Law takes a bite out of school fundraisers

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Local restaurants may feel the pinch too as schools meet terms of health law

By Jennifer Garcia

Frito pie fanatics attending sports events will have to get their fix somewhere else this school year.

The staple of high school football and basketball concession stands will no longer be available, thanks to a law that prohibits the sale of hot food, unless sold by a licensed caterer.

Los Alamos High School athletic teams and other groups that rely on selling food to raise funds will also have to find another way to generate money.

At Tuesday night’s school board meeting at Mountain Elementary School, Athletic Director Vicki Nelms and Business Manager John Wolfe talked about a conversation they had with a state health inspector earlier this year.

The trouble for LAPS began in the spring, when a health inspector saw a banner advertising a Los Alamos High school baseball pasta night fundraiser.

The health inspector contacted Nelms and questioned the process by which the food for the event was being prepared. When he found out that it was being prepared by parents and taken to the school, the event was stopped.

“It was about a day or two before pasta night,” Nelms said.  

Nelms said that under state law, food cannot be cooked at one location and taken to another to be sold. The food must be prepared and served by individuals with a caterer’s license.

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