Students at Mt. Carmel High School in Rancho Pensaquitos, California won’t be able to reach for chips and sodas during the school day any longer. Instead, they’ll be able to use their change to pick up coconut water and granola bars from healthy vending machines between classes.
The high school is a part of a new pilot program aimed at offering high school students healthy alternatives to the normally ubiquitous junk food snacks. The hope is that teenagers will learn to seek out healthy snacks during the day instead of reaching for sugar and fat-laden food items.
While some educators remain cynical and skeptical, students are receptive to the idea, some are even excited.
As said to a California news station, student Kendall Sczempka said, “I noticed they were lower in calories, they had some power drinks, coconut water and I was like, wow, this is great after you work out instead of grabbing a soda or chips.”
The two vending machines are being used by the school on a trial basis to see which food items are most popular, at which point Mt. Carmel High School will share their findings with other schools in the district.
There is no charge for the machines to be on campus and 25-percent of the profits go to the student body. The healthy vending machines meet federal and state requirements on the fat and sugar content of snacks sold on school campuses.
Prices for items range from $.75 cents for juice to $2.25 for an item like Muscle Milk.