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Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

Say Goodbye to Poptarts: Vending Machines Now Contain Healthier Snacks


At the beginning of the school year, students might have noticed that the products in the vending machines went from potato chips, Poptarts, and soda bottles to corn chips, granola bars, and tea.

In an effort to give healthier food options for Niles West Students, the school board decided to change the vending machine company from Aramark to Lean Green Healthy Living.

“The vendor agreed to work with our building principals and students to select what kind of food and beverages to provide. In keeping with D219’s goals to foster environmental sustainability, we developed a Vending Machine Sustainability Strategy that sets out goals for the future,” said community relations director Jim Szczepaniak.

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The Vending Sustainablility Strategy states that products are 35% or less fat per serving,  less than o.5 grams of trans fat per serving, and less than 480 miligrams of sodium per item. At least 95% of the products are completely organic.

” One of the district’s initiatives is to provide healthy food like the food from Organic Life.  The board looked for a company that matched Organic Life‘s healthy and green options, and [Lean Green Healthy Living] won the bid,” said assistant principal Kendall Griffin.

Compared to last year, there are more features in the machines that Lean Green Healthy Living provide. According to Griffin, by the end of the school year or within next school year, the machines will be able to take credit cards and IDs  for payment.

“The machines look really cool, but it’s super pricey! Chips used to be a under a dollar and now they raised it to 25 cents more. You can get a large Arizona for a dollar, but a can of tea is $2 in the vending machines,” said junior Joerlyn Manalang.

The school administrators do not have full control over the prices of the products.

“Like the Whole Foods, it’s more expensive for healthy food. Cheap food is usually cheap because it’s not good for you,” Griffin said.

What do you think of the new food in the vending machines?

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  • S

    Sales ManSep 14, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    I’d like to see what the school lunch menu is. Has that changed? More times than not, the vending machine gets blamed, but what’s being offered in the cafeteria is the typical cheeseburger and fries staple. Anyway, vending machines have consistently been blamed for kids being fat. Kids are fat because of video games. Typical liberals.

    • E

      EditorSep 14, 2012 at 1:04 PM

      Yes, our school changed the lunch menu as well:

    • F

      Former Student*Sep 21, 2012 at 9:44 AM

      Let’s not get political here. This is about vending machines, its contents and its effects on the students. Sure, video games play a role in making kids fat so are a lot of factors as well and vending machines are part of it. We just cannot make a conjecture that video games are the sole cause of obesity in children…we simply cannot. I play video games every day but I also work out. It is about person’s choice to do or in this case, eat.

  • A

    A VendorSep 14, 2012 at 7:43 AM

    Yes, higher pricing will drive sales away. But everyone seems to think it’s logical to simply lower prices to get sales back. Not only is the cost of buying healthier foods more expensive to the consumer, but it is also more expensive for the supplier to provide them, & this cost will be passed on. Additionally, if I want a Snickers bar, offering me a granola bar at even a penny is not likely to get me to buy it, so the argument that pricing is driving away sales is only part of the issue. The fact is, people want what they want, & when you remove the things they want, sales will suffer. People who are truly concerned about healthy eating bring their stuff from home, they don’t buy it from a machine or from the marginally-better-than-fastfood-quality equivalents in the cafeteria. You can’t remove every temptation from children (or adults!), but maybe this would be an opportunity for parents to teach their children about making healthier choices, & about moderation, instead of removing the evils of cheap food from malleable, unsuspecting youths unable to control themselves, who are probably eating Hamburger Helper & frozen pizza at home.

  • J

    JackieSep 12, 2012 at 6:21 AM

    Everyone should have choices and if it’s too pricey there will not be many buyers. I’m sure if we could all afford organic then most would be eating it at home however the reality is It’s too expensive also a bag of chips every now and then should be ok
    Remember all things in moderation and while the school has no say so over the price I’m sure if the vendor wants to stay in business then lower the prices.

  • T

    TomSep 9, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    I think this was a mistake. We students should be able to decide on our own what we want. Everything is over priced and not as good, I won’t be using vending machines this year as much as last. Go back to what it was

  • F

    Former Student*Sep 7, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    I know the school have good intentions by removing all the “goodies” from the vending machines but I disagree to the all-out switch to healthier food. I just wish the student have a choice to pick whatever they want to eat: healthy or not, as well as their allowance permits them to buy. From the article, Manalang pointed out that most food offered in the new machines are significantly pricier than its previous counter part.

    I know that the school administrators have no control over the prices but they can to at lease convince that company to lower its prices to lure the students to buy those healthier products. Griffin said that it is like Whole Foods, sure, it is. Do I buy groceries at Whole Foods? No because I know that I can get the same food, probably not the same brand, at other stores for the fraction of the price. Students will find ways to bring food in school, healthy or not. In economics, if you got a big of supply of healthy food but you got minimal demand because of its price, it is not economically balanced. I do not see the logic here both the company and the school.

    By the way, I do not object to healthier eating in schools. I just wish that school and company do not shoved these food down the students’ throats (metaphorically of course) by providing them with a variety of choices: healthy or not.
    All I am saying is that, give the students freedom of choice on what they want to eat but of course it is also about choosing responsibly in part of the students.