Bridgman school district adds smart vending machines with healthy food items

Menu options include fresh-baked muffins, popcorn, fresh salads and more.

Sept. 19—The Bridgman school district is hoping a smart vending machine will be the single solution to two food-related problems: long days at school and long lines in the cafeteria.

Although not on the agenda, the subject of student hunger under the new federal lunch program guidelines came up at last week's school board meeting. Superintendent Shane Peters said the administration was investigating a new type of vending machine, which is billed as "a separate cafeteria line."

"Our kids spend 10 to 12 hours here, and they get hungry," Peters told the board at the end of a meeting dedicated to setting goals for the coming year.

After the meeting, food service director Peggy Ferguson said the new machine could be programmed to work with the district's food service accounting system to give students access to the food without worrying about cash.