New vending machines aimed at healthy eating

Food guidelines implemented to change the way students eat


David Hope and John Kinney

Emily Tifft

Junior Selina Hampton went to the vending machines to buy a pack of two Pop-Tarts. But to her surprise, the only option was one whole grain Pop-Tart for $1 instead of two for $1.25.

The district is making an attempt at encouraging students to eat healthier because of new 2014 guidelines. One step was to take out the old vending machine food and bring in healthier options.

Supervisor of school nutrition Kathy Milbrath said certain guidelines the district needs to follow have been implemented, created by the USDA, Smart Snack nutrition and Hungry-Free Kids.

“We review all of our food items to match up with the 2010 food registration,” Milbrath said. “Our intent is that all items will be nutritionally dense and to get rid of sugar by 35 percent.”

Milbrath said students are positive toward the new vending machines, and they are popular because of their accessibility.

“The vending machines are not a money maker,” Milbrath said. “They are there for the students’ convenience.”

Milbrath said, according to the 35-10-35 nutrition guidelines, 35 percent of total calories students have during their meal should be from fat, 10 percent from saturated fat and 35 percent from sugar. These guidelines must have been implemented by the summer.

Milbrath said the guidelines the school follows also cuts salt and sugar out of many food items and recipes and she hopes students will not notice.

Junior Garrett Wells said the vending machines no longer offer some of his favorite junk food options.

“Not to say healthy food is bad, but I don’t go to the vending machines for snacks, I go there to get junk food,” Wells said.

Freshman Charlie Schuebel said the vending machines are a bad idea for the school because they take away the unhealthy option for those who want it.

“I don’t agree with the new vending machines, because if students want to eat healthy they should do it on their own. They shouldn’t be forced to,” Schuebel said.

Schuebel said the new healthy food in the vending machine is overpriced, which may bring down sales.

“Since this is a school, the vending machines should not be overpriced,” Schuebel said.

Hampton said compared to last year’s prices, the healthier products inside the vending machines are more expensive.

“When you go to the vending machine, you are expecting junk food, they are selling whole grain Pop-Tarts,” Hampton said.

Hampton said the school is depriving the students of their freedom to buy what they want with their personal money.

“The school can do what they want with the food they sell, but we should be able to buy what we want with our own money,” Hampton said.

Many are discouraged about there no longer being junk food available. Wells believes the vending machines are effective but only because healthy snacks are the only option the school now offers.