Becca-Ann Hoff of Cottageville has won The Post and Courier’s Golden Pen award for December for her letter to the editor, “School policies still feeding obesity.”

Miss Hoff, citing her firsthand knowledge as a Colleton High School student, wrote: “With all the talk about making schools healthier, nothing is being done.

“There are still junk food machines in schools. The kids in high school are only required to take and pass gym once. They get no time for recess, whereas in middle school they still are allowed to have recess.”

And: “The snack machines in schools are not the least bit healthy. They are filled with junk food, ice cream, and soda.

“The food they serve in the cafeteria is no better. They serve pizza, and most schools count the sauce on the pizza as a vegetable.”

She added that while “they do serve salads in my school,” they “have become smaller in volume, and are of poor quality, with limited items of high nutritional value.”

She pointed out that “as a high school student, I can see the other side, and I know that the other kids would not like the idea of having the snack machines taken away.”

She concluded:

“Others would say that even if you take them away, kids can still bring snacks and soda from home.

“Yes, this is true, but if parents limit their kids, taking these things away and replacing them with snack machines offering better choices, such as fruits and vegetables, will help.

“Otherwise, we will make no progress, and there will be no difference, or maybe it will be worse.”

Golden Pen winners are invited to an annual luncheon with the editorial staff.