This is not the first time anyone has shared the story of a children's sports championship that requires raising money for junk food, but it may be the first time that a championship program coordinator has explicitly stated that a parent's child is willing to pay a little more to be glued to sell $ 50 chocolate would not be welcome.
I've said it again and we'll say it again, our culture is broken and the concentration of food smuggling is a small aspect of it and when you question social rules, no matter how broken they may be, don't be surprised when you get pushback. But I understand, it's depressing.
Here is the redacted email exchange I launched
My kids' dad signed our kid for bowling and tells me I have to sell half of these chocolates.
I asked for information and the band said Bowl Canada is imposing it.
So I have a few things to ask.
I've noticed that General Mills is a sponsor. Do they make chocolates and is the party behind this arrangement?
Why chocolate when we are in the midst of an obesity epidemic? Especially for an organization that encourages health? There are all sorts of fundraisers. If given the opportunity to gladly buy fresh vegetables through the top of the market, for example.
Also, why not give parents the opportunity to donate for tax deduction and not make them buy a bunch of poor quality chocolate that is probably related to child labor? You are still covering the costs you are hoping for.
Bowl Canada Program Coordinator
We are happy to hear that your child will be signing up for bowling this season! Yes, the Canadian Youth Bowl has an official fundraiser every year and our tried and true method of raising money to help save money for families is selling chocolate.
Every two years, the Canadian Youth Bowl examines proposals from many companies that offer a range of products, with different levels of monetary performance that benefit all levels of bowling in Canada. Chocolate companies can repeatedly offer the best offer not only for bowling but also for schools, community clubs, etc.
General Mills sponsored Bowl Canada last year, but it was simply a free bowling alley on select food stores. They didn't want to quote our amateurs in the past.
I hope I have addressed your concerns. Feel free to answer if you have more questions.
Thanks for your quick reply. So my understanding is that these sales of chocolate are mandatory if we want our kids in bowling. That is right?
If it's not right, if this fundraiser is optional, there is no big deal. I do not have to participate in something that I consider morally unacceptable for my child to have this opportunity.
If it is right that you need these chocolate sales, I would like to urge Bowl Canada to reconsider this policy, for 3 reasons.
1. It is unacceptable to force families to raise funds. Some people are very good at such things. Others have stress or lack of connections to get people to sell. Sometimes families who are less able to support a fundraiser are the ones who most need this kind of programming.
2. This does not support physical health. As I mentioned, obesity is an important issue in society. I may appreciate that you are looking for good money makers, but I think nonprofits need to be aware of other concerns.
3. Why not give parents the option of something else? I'm not going to sell these chocolates. If I end up buying half of my kids daddy, I end up with chocolate that I don't want at home and maybe end up throwing it out. What would I have spent? $ 50 for chocolate so Canada Bowl can get $ 20? I would prefer to give you the $ 20 profit you are looking for. Why not just give me that option and not spend more money than necessary?
4. Chocolate is morally problematic. Most chocolate producers have child labor and harsh conditions in the production process. This is a mistake and I believe that what we support with our money should not hurt other people.
So I found myself between a rock and a hard place: I love my kid in bowling, it was great for him. But I don't think it's right to force me into something that seems morally unacceptable to me.
Please review your policy.
Bowl Canada Program Coordinator
Yes, chocolate sales are required for the YBC program to participate in all YBC programs and events.
However, I will forward your concerns to those reviewing YBC's policies for future consideration.