Have you ever found yourself hungry between meals? As a high school student, I am exultant for the hard work that the School Nutrition Association, does in order for high school students to receive a healthy lunch. Their work is especially important in today’s society of ever increasing obesity rates. Because of this, the presence of vending machines in high schools has become a significant controversy. While many argue that all vending machines should be kept out of high schools, others argue for the contrary. The School Nutrition Association has a mission to provide students with a healthy, nutritious meal each day. It is essential that children do, indeed, receive the necessary servings of each food group every day. Nevertheless, I believe having vending machines in high schools would be to my advantage, as well as an asset to all other high school students and faculty of the nation.
Having vending machines in high schools would be a huge advantage simply for the sake of having a snack. In the long hours between breakfast and lunch, students begin to feel groggy, cantankerous, tired and hungry, all of which cause students to become less productive. A simple snack in this time period will give students the energy they need to get through to lunch. Having a snack also increases brain power, which gives students more motivation and encourages them to focus on their school work. If you were a teacher, would you want your student to be more focused and attentive in class? A simple snack is all it takes for students to retain their focus. Therefore, it would be an intelligent advantage to have vending machines in high schools.
In addition to vending machines supplying a readily available snack to increase the brain power of students, having the vending machines allows the school to receive an easy profit. Since schools are constantly trying to receive funds to buy books and other supplies for the students, vending machines would greatly help the schools turn their paucity of money into a larger amount. With each vending machine, schools receive a percentage of the sales revenue as commission. Officials at one local school say vending machines are actually a good thing for the school and its students. Rick Owsley, the assistant principal at Quincy Junior High stated “The fact is, they’re revenue generating and they do provide our school with revenue that we wouldn’t otherwise have.” This money could be used to replace old text books, to buy pencils, to buy paper, or any needed supplies that students need in order to be successful. What school would not want the opportunity to bring in extra revenue to be able to buy supplies for the students? In addition, the extra revenue could be used to pay for technological advances for the school or other items that would improve the safety and quality of the school. School districts would be able to purchase computers, smart boards, security systems and cameras, and even build new facilities such as weight rooms and intramural gyms for the students. All of these items would benefit the students. The security systems and cameras can increase the safety of the school and make students feel more comfortable. After all, it is less stressful to learn in an environment in which one feels safe and comfortable. Therefore, high schools should take advantage of the ability to bring in extra revenue by placing vending machines within the school.
On the contrary, organizations and individuals such as the School Nutrition Association argue that vending machines should not be placed within high schools. These organizations and individuals believe that vending machines are filled with junk food and saccharine drinks, which is contributing to the ever increasing rates of obesity in this country. There are such things as “healthy” vending machines. In vending machines selling drinks, schools can choose to put milks, real fruit juices, and waters. In food vending machines, schools can have unsalted pretzels, peanut butter cups, dark chocolates, and cheese and cracker packages. Such healthy foods and drinks increase brain power more than manufactured foods. Why are vending machines unwanted if they can be stocked with healthy foods and drinks that will avoid obesity and provide brain power? It is important for students to be healthy, but still be able to get a snack or a drink when they need it. Therefore, the “junk food” in vending machines should not be the reason that the machines are not allowed in schools because the “junk” can easily be changed into “healthy.”
Furthermore, many feel that vending machines can be too much of an expense for students. As high school students, budgeting money should be something that they should already be capable of or they should be learning how to budget. If one high school student is not capable of budgeting their money by refraining from spending all of their money in the vending machine, should all the students be punished by depriving them without a vending machine? Moreover, having the vending machines will enhance the students’ ability to budget their money. In order to have enough money for snacks, lunch, and perhaps a date on Friday night, the students will be forced to know how much extra cash they have to spend in the vending machines. If they want to get a snack between classes, they must know how much they can spend in order to afford their lunch and their Friday night date. By learning how to budget their money well as a high school student, they will be more successful when they live on their own. This is an important ability that students must learn in order to be financially successful in their life. In conclusion, it is important that vending machines are in high schools to aid in students’ development of budgeting their money.
In brief, vending machines should be placed in high school because they have enormous advantages. Vending machines provide snacks for brain power and they increase revenue for school districts and they can be stocked with healthy foods and drinks as well as aid in the success of student’s financial futures. Because of these noteworthy advantages of having vending machines within high schools, I believe the School Nutrition Association should rethink their stance of disallowing vending machines in high schools. Think about the children who need that extra brain power until lunch. Think about the extra books and supplies that the schools can buy for the students. Think about the healthy snacks and drinks that can be placed in the vending machines to reduce obesity rates. Think about the successful financial lives of the students that can be created. Vending machines are a significant advantage to high schools and they should be placed in the schools.
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