Arizona guidelines require sugar-free drinks sold at schools
By Dallas Ducar ’10
Since school resumed a couple months ago, vending machines around campus have gone through some major changes.
It started with simple pieces of paper that had been taped to the machines stating that the machine was “out of order.”
While some students did not take notice of this change, other frequent purchasers began to grow a bit worried.
Within weeks, all of the options provided by vending machines were downsized and the beverages were all replaced with sugar-free substances.
Various Brophy students pointed fingers at local food provider Michael’s.
Some believed it was part of an ingenious ploy to funnel more soft drink purchases through their own company to boost profits.
“Terrible. It is terrible. It’s…a scam by Michael’s to make sure that people who want to buy regular soda not diet soda, which is about everyone, go to the Great Hall,” said Keifer Forseth ’10 when asked about what he thought of the changes.
However, Director of Facilities and Food Services Ms. Sherri Stephens said Michael’s is not to blame.
“It was not Brophy’s decision about the vending machines, it is because of
a contract that Pepsi and probably Coke have with the State of Arizona,” she wrote in an e-mail.
According to the Arizona Department of Education’s Web site, all schools within Arizona must act in compliance with the document entitled “Vending Contract Guidance.”
The Vending Contract Guidance states that “schools or school districts who enter into contracts with vending companies for food and/or beverage items need to review the contract to ensure it does not compromise or contradict the nutritional integrity of the school environment.”
Furthermore, this document continues by stating that the “sale of sugared carbonated beverages,” would be considered a violation of the document.
“We had no say so in this at all, but because we are a private school and our kitchen is contracted out to Michael’s, we are able to still provide drinks with sweetener in the Great Hall,” Ms. Stephens said.
Ironically, while students such as Forseth quickly attempt to blame this cuisine crisis on Michael’s, it is actually Michael’s who seems to be preventing the Brophy community from completely losing these sugar-filled carbonated refreshments altogether.
However, the vending machines provided a quicker and cheaper way to fulfill many students needs for sugar-filled beverages.
While some students have not even taken notice of the change, for others it has been a huge hit to their daily rituals.
“I went to (the vending machines) everyday, right after school and sometimes in between school,” said T.J. Decker ’13 about his summer school vending machine habits. “I don’t know what I’m going to do.”