(PRWEB) May 13, 2013
The state of Washington is looking at big changes in the foods available from vending machines. A number of larger cities have already reviewed the situation and passed new ordinances in support of healthier food choices.
In March, the Seattle City Council voted 9 to 0 to adopt the King County Healthy Vending Guidelines, these require that vending machines located on city property must provide healthier food choices. At least half of the food sold in city vending machines must be nutritious. Seattle’s city parks have offered healthy choices in their vending machines since 2010.
The ordinance sited numerous reasons for the new healthy food guidelines, including these proclamations:
- approximately half the adult population in the city of Seattle is overweight or obese
- overweight adults are at greater risk for numerous serious health outcomes that place a large burden on the health care system and increase health care costs
- studies show that Americans consume too few vegetables, fruits, high-fiber whole grains, and too much saturated and trans-fats, refined grains, sodium and sugar-sweetened beverages
- ensuring easy access to healthy food and beverage choices in City work sites would provide opportunities for City employees to consume more nutritious food and beverages while at work and support healthy and productive City employees
- establishes standards for vending machine content based upon calories, fat, sugar and sodium content
Forward-thinking cities throughout the nation have been developing guidelines for healthy vending machine food choices, Chicago has the Blueprint for Healthier Vending in place . In the Seattle area, the public health offices of King County created the Healthy Vending Took kit, it includes guidelines along with sample posters, newsletter articles, surveys and community presentations to prepare to launch a healthy vending machine initiative.
These documents are developed with background information gathered from a variety of well-respected sources. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) published: Overweight and obesity, The Childhood Consequences and The Health Consequences; The American Journal for Public Health provided: Pricing Strategy to Promote Low-Fat Snack Choices through Vending Machines; From The USDA: Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans; and The U.S. Department of Health wrote: Improving the Food Environment Through Nutrition Standards: A Guide for Government Procurement.
Fresh Healthy Vending franchisee, Matt Coffey is in King County, Washington. He owns Fresh Healthy Washington with 31 machines in the Seattle and Spokane areas. They are at a variety of locations, including the Pacific Science Center and area YMCAs. “It’s always a positive response. There is not one location that has said no, 100 percent have said yes, they all want the machines to be available on their sites,” said Coffey.
“Healthy vending and healthy eating overall is a priority, society in general has made a huge shift recently — and that’s a positive thing for everybody, especially with the childhood obesity rates. Fresh Healthy Vending is in at the beginning of the trend and offering the concept,” he said. “I’ve had great success in talking with people about the idea of healthy vending, people want to be a part of it.”
“Setting up the machines is different for each county and school district, but I see the trend and it’s a good one. Schools want them on campus, the Principals are often the first contact and they really see the benefits for the students and faculty,” Coffey stated.
“I’m a general contractor, we do remodeling work and have built quite a few homes in the area, some of them almost 2 million dollars. I’ve had the business since 1997 and I like to be very hands-on with the design and the remodels. But there are times here in the winter and during the economic downturn in the past few years that I was really looking for another source of income,” he said.
“I’ve never been drawn to vending because I eat healthy and exercise, and so does my family,” said Coffey, “The idea of selling the products typically available in machines didn’t appeal to me. My wife found out about Fresh Healthy Vending, she said: ‘You’ve really got to look at this.’ I spent time going over their website, and connected with their mission statement. The company and the people have a lot of knowledge and experience behind them. I can put my beliefs into this — it’s not just another way to make money.”
The Fresh Healthy Vending business is a cause that goes beyond financial benefit. The fight against obesity is being fought by bringing healthy food to communities and providing a beneficial impact while working for the greater good.
The Fresh Healthy Vending machines in Spokane and Seattle are some of the thousands of vending locations throughout the country offering healthy snack food and beverage choices. Keeping minds and bodies in better shape are part of the directives for Fresh Healthy Vending, the first and largest franchisor of healthy vending machines. Their quest is to help Americans become healthier by providing more nutritious and wholesome snacks and drinks purchased through vending machines.
Expert at creating profitable vending businesses for franchisees, they also offer the Fresh Healthy Café machine. This unique vending machine dispenses fresh-ground, gourmet, organic coffee, hot chocolate, and chai tea drinks together with signature healthy snack options.
For more information about Fresh Healthy Vending franchises, visit http://www.freshvending.com. To inquire about receiving a free Fresh Healthy Vending machine, visit http://www.freshandhealthy.org or call toll free 888-902-7558.