While vending machines provide assorted treats and beverages to students who are on the go, there are those who believe that the drawbacks of vending machines in schools outweigh the actual benefits. Juices and healthier foods are offered in vending machines, but what about all of the snacks and treats that are available? The time has come to examine each side of the debate.
List of Pros of Vending Machines In Schools
1. Easy Access.
Children who need a quick snack or a beverage to keep their energy up in between classes are able to simply grab one from the closest vending machine. A child on the go is not going to have time to leave school and go to the store and in most schools, the cafeteria does not remain open throughout the day, making it difficult for hungry children to find sustenance.
2. Nutritious Options Are Provided.
Schools that are more concerned about the health and welfare of their students will usually opt against providing them with unhealthy snacking choices. Certain schools will refuse to provide candy, chips or soda in a vending machine, forcing the children to choose from healthier options, such as juice or fruit.
3. Machines Can Be Used For Other Purposes.
A vending machine does not have to exist merely to dispense treats to students, they can also be used for a wide range of additional purposes, including offering students a simpler option for paying off school related expenses. Instead of having to track down a teacher or administrator to pay for an after school activity, a child can submit it through the vending machine.
List of Cons of Vending Machines In Schools
1. Schools Focus On Profit.
Vending machines are not always placed inside of schools for the students benefit and in many instances, they are used to obtain profit from the student body. Many schools do not bother to offer healthy snacks to their students, as they are focused more on profit and less on providing nutritious snacking alternatives.
2. Vending Companies Call The Shots.
A vending machine contract with an institution of learning can be worth several million dollars. When a vending machine contract is that lucrative, it can be hard for the school to impose their will on the situation and keep the vending machine company at bay. Contracts that reach into the seven figures mean one thing: the vending machine company decides what gets sold and what doesn’t get sold.
3. Soft Drinks Are Sold.
One of the main items that are sold in school vending machines are soft drinks. Soft drinks have been linked to the onset of child obesity and should be avoided by growing children at all costs. However, this does not stop several schools from ignoring the warning signs and filling their machines with sugary sodas.