February 5, 2002

Legislative Activity

Date: February 5, 2002

To: AAF Members

From: Clark Rector, Jr., Vice President-State Government Affairs

Re: Virginia Senate Bill 606

Virginia State Senator Madison Marye (D) has introduced Senate Bill 606 which would prohibit the use of many vending machines in Virginia schools.

Specifically, the bill would prohibit the vending machine sale of “soft drinks having empty calories and high sodium and caffeine content or solid foods that are not recommended for a nutritional diet . . . .”

AAF objects to SB 606 because it focuses on eliminating so-called “bad” foods, rather than recognizing that all foods can be a part of a well balanced diet. We believe a better approach would be to increase the availability of physical activity programs and give school boards the resources they need to teach children how to make wise choices about proper nutrition.

SB 606 will also threaten the ability of corporations to enter into appropriate commercial relationships with schools to provide products and services to students and staff. The ban will harm students by needlessly eliminating an important source of revenue for schools.

I urge you to contact your state senator and urge him or her to oppose SB 606. Email address for all senators can be found at http://sov.state.va.us/SenatorDB.nsf/EmailAddresses?OpenView. If you are unsure of your senator, there is also a link allowing you to input your address and learn who represents you.

Do not hesitate to contact me at 1-800-999-2231 if you have any questions.