Bronx Students Want Healthier Snack Choices

Editor’s Note: The following story was originally published in Bronx Youth Heard, a publication of the Bronx Youth Journalism Initiative, a free journalism program for Bronx high school students run by the Norwood News. We are currently accepting applications for our spring semester. To find out more about the program and how to apply, click here. The Bronx Youth Journalism Initiative is supported by the North Star Fund, the Johnson Family Foundation Fund, and City Councilman Fernando Cabrera, and is run in collaboration with CUNY’s College Now program at Hostos Community College.

Some Bronx students say they’d like to see healthier options in their school vending machines. (Photo by Dondre Lemon)


By Dondre Lemon

Two years ago, New York City installed healthy vending machines in 14 public schools throughout the city, with three of them in the Bronx.

These new vending machines, at Bronx Science, DeWitt Clinton and Herbert H. Lehman High Schools, are stocked with water, low-calorie drinks with no artificial flavors, fruits and vegetables.

Some students at other schools say they would enjoy having these healthy vending machines in their own cafeterias.

“I would like if the school had healthy vending machines because of obesity and diabetes,” said David Nelson, 14, a student at Mount Saint Michael Academy.

“My school vending machines have a lot of healthy snacks like Fiber One Bars and water,” said Alicia Cameron, a freshman at Mount Vernon High.

The Bronx has the highest rate of diabetes in the city: 12 percent of residents have been diagnosed with the disease. Citywide, one in six public high school students are overweight, according to the Department of Health.

While the Department of Education has banned foods like soda and candy in their vending machines for the past several years, private and Catholic schools like Mount Saint Michael don’t have the same rules.

“We eat too much fatty foods,” said Lamar Love, a freshman.

Most of the snacks in the new, healthy machines are sold for $2 to $3.50 each, compared to the $1 price tag items in the old machines.

Some are undecided if their school should have healthy vending machines .

“Yes, too many teens are gaining weight,” said Ayanna Punter, 14, from St. Barnabas High School in the Bronx. “But [sometimes] you need junk food.”

The solution, some say, is to have more choices.

“I would rather have a mixture of both vending machines,” said Justin Henry, a 14-year-old freshman at Cardinal Spellman.

Jaylin Washington, a freshman at Scanlon High School in Co-Op City, agreed.

“We can have one healthy vending machines and the rest can be junk,” she said. “Some people may want to stay healthy, and others would still eat junk.”

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One thought on “Bronx Students Want Healthier Snack Choices

  1. Gabrielle Rem

    Healthier food options and promoting healthier eating is the very reason I started Healthy Choices Vending, LLC.

    We offer healthy and nutritious beverages, sides and snacksthrough our eco-friendlyenergy saving vending machines. Kosher, organic, gluten free and specialty items are also available to our customers upon request.

    With all the legislation and Mayor Bloomberg’s push for healthier snacks and drinks it is surprising how few schools and other public agencies and entities have healthy vending machines.

    Healthy Choices Vending installs, services, maintains and offers customer support for all our “healthy” vending machines.

    It’s a “Win Win” situation all around. Students and staff have healthy eating options through our vending units and the food and drinks are not only good for you but taste great!

    Eating healthier is not a trend it is a necessity and Healthy Choices Vending LLC is here to provide your school, college, university, offices and any location where people want a healthy solution for eating and drinking.

    For information on Healthy Choices Vending visit our website at and our WordPress blog

    This article is great news and it is just a matter of time before healthy vending machines are the norm and not the exception.

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