Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Hamilton Wentworth School Board's "Food Drive for Student Nutrition" Culminates in Pizza Party?

Full disclosure. I adore pizza. I mean really adore it. So much so that when my kids asked me the other day what food I would pick if I could only eat one food for the rest of my life I unhesitatingly answered, "Pizza".

That said, I don't order Pizza very often.

But you know who loves pizzas even more than me?

Schools.  But they don't have many qualms about how often, or even simply how, they use them.

Up above's a photo of the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board's incentive to participate in their "Food Drive for Student Nutrition".  The reward?  A pizza party for the class that brings in the most donations.


Honestly is there any fast food product more firmly entrenched in schools than pizza?

Check out these fundraising photos both sent/taken just in the past week.  The first is from Domino's, the second from Boston Pizza.

While I feel for the schools, raising money by selling products that children should be eating less of, not more, and using junk food to reward good behaviour, is contrary to the school system's primary job of building healthy children. Furthermore, it undermines parents who try to keep these sorts of foods at a dull roar in their children's lives.

What else could schools do? Fresh produce drives. Garden kits. Crafts. Garage sales. Community cleaning runs. Grandparents' days. There are in fact many ways to raise money without resorting to the easy way out of increasing fast food consumption among the student and parental bodies.

Pizza and schools should not be married.  Would love to see someone start some divorce proceedings.

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  1. Another effective way to reward students is allowing them non-food treats. For example, the winning class gets extra gym or recess (my daughter's favourite), or they get to wear crazy hair, pajamas, no homework, sit next to a friend, board game day or bring electronics to school, though I realize that one won't work everywhere.

    For individual prizes, being principal for the day is popular too.

    There are many creative non-food rewards, and the best way to find out which work best is to simply ask the kids. Offering pizza is a very lazy way to do it.

  2. The pizza party reward is almost as disturbing as the suggestions for what constitutes a "great food donation". How about some canned beans or vegetables?

  3. Joyce Slater9:17 am

    Totally agree...
    Here's a great Manitoba school fundraiser, selling local veggies:

  4. When I was in high school, our Future Farmers of America club sold boxes of citrus that they would get fresh from Florida. That was always a popular fundraiser and they are still doing it 25 years later.

  5. The Waterloo Catholic District School Board has an excellent policy on using food as a reward or for fundraisers: basically, don't use food or only use nutritious food. See
    Region of Waterloo Public Health has published a guide for encouraging healthy eating in workplaces, which has similar advice: see

  6. Karen Simon1:26 pm

    At my daughters annual year end basketball fun day(kids aged 5-16), the organization was giving all kids that just finished two or three games a bag of chips and a can of Pepsi( in was 10 AM in the morning!!). I asked the president of the association what was going on and why these choices. He said they were given to the organization free by the pop and chip company. I stated it was a good thing the beer company didn’t give them free beer, because if they did we would know what they would be giving the kids!!

    Next year the choices changed slightly, chocolate milk and baked chips or pretzels.

    Never a dull moment in the nutrition world.

    Karen Simon Consulting RD
    Saint John, NB

  7. Schools start it employers continue it. Only idea the management at my company ever gets to increase morale is food-pizza, pasta, fried chicked fingers. I would love some extra recess time:)

  8. Today my dd, 4 years old. Got a can of play dough, for being the first to get ready :) I thought that was great!! I will be sending a Thank-you to the teacher tomorow!!

  9. Our local Public School just sent an adorable pair of small girls around collecting money by selling Cadbury's chocolate bars. They were carrying them in a specially packaged branded box, presumably bought for the purpose.

    Of course, we bought least they weren't pretending they were nutritious...