New vending machines offer students choices beyond cafeteria

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The lunch lines are shortening as the vending machine lines grow since students are getting freshly-made snacks throughout the day.

Head of the Dining Services Mrs. Venezia and her team prepare homemade dips and snacks, such as a fruit dip or tortellini salad, for kids in the high school and middle school.

The food from the machine is fresh and stocked daily by the cafeteria staff.

When Venezia is choosing what foods to put in the vending machines, she thinks about whether these snacks are ones that teenagers would like to eat. Venezia actively participates in filling them herself and said she “loves to stock the machine.”

Photo by Cooper Bartlett
Since junior Kiki Bagley doesn’t have a lunch, she visits the vending machines every day during her study hall . She said since she doesn’t have time to go the cafeteria in between classes, the vending machines have helped her have a healthy lunch each day.

The most popular snacks are our fruit cups with the fruit dip, according to Venezia.

“We make those from scratch, as well as the salsa and hummus,” Venezia said.

Venezia said that last year a junior, who prefers not to be named, helped her set up the vending machines.

“He didn’t have a lunch and worked all day. Students that have full classes need options,” Venezia said. “They’re here for so long.”

Students like junior Kiki Bagley are in the same situation.

“I can’t maintain a healthy diet due to no time in school, but with the vending machines, I finally have that,” Bagley said.

Bagley’s favorite snack is the fruit parfait, which is a “nice, healthy addition” to what she already eats.

Bagley said her teachers would not like it if she was late to class or had to leave to go to the lunchroom.

“Since I had no lunch period,” Bagley said, “there’s no break to eat. Now, with the vending machines, I can grab something and go without having to be in a line.”

From early in the morning to as late as ten at night, the machines are being used. Kids staying after for extra curricular activities, like band, go to it to satisfy their hunger.

According to Venezia, the vending machines are extremely popular, with two in the high school and one in the middle school. She plans on adding more if the fad doesn’t fade away.

“We have not had a problem with any extra food,” Venezia said. “If there is any leftover at the end of the day, we sell it in the cafeteria or dispose of it after two days.” 

Senior Sean Daley visits the vending machine about three times a week, mostly after his E period class.

“I would not change any food in the vending machines, but I would like some more roast beef options,” Daley said. “Many of my friends agree with me.”

His favorite option is the buffalo chicken sandwich because he “loves the flavor of the sauce.”

Senior Patrick Strong gets sandwiches almost every day from the vending machine and said he loves the food, but wishes for more choices for his meals.

“Sometimes I want something different, like an egg salad sandwich, when I don’t want the usual options,” Strong said.

Bagley also agrees on changing the food. Her idea was to change the choices every week or month.

Venezia said she would “love that idea,” and if a student has a suggestion or question regarding the food in the vending machines, she’s always open to listen. The machines have signs on them if a student has anything to say or they can use this email [email protected] to offer suggestions as well.

The vending machines also contain card readers so students can pay with their school IDs like they do in the cafeteria.  

“I thought it was kind of strange at first, not having our ID’s working with the vending machines. Now that we can do that, everything works so well,” Daley said.

Bagley uses cash when she has a low amount of money on her card, but she says it works well either way.

“The food choices are really good, and it’s great how the vending machines are able to keep food cold,” Bagley said. “The Dining Services are doing a really good job.”

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