I am getting tired of local school children knocking on my door to sell me chocolate – all in a good cause of course! It has taken me a while to decide upon a suitable response – I don’t want to burst their dedicated fundraising bubble but I want to make a point. My answer is to buy a block and throw it away. I explain that I am happy to support their school but concerned about the fundraising method they are using. I explain that by throwing the chocolate away I am saving myself and others from the 1785 extra kilojoules that such a block delivers. They (and my friends) think I am mad – ” whats wrong with a bar or two of chocolate” they say. This is not the issue, it is the big picture that worries me.
I am not saying that people should not eat chocolate ( I am a huge chocolate fan myself), I am more concerned that such fundraising methods encourage people to eat chocolate than they usually would. I know parents who do not have the time to help their kids sell the 24 bars so buy them all themselves, and my bet is that they don’t throw them away!
Consider as an example a school with 400 pupils where each student is given a box of 24 x 85g bars of Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate to sell.
Imagine that 75% of the chocolate gets sold – a total of 7200 bars of chocolate entering the community
At 1785 kilojoules per bar this equal nearly 13 million extra kilojoules being delivered into this community. This is equivalent to 367 kilograms of fat having to be stored collectively by the community members who consume the chocolate.
Alternatively such members could collectively jog for around 4284 hours or walk for 7140 hours to burn this off.
Can you seriously imagine this would happen? Not in the world I see each day!
We have to ask ourselves, is fuelling the obesity epidemic and promoting a lifetime of ill health for children worth the $7200 dollars such fundraising may generate? Surely there are healthier “win-win” ways to generate much needed funds for schools!