When you think of vending machines, maybe you think of a soda, a candy bar, those tiny sugary donuts - good ole junk food. So you might be surprised at what's turning up inside vending machines on several high school campuses. NBC 7's Artie Ojeda is here with a pilot program that could benefit students in more than one way.
Instead of sugary snacks and soda, students at Mt. Carmel High School can use their change to pick up some pita chips and coconut milk between classes.
The North County high school is part of a new pilot program offering healthy alternative snacks to high school students.
Two vending machines have just been set up at the school in Rancho Penasquitos.
“I don't know why they would come to a vending machine to buy healthy snacks, 'cause they're not thinking healthy, they're 17-years old,” said former Mt. Carmel student Raymond Fowler.
But not everyone is a cynic. Some believe the vending machines promote a healthy lifestyle students need to embrace.
“I noticed they were lower in calories, they had some power drinks, coconut water and I was like, wow, this is great after you work out instead of grabbing a soda or chips,” former Westview student Kendall Sczempka said.
The machines are being used by campuses on a trial basis.
They'll see what items sell, which ones don't and then share the results with other schools in the district.
There's no charge for the machines, and 25-percent of the profits go to the student body.
“As to how it will be utilized and whether it will be utilized, I think the ASB kids want to find that out. They didn't come and ask for a soda machine,” said Dawn Kastner with the Poway Unified School District.
One of the machines is actually at the Mt. Carmel track and football field.
The thinking is that the healthy snacks, are not only for students but for everyone using the facility including residents running the track or the stairs.
The Healthy Vending machines help schools meet federal and state limits on fats and sugars sold on campuses.
But the items are not cheap.
Prices ranging from $.75 -cents for 11-ounces of apple juice to $2.25 for muscle milk or $2 for pure coconut water.