The new year is opening with many changes, including a adaptations with the vending machines. Policy had it that by the end of February, most vending machine contents would be banned.
However, due to negotiations mainly advocated by Kim “Stew” Stewart, both the contents of vending and soda pop machines will remain until the end of 2009. The district’s wide policy requires the vending machines contents to change to promote healthier food choices within school. Terrace vending machines include a variety of snack foods from chips, to candy, all the way to pop-tarts.
As a stand-in, vending machines will be replaced with alternatives including fruits, vegetables and granola bars. Students may notice that a few things have begun to be added, for example, the tuna and chicken salads.
“Tuna salad and chicken salad have been selling, we have got in some profit from salads,” said Stewart, “its not as much as the other foods in the vending machines but at least they’re selling.”
Last school year, vending machines and pop machines combined brought in at least $80,000. The revenue will decrease once the vending machines items are altered. ASB gets a large amount of its money to help clubs and sports at MTHS from the vending machines.
One major problem that the vending machines will affect is sports. Students already must pay $25 to play on sports teams, but after vending machines contents change in 2009, much less revenue will be collected and as a result, sports fees will increase.
“I think $25 is way too much [money] already,” said freshmen Jasla James, “students are not going to pay $50 just to play a school sport.”
Since this is a district policy and a state bill, the administration cannot reverse the decision, but has been fighting to postpone the implementation at Terrace.
“All I can do is keep fighting,” said Stewart. “I can’t put an end to it but [I can] just keep postponing the date they change vending machines.”
Community members, staff, and students may attend school board meetings to discuss the issue further.
Jeannie Brzovic’s A.P. Government class is currently working on a bill to submit to the Washington State House of Representatives. The goal of this bill is to create awareness of school’s need of the revenue brought in by vending machines. Also, the bill will try to prove that the current policy is ineffective and only hurts students.