Since the beginning of the school year, there had been ongoing rumors about the removal of the school’s two most famous snack providers, the vending machines and the Juice Joint, swarming around the halls. These speculations have been proven true; the vending machine removal being confirmed during the welcoming assemblies held by the faculty staff and Mr Patterson confirming the closing of the Juice Joint on a separate note. While the Juice Joint is already closed, the vending machines withdrawal date is still unknown. What we do know is the constant wave of negative reactions from students is growing. “It’s actually ridiculous,” says an anonymous North Springs student. “If people are willing to pay money to get food inside the vending machines, then don’t take that away because it’s going to piss people off.”
Many students have been wondering why the vending machines, a popular school snack resource, is being taken away. As explained by Principal Scott Hanson, the vending machines are in violation of government and district health guidelines. Specifically, the machines compete with cafeteria sales and other health policies which do not allow schools to hand-out snacks over 100g of sodium and more than 100 calories. “I get it,” Hanson says, “But ultimately we have to follow the policies.”
According to Hanson, the financial effect the vending machines contribute towards the school budget is minimal and is usually used for student benefits such as activities and supplies. Hanson also states that the vending machine income can be easily replaced with the money made from student parking. The staff and teacher reactions largely vary as some are happy with the deploy of the machines while some are angered that their students’ food options are becoming limited.
The vending machines were not the only thing with a large school impact. The Juice Joint also provided many benefits such as allowing Entrepreneurship students the hands-on experience on how to manage a business and gave funds to the FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) to go to competitions and nationals. Mr Brian Patterson also states that the Juice Joint was permitted last year by Fulton County because it had healthy choices and was a good educational business idea. The reason behind the disappearance of the Juice Joint has to do with cafeteria sales decreasing. “Last year,” said Patterson, “the cafeteria sales went down by 42 meals a day when the Juice Joint was open.” While it did decrease cafeteria sales, it did not violate any school health guidelines.
Now, with the Juice Joint and vending machines closing, the students have to ask themselves, will the school create new ways to innovate our snacking options or will the students stay snack-less in North Springs?