Health Officials Say School Wellness Policy Not Being Enforced

Last fall, Bay district school officials adopted a wellness policy that banned junk-food from vending machines. The policy was drafted at the urging of Bay County Health Director Dr. Jason Newsom.

Vending machines still appear on campuses throughout the county and it seems nothing has changed. We asked him if he's seen any enforcement of that policy, and he says he plans to discuss the issue with Superintendent Bill Husfelt. But he says he also understands now is not the right time.

Bay district food services Director Kim Blackwell contends the district has made progress toward eliminating some of the so-called junk foods.

"Quite frankly with it being an election year and with the budget cycle the way it is there are simply bigger fish to fry right now so it just hasn't risen to the level of something we can spend the time on to find out how we can implement the policy. But I suspect that sooner rather than later we will get around to having some meetings and come to some agreement about what can be done," said Dr. Jason Newsom, Bay Co. Health Dept. Director.

"We've eliminated soft drinks. We used to serve French fries three times a week in the elementary and middle schools and we now only serve them once a week so we've made strides, but we're doing it gradually and I believe in giving the students nutrition education to know the right decisions to make and then giving them plenty of choices," said Kim Blackwell, Bay District Food Services Director.

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