The short answer of course is money.
The slightly longer answer is society’s normalized use of junk food to fund raise.
In the Boys and Girls Club’s case, they’re apparently quite comfortable taking money from fast food restaurants who, in a brilliant bit of marketing, sell packs of free kids meals in return for a donation (which presumably gets shared with The Boys and Girls Club).
Give $3 to Montana’s (a fast casual BBQ restaurant chain in Canada), and you’ll get 3 free kids meals.
Give $5 to Swiss Chalet (a fast casual rotisserie chicken restaurant chain in Canada) and you’ll get 5 free kids meals.
As far as kids meals go, the Center for Science in the Public Interest once ran a comprehensive study of various kids meals. They determined that of the over 3,500 they analyzed, 97% were either too high in calories, sodium, or sugar (or all of the above).
Of course, the adult meals aren’t any better and also provide wallops of calories, sodium, and/or sugar, and no doubt, the business model for the restaurants is that they can give away the kids meals because of course, their parents will be eating too.
Also notable is the irony found in The Boys and Girls Club’s Twitter banner where they include “Healthy Snacks and Meals” in their listing of what they do.
While fundraising without junk food may be more difficult, it’s certainly doable.
Yesterday morning I tweeted about a friend of mine’s kid who’s fundraising for her hockey team by way of selling pumpkins (and if you click through to the tweet’s replies, you’ll see many more examples).
There are ways to fundraise that don’t involve selling junk food. Friend’s kid’s hockey team is fundraising by selling pumpkins!
— Yoni Freedhoff, MD (@YoniFreedhoff) September 19, 2017
Rather than enabling, permitting, and encouraging a fast food lifestyle, what organizations like The Boys and Girls Club should be doing is demonstrating leadership by ending – purposefully and vocally – the practice of junk food fundraising, and championing and promoting healthier fund raising options in its stead.