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Vending Machines in Chelmsford Schools to Become Healthier

As the schools comply with state regulations, sugary drinks will be removed from vending machines this year.

As Chelmsford Public Schools looks to increase participation in school lunch programs and come into compliance with state regulations, all sugary drinks from vending machines will be removed this upcoming school year.

The school system's eight vending machines in Chelmsford High School and both middle schools will have to abide by the state's guidelines for no sodas or drinks with artificial sweetners. Drinks with caffeine will also be eliminated.

School Business Manager Kathy McWilliams on the Inside CPS tv show said most likely the schools will only be able to have water in the vending machines.

The schools will also have to look into what they can serve for snacks in a vending machine to come into compliance with state laws.

McWilliams said a healthy vending machine with healthy snacks was also piloted this year and it didn't go over very well.

"People didn't embrace it, really the (snacks) might not have been that tasty I've been told, but we can't even try that next year, we have to see what foods can go in (the machines)," she said. 

Regular vending machine items will be available in the teachers' lounges, she said.

"But if children have access to it, it has to be changed. So it is a change, people will have to get used to it and most likely it'll just be water," McWilliams said.

Tom Gilroy July 26, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Now the state tells us what the children can eat? What is good for the children should be good for the teachers and administration. Will the state food police be raiding the school vending machines? The nanny state at its most intrusive. What is the penalty go noncompliance, reduced funding?
Cee Virtue July 26, 2012 at 09:06 PM
Kids make foolish dietary choices all the time, not helped by the sugar-water sold as sodas and juices in schools. I rather expect this regulation came from parents getting involved in government; the more involvement by everyone, the better the government will be. Those against it are encouraged to write to their state reps with counter-arguments.
Kathleen J Murphy July 26, 2012 at 09:13 PM
This law goes a little too far. These kids are old enough to make some of their own decisions. Btw, most adults make foolish dietary choices too, should we remove all the sugary drinks from the state? It doesnt seem fair for the staff to have access when the kids dont. Seems like a " do as I say, not as I do"

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