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On NPR -- 1-14-03
School district that made vending machine food nutritious

A kid explains: "I can get a bagel with cream cheese from vending machine that is better than the cafeteria's because it has more cream cheese and isn't too hot or too cold."

There is no candy or sweets in the machines and the sodas are more expensive than fruit juices.

Enid Hohn is food director for Vista Schools [in Southern California]. She said, "I needed to make some changes, but I realized I couldn't do this on the backs of students."

Superintendent Dave Coles liked her idea of buying machines and stocking with good food, the problem was how to do it without interrupting the revenue stream.

She bought 17 vending machines for the HS. She organized taste tests and focus groups to decide which foods to use. She stocked ceasar salads and tuna. The vending area became "the place to be on campus."

This has been going on for 2 years. Now the vending machines gross $25,000 a month, with $6,000 a month in profits!

Michael Jacobsin, Center for Science in the Public Interest in D.C. He's seeing more schools reject junk food. "I don't know if it's a national trend but it's the answer in some places."

150 school districts have lucrative deals with soft drink companies that bring in 6 figures a year.

Enid presented her work at the CA School Board Association meeting in SF last month (December).

Vista Unified School District
(760) 726-2170
1234 Arcadia Avenue
Vista, CA 92084
Child Nutrition Services x 2217
Enid Hohn: ehohn@vusd.k12.ca.us

Hohn conducted focus groups with students to determine the product mix, which now motors bottled waters and sports drinks in beverage machines (with a $1.00 price cap) rather than carbonated soft drinks and snack alternatives like jerky, Pop Tarts and granola and NutriGrain bars rather than chips and candy.

The average calorie count per selection dropped from 275 to 180 and the fat content from 46 to 29 percent.

Gross revenues from the 3,500 students at Vista High were $200,000 and she netted $16,800 in the first year and $32,000 in the second year for the school, as opposed to $9,000 in the last year under the old contract. http://www.findarticles.com/cf_dls/m0BGE/10_38/109443301/p1/article.jhtml


Lauren Ayers

James Curiel, PhD
Professor, Sociology

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Educational Futures

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