Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity
Yale University Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity Yale University Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity

Vending Machines & School Stores

In 2003, the Center for Science in the Public Interest surveyed schools across the nation and found that 74 percent of middle schools and 98 percent of high schools had vending machines, school stores and snack bars – multiple venues through which students could obtain food outside the cafeteria. Most of what is sold in these venues is of poor nutritional quality.

Determining who controls vending machines and school stores within a particular school district can be complicated. Sometimes the district has a contract with a company like Coke or Pepsi called a "pouring rights" contract, which means that only beverages from that company can be sold in the school district. The person or group to which the money flows from those sales varies; it might be the district food service, the school principal, the physical education teacher, or some other organization.

Similarly, sometimes the school store is run by the students, who use the profits for their own programs, while other times profits to go a particular program in the school.

At the Rudd Center, we are working toward regulation of these venues such that children are presented with a range of ONLY healthy choices at school.