School adds snack vending machine near the Vandermeer Gym


Graham Kanwit, Website Editor

Near the weight room, the gym, and the SAC–in a back hallway: there it is. A beacon for the hungry. A long-awaited oasis in the desert of after-hours treats. It is a new vending machine. More importantly, it is a new vending machine that serves snacks.

“The idea was presented to us by RSVP,” Assistant Principal Jake Short said. “After school we’ve got a few hundred kids and it’s nice for them to be able to get a snack. We tried to find something that would work.”

While the machine has a new location, it has been around since last school year and has been tested in a couple places around the school. Short said the company providing the vending machines has been experimenting with the machine in order to ensure that it is profitable.

“[Right now] it’s on a trial basis,” Short said. “We had it originally by Door 3, but that was when track and wrestling were going on.”

Students can purchase vending machine items during the school day. However, their choices may be slightly different than students who are involved in after school activities. As part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, the school has to meet certain regulations for the items they can sell during the school day. This means that they can’t sell junk food during school hours, Short said. However, after school, the vending machine can sell items labelled as “non-compliant” with the school food standards set by the Obama administration. 

“Right now we have the potential to sell non-compliant items at 3:30,” said Short. “You can program the machine to sell [a specific] 20 items during the school day and not after school.”

Short said the machine will sell more nutritious items such as baked chips, cereal bars, granola bars, almonds and Pop-Tarts.

In order to purchase snacks, students will have to use cash or their phones. The machine does not accept $5 bills, so students looking to pay in cash will have to use $1 bills instead. However, students may buy items on their phone by using the free PayRange app and connecting a credit card.

While the machine by the locker rooms is still being tested, a second machine is being considered.

“If [the first machine] goes well we’d like one for the marching band area,” said Short.

Before the school plans another vending machine, students may enjoy the first new machine near the Vandy Gym. Just don’t bring $5 bills.