Snacks Sold in School Violate MCPS Nutrition Requirements


In efforts to promote and maintain a healthy school environment, MCPS has specific regulations for all snack and beverage items through vending machines, school stores, the athletic department and fundraisers. These nutritional requirements run from midnight until 30 minutes after school ends.


Many of the vending machines run on timers that allow students to buy snacks at specific times. While some of the machines start running during lunch, one near the auditorium starts sales at 2:40. This machine contains candy from Reese’s, Twix, Sour Patch Kids, M&M’s, Snickers and more.


According to the MCPS website, “Carbonated beverages, candy of any type or donuts are prohibited from sale to students regardless of their nutritional profile.” Selling candy in the vending machines after 3:00 would be within the regulations, but since they are sold only 10 minutes after school, they are breaking the rules.

“It’s really important for kids that are growing and trying to be fit for athletics…to nourish their body with healthful foods like fresh fruits and vegetables,” physical education and health teacher Stacey Krebs said.

Krebs also occasionally volunteers in the snack bar located near the staff lounge during lunch. The snack items sold there do follow MCPS regulations. However, the snack bar that is opened right after school across from the auditorium has foods that should be off limits to students. The very popular cup of noodles sold there has 1060 mg of sodium when the regulation allows only 230mg of sodium.

Since many of the vending machines are located on the first floor near the gym, athletes have easy access to snacks.

Sophomore Tiama Essama-Ayi said, “Especially during sports seasons I feel like the vending machine snacks are not healthy and I don’t feel as good consuming them.”

The MCPS Regulation for Wellness: Physical and Nutritional Health also said, “Marketing activities will promote healthful behaviors. Vending machine fronts will promote activity or consumption of approved beverages. When possible, pricing structures of food and beverage products will promote healthy options.”

However, in a vending machine near the auditorium, a “Simply Wholesome Apple Oatmeal Bar” costs the same amount, at $1.00 as items such as Cheetos, Doritos, Potato Chips, and “Roasted Salted Peanuts” costs the same amount, at $1.25 as Pop Tarts, Snickers, M&M’s, Jumbo Honey Buns and Skittles.

“I’d rather buy Pop Tarts then peanuts because they taste better. Even if the Pop Tarts cost more I’d still buy them.” sophomore Lisa Bellucio said.