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SHS Vending Healthy Choices Over Junk

Souhegan High School has installed a new refrigerated vending machine for healthy meals and snacks.

Chips and candy are nowhere to be found in this nutrition-friendly vending machine.

The Souhegan School Nutrition Department has completed the installation of a new refrigerated vending machine that distributes meals and healthy snacks using student lunch accounts.

This new setup provides students with healthy food options in the Annex all day, including the afternoon and evening. It also has the ability to provide a lunch in less than 20 seconds, which will hopefully alleviate the traffic in the cafeteria on busy double block days.

“We are the first in the state to have this state of the art vending machine that allows students to use their school meal accounts for the purchase of either meals or refrigerated healthy snacks”, explains Danielle Collins SAU 39 School Nutrition Director.

All the foods are homemade by the talented School Nutrition staff.  The machine is filled daily with items such as: fresh whole fruit, Saber Salad Meals (which include milk and a fruit), Saber Sandwich Meals (which include milk and a fruit), yogurt parfaits (with homemade granola), fresh fruit cups and homemade hummus with celery sticks, carrot sticks and cucumbers.

They will also be offering California Rolls, custom sandwiches made on Pretzel rolls and other unique breads, and will alternate options based on the suggestions of our students. 

Students who receive the benefit of free and reduced lunch can also utilize this machine for the purchase of meals during the lunch period because of the technology allows it to operate like a serving line with complete anonymity.

Collins said that parents, students and staff are appreciating these convenient, healthier options in the high school. Selling the vending machine’s stock has not been an issue so far.

“The machine basically sells out,” she said. 

The convenience of a fresh, nutritional meal can be a lifesaver for those in the school community with busy schedules.

“Dinner for me on those nights when I can’t get out before an event” said Gigi Klipa, Dean of Faculty.

Carla Burrows April 06, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Oh I agree they're trying. But ED has a point about the cost of school lunch being sky high. My niece has a soft spot for kids that can't/won't afford lunch, so she lets them buy an item with her lunch code. It's not pretty when the monthly invoice comes around. Can be a couple hundred just for your one kid. Sadly what you get are a lot of kids that buy a candy bar because it's cheaper than a $3 slice of frozen pizza.
Big Ben April 06, 2012 at 06:46 PM
They have a complete Nutrition Department so I'm not worried about hurting their feelings. That's their job to improve nutrition. They even had adults hired to corral kids toward the healthy vending unit there for a while. Spare no expense. What I WISH they would do is go back to the foolish, naive way schools did it when we were kids. Hire 4 women (or men these days), have them cook up a meal in a simple kitchen, then serve it to kids. Meals weren't fancy, but they were home cooked and balanced and everybody got a good lunch for cheap. Then we just HAD to outsource all this stuff..and now we've got $3 slices of frozen pizza OR a cup of goo with a strawberry on top that costs $3.50.
Cindy Bangs April 06, 2012 at 08:25 PM
YES Strawberries!!! Anything with strawberries and yogurt has to be better than the Doritos and Pepsi lunches I had in high school.
Gail April 07, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Great job I want to come visit Gail MA
Kristen April 09, 2012 at 03:48 PM
I think this a great idea! The kids are going to spend their money whether it's at McDonald's or on junk food, so why not spend it on healthy items? And it comes off their lunch account, what a great way to incorporate the cash less system! I think it's a win-win for everyone.

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