Pasco County Schools starts healthy vending program

Feb. 22—Pasco County Schools has added 60 new vending machines that offer only healthy snacks to its secondary campuses.

The machines, which were purchased with grant money from the Dairy Council of Florida, offer fresh fruit and vegetables, low-fat and whole-grain chips, yogurt, cheese sticks and sandwiches. All snacks available in the machines meet guidelines set by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Each middle and high school received one refrigerated and one non-refrigerated machine.

Rich Kurtz, director of food and nutrition services for the district, said the new machines are the district’s next step in meeting the district’s wellness committee policy. “The need to be proactive on issues related to the health of our students drives us to pursue innovative approaches that bring students what they enjoy while keeping the selection to a set of health-promoting choices. Our district’s long-range goal is for students to learn to make healthy choices for a lifetime of wellness.”

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Moving at three miles per hour, the robots will follow preprogrammed routes to the HealthPlex, where room ambassadors will remove room service carts from the TUGs and deliver them to patients. The TUGs will then return to nutrition services with dirty dishes for cleaning.

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