I despise chocolate fundraisers, and applaud the ACT Government move to ban the sale of such foods in Territory public service offices.
I’m not anti-chocolate per se. Give me a Lindt reindeer, Guylian shell or Malteaser and I will forget everything else that is going on around me until it’s gone.
But that’s the problem, isn’t it.
My hockey club used to run chocolate fundraisers. Everyone had to participate once a year, taking several boxes home to take to work and sell. Some of those boxes would make it to my office, where colleagues, many who had weight problems and other health issues, would feel obliged to buy some to support me. In my guilt about all of that, I’d decide against taking the other boxes in. I should’ve put them in the bin. You can guess what really happened, and no, it didn’t involve my children eating them. We limit their sugar intake, but in any case, fortunately, they seem not to have inherited the “must eat/drink/do it all now” gene from their mother.
My fondness for those fundraising chocolate frogs was among the reasons for my hip to waist ratio to blowing out to the point of ringing serious alarm bells with my GP and, when I looked at the implications of this for my health, scaring me into action (more on that in a future post – in short, having ditched the drink to address it, I’m down 10kg and up $4000).
Full marks to the committee of the hockey club who switched a couple of years back to getting us to volunteer at events like the Australian Running Festival as a fundraiser instead.
So, yes, for what its worth, the ACT Government has my big tick of approval for its decision to over the next year phase out chocolate fundraisers in its workplaces.
I’m not sorry about the impact this will have on chocolate companies. They do very well out of us chocolate addicts without needing to guilt us into eating more for charity as well.
I’m not sorry about the impact this will have on organisations trying to raise funds, either. There are plenty of options out there, as my hockey club discovered. Sporting organisations in particular should look at fundraisers that complement their efforts to keep their members fit and healthy. Chocolate sales do quite the opposite.
What do you think about the ACT Government’s move on chocolate fundraisers? Can you recommend alternatives for organisations looking to replace chocolates for fundraising?
Here’s the ACT Government announcement to staff:
HEALTHY ALTERNATIVES TO CHOCOLATE FUNDRAISERS
The selling of fundraising chocolates are being phased out of ACT Government workplaces as part of the ACT Public Sector (ACTPS) Healthy Food and Drink Choices Policy in an effort to enhance the availability of health options. The ACT Government is leading by example to the community in promoting healthy food and drink choices in the workplace.
While chocolate or confectionary fundraisers are often trying to raise money for a good cause, they have a detrimental impact on our health and do not contribute positively to a healthy balanced diet as they are high in sugar. Combining these high-energy foods with sedentary lifestyles can lead to unhealthy lifestyle behaviours, which increases the risk of developing long lasting health issues, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer.
Sporting teams and schools often run fundraisers with chocolates and other confectionary. There is a growing trend for sporting teams and school groups to fundraise in other ways, which includes offering healthier alternatives. A number of schools are now fundraising mangoes which have proven to be very popular. If you are organising a fundraiser, try suggesting a novel approach like sporting equipment, fruit trays, movie tickets or store vouchers. These creative ideas will help to promote the fundraiser, while also encouraging healthy habits within the club, school, workplaces and the broader community.
The healthy fundraising fact sheet has a range of options available to help ACT Government employees continue to support fundraising activities while meeting the requirements of the ACTPS Healthy Food and Drink Choices Policy within a health promoting workplace.
These requirements already apply to staff at ACT Health as their Healthy Food and Drink Choices Policy has been in place since March 2015.
The ACT Government is committed to supporting a healthy, active and productive community under the Healthy Weight Initiative.
Authorised by Bronwen Overton-Clarke, Deputy Director-General, Workforce Capability and Governance Division, Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate