Vending machine restrictions cut back on carbs and cash

Vending machines are often what many students use to access snacks during and after school, but curiosity surrounds the vending machines about who makes decisions on what foods go in the machines and how the money from them contributes to the school.

A bill called the Healthy Hunger Free Kids act restricts students on what foods they can have. This bill is commonly known as Smart Snacks. Fat content, portion size, total calories, sugar content are only some of the restrictions they have to follow. The district’s food service department is aware that the limited choices impacts sales. 

“But we are definitely aware that the desirability of products has gone down,” Director of CFISD Food Services Darrin Crawford said, “but again it’s the thing where if you limit the fat and limit the salt, and you limit calories in a snack item, you are left with Baked Lays and Flaming Hot Cheetos.”

Students want to have more choices and better quality snacks. The effect of this is students don’t want to buy food which means the school gets less revenue from vending machine sales as profits go back to the schools according to Crawford. 

Other opinions have been expressed that the vending machines could have even healthier foods, for example fruits.

“I would like fruit, like apples. I feel like fruit is just better but they would have to be refrigerated,” sophomore Isabella Lindahl said. “I feel like they don’t really offer healthy foods for us to have on the go like bananas, apples, fruits. I would love strawberries in the morning.”