Saturday, November 20, 2010

Selling Our Kids' Health for $130/day???

After being voted down 4-3 (Diedrich, McCourt, & Whalen in favor) on September 13, district administration is bringing back the idea of entering into a 7-year commitment with Pepsi for advertising rights as well as being the sole source vendor in the school district.  Are they sniffing the ability to sway Turncoat Terry Shimek onto their side?   

204 beverages sold per school day!
The contract is based on assumptions, one of which is that, over 7 years, nearly 260 THOUSAND beverages will be sold from the district.  Wow!  That's an average of 204 per school day.

It's all about the Benjamins, baby
The driving force behind the proposal is money.  Pepsi is offering as much as $165,000 over 7 years.  That comes to about $23,000 per year, or $131 per school day.  The guaranteed money, however, is only $94,000...only $4,000 more than Coke offered.    Only $18,000 is guaranteed in each of the first 3 years.  The rest is made up through sales.  In years 4-7, the district only gets $10,000 upfront money.

But...but...look at all the cool stuff we get!
The contract calls for us to receive the following each year. Care to guess what is driving this bus?
Promotional Items. On or before September 1st of each school year during the term of this Agreement, Pepsi-Cola shall furnish Gatorade equipment to the District (estimated value $500.00) including: six (6) five-gallon sports drink coolers, twelve (12) sports drink bottle carriers with bottles, 250 towels and 1,000 eight (8) ounce cups for use by the District annually for seven (7) years. Upon delivery by Pepsi-Cola, such Gatorade equipment shall become the property of the District. Pepsi-Cola shall also provide twenty-four (24) Pepsi-Cola recycle barrels to the District to replace current competitor barrels. 

31 Vending Machines!
1 at each Elementary School  (7)
2 at each Middle School  (4)
4 at CHUMS  (4)
2 at Prairie Phoenix Academy  (2)
14 at the TajMah High School (14)

We didn't see mention of the district office.  Are those folks outside this contract???

No More Root Beer Float Days!
One of the silliest aspects of this contract is that the district is barred from bringing in ANY non-Pepsi products for sale or events for the life of the contract.  We understand that a number of elementary schools hold "Root Beer Float" days.  Not any more they won't.  Pepsi apparently doesn't offer a root beer product, so there will be no more root beer floats.

Arguments FOR the contract
Those pushing for the contract will tell you that vending machines with student access will only dispense sports drinks, flavored water, or bottled water.  So...what's the big hairy deal?  The district is simply maximizing the kickbacks they can earn in providing what the kids are going to get anyway.

Arguments Against
Clearer heads will see this as a mass marketing campaign aimed at our kids.  If we bombard them with Pepsi signs and machines for 8 hours a day, 180 days a year, it WILL have a subliminal effect on their purchasing for years to come.  And we are providing the vehicle for that subliminal advertising.  Of course, Caren Diedrich will tell you that healthy choices and decisions on whether to buy bottled water or sports drinks, or flavored water is the parents' responsibility.  Of course it is.  The school district shouldn't have any involvement...right?  In fact, let's do away with offering breakfast...isn't THAT the parents' responsibility?  What's next?  Cutting physical education?  Maybe THAT is the responsibility of parents as well.   And given the new dangers of chemicals like bisphenol A (BPA) in plastic bottles and simple fiscal responsibility, shouldn't we be advocating drinking good old tap water in environmentally friendly reusable containers? The bottom line is: should we REALLY be sliding into be with ANY vendor?  What exactly does this teach our kids?

Who Gets the Money?
Download the Incentives summary
The “Fee” income will be utilized to supplement funding of new building initiatives, programs, and workshops for students and teachers.  This money will also be used to support extra-curricular programs.

The “Booster” income will go to the club or group that is running the concession for that event.  Pepsi will send the check directly to the Booster Club.
The “Commissions” will go to the school where the vending machine is located.  Pepsi will send the check directly to the club or activity.
Will the original vote be sustained?  Or will there be a vote switch?  We all know Terry Shimmerek is a frequent vote switcher.  Come out Monday night and voice your opinion.