Clark adds new, sweet vending machine

Such snacks are a tasty welcome treat for students


Jimena Vildoza

Students can’t wait to get their treat from the new vending machine.

When the time approaches for students to get lunch, there is always a long line at the vending machines. Students exit class in a rush to get in line and grab their favorite snacks. Along with the current vending machines that sell chips and bars, Clark added in early November a vending machine with a variety of ice cream flavors from the company Rich’s Ice Cream.

For weeks the empty vending machine was sitting there leaving students curious, but when they finally filled the machine students were thrilled to try these new treats. It didn’t take long for the ice cream to sell out. Within one school day, all the ice cream was sold and the machine was left empty again. While ice cream isn’t the typical snack sold through a vending machine, this new item conforms to school regulations on sugar consumption at school. 

It makes a difference to have these snacks at school. Judging from the large crowds that stand in line for most of lunch for ice cream, it can be said they are delicious. Even though the snacks are not the same as the ones from the store, companies such as Rich’s Ice Cream do a good job creating similar tastes to the foods we love. 

Rich’s Ice Cream brand sells itself as the “smartest snacks in school.” According to the company website for Rich’s Ice Cream, they provide multiple reasons as to why the snacks are a good alternative to ice cream and how they provide a well-balanced snack. Rich’s states that they are the “largest and longest-running ‘Smart Snacks in School’ program in the country, and the only one that makes every snack in a nut-free and peanut-free facility!”

States require that schools serve students certain foods that must meet certain nutritional guidelines. In 2010, former First Lady Michelle Obama created The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which led to the creation of a law that provided students with a specific calorie intake that would provide enough nutrients that growing children need. Schools had to provide fruit, grains, vegetables, protein and dairy for lunch. 

In 2014, the food restriction laws required certain types of food to be included in students’ meals. Foods should not include added fats or sugars and are less than or equal to 200 calories per item.

According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, data shows that in high schools the snacks that are provided outside of the regular meals need to follow the requirements. Regular, everyday chips or candy cannot be sold in schools, due to the amount of extra sugars and fat. Companies wishing to sell food products on public school campuses must meet the nutritional guidelines established by these laws.

Companies such as Frito-Lay or Welch’s provide our schools with delicious snacks that follow the laws. These snacks are lower in fat or have less sugar than the traditional products. This way schools can give students their favorite snack while ensuring that they follow federal and state nutritional standards. Companies such as Rich’s ice cream are doing a great job of creating healthy alternatives. 

It is important to have these types of snacks in school to show students that schools not only provide healthy snacks but snacks that are delicious too. There is never an issue with having your lunch and a sweet treat for dessert.