Five new vending machines are fully stocked and running, offering a healthier choice for students in Austintown. The vending machines were purchased by the Food Service Department to provide healthy snacks anytime the buildings are open.
"The Food Service Department bought them and operates them," said Food Service Director Tascin Brooks.
While the machines cost $5,000 each, Brooks said the district did get some help from the National Dairy Council. Brooks said her department had to agree to keep at least half of the 32 selections in the machine dairy-based. With that commitment came notice the district will be getting a $5,000 grant from the council to help cover some of the cost of the new machines.
Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Punching the button for a whole-wheat Pop Tart is AMS sixth-grader Lexi Cintron. Checking out the healthy choices in the new vending machine are fellow sixth graders Sarah Welsh, Erica Ferguson, Matt Krawick, Trevor Hykes and Bryce Labedz.
Brooks said the new machines have been spread out with one at AMS, two at Fitch (one near the cafeteria and another near the gym), one at the Falcon Pride Online building and one at the Fitness Center, which will be available for student athletes as well as the community.
The machines were delivered on Jan. 18 and went into service immediately. The students seem to have taken to the healthy offerings.
"We're having a hard time keeping them stocked. I had no idea the kids would go crazy over the healthy options," said Brooks. "It seems the Smuckers Uncrustables peanut butter and jelly snacks are the crowd favorite."
She said the machines are available for students anytime the building is opened. She was targeting students who stay after school to participate in various activities and sports.
All the products in the machine are priced at $1 or less. Brooks said she wanted the products to be affordable for everyone.
All the snacks in the machine meets or exceeds the standards set up by the Alliance of a Healthy Generation, The Healthy Hunger Free Act, and Senate Bill 210.