8 Houston schools fined for selling fried chicken - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

8 Houston schools fined for selling fried chicken

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Eight Houston schools are facing some hefty fines for selling fried chicken during fundraisers.

A Houston ISD coach is in hot grease after trying to sell fried chicken for a school fundraiser.

"I find it kind of ridiculous," said Michelle Monreal, who has a daughter in the band at Fulmore Middle School.

"Most people, when you think of a fundraiser, you think of bake sales and homemade cookies," Monreal added.

They also just had a fundraising event.

Monreal said, "We made a good amount of money with the bake sale."

"There's the Texas Nutrition Policy and that sets the rules for all the schools in Texas," said Christine Jovanovic, with the Texas Parent-Teacher Association.

"Competitive foods are usually what we're talking about when we're talking about fundraisers because they can compete with what's being served in the lunch room," Jovanovic said.

This applies to candy, soda...and yes, fried chicken.

Jovanovic said, "For elementary schools, it's not allowed at any time during the school day...middle school, they're not allowed 30 minutes before, 30 minutes after and during the lunch hour and in high schools, it's only during the lunch hours that competitive foods are disallowed."

She says organizers need to make sure they're following all the guidelines set in place.

"It's not just the funds.  It's also the hidden messages that you're giving with those fundraisers...We have a huge convention every July...and part of that convention is a huge exhibition hall and it used to be filled with cookie dough fundraisers and pizza and candy...and over the last three years I have seen a huge change, a huge shift toward creative fundraisers that include reading or even something as silly as cool shoe laces," Jovanovic added.

"I understand about, with you know, obesity on the rise, but at some point or another we have to take some responsibilities as parents," added Monreal.  "I think that if you're going to want to make money and you're going to have a fundraiser and if you're selling fried chicken on one side and the other side's selling veggie tacos, you can be that  you're going to make more money selling fried chicken."

Eight Houston schools are facing fines totaling $73,000 for violating Texas Department of Agriculture Regulations while fundraising.

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