitted during the school day per the USDA.
A special exemption is allowed for foods that do not meet competitive food standards for the purpose of conducting infrequent, school-sponsored fundraisers. The USDA has allowed states to set their own limits on the frequency of exempt fundraisers. If the State agency does not specify the exemption frequency, no fundraiser exemptions may be granted. There are currently 21 states that have developed exemptions.

Currently, 21 states have developed fundraising exemptions. Click here for a list of states with fundraising exemptions.

Yes, you can still run Joyful Traditions fundraisers off campus, after school hours per the USDA, even if your state does not have any fundraising exemptions. Distribution of order forms and foods not intended for consumption at school may continue. You can promote the fundraiser through posters, announcements, and assemblies during the school day. The pastries should be sold off school grounds, to family, neighbors, and community supporters. Your school will not lose any federal lunch program funding if these guidelines are followed.

Procedures vary by state. Talk to your local school administration to find out how you can take advantage of your existing fundraising exemptions.

*It is important to note that state agencies and school districts may establish more restrictive policies than that of the USDA’s minimum standards, including those related to delivery of food products, distribution of forms, and collection of money. Check with your schools administration to verify no additional policies are in place.