Analysis of unhealthy and healthy food vending contract profits and alternative fundraising for schools

Approximately 95 percent of children in the U.S. attend school. Most consume one or two meals a day at school. However, schools are not the healthy places they used to be; most sell unhealthy snacks and beverages in vending machines. Competitive foods are sold in cafeterias, and educational TV shows advertisements for unhealthy foods. Schools frequently oppose education legislation to reform these practices because of concern about the financial implications. Yet, there are no nationally representative data on the level of profit from commercialization in schools, nor are there systematic assessments of the economic impact of alternative fundraising methods. The purpose of this project is to involve obtaining information regarding fundraising activities for a representative set of school districts, including an analysis of copies of contracts with commercial vendors. Information will be summarized regarding the operation, management, contracts, and distributing procedures of vending machines, how the profits from vending sales are used, and the allocation of vending machine profits among schools, food companies, and fundraising companies. A second component of the project will be a systematic assessment of the profitability of selling healthful versus low-nutrition foods from school vending machines. The third component will entail an analysis of profitability of different types of fundraisers and the feasibility of alternative fundraising methods. The project deliverables include data collection and analysis and generating a report related to fundraising in schools. The project will be considered successful if data are obtained from schools, if the analyses of alternative fundraising methods are completed, and if reports are generated.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $25,000.00

Awarded on: 11/10/2004

Time frame: 12/15/2004 - 1/31/2007

Grant Number: 52181


Center for Science in the Public Interest

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1875 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Washington, 20009-5728


Margo G. Wootan
Project Director