Schools Partner with HUMAN Healthy Vending for Early Compliance with USDA’s “Smart Snacks in School” Rules

HUMAN Healthy Vending, the nation’s premier socially-responsible franchisor of healthy vending machine businesses, is currently working with schools around the nation to comply with the USDA’s “Smart Snacks In School” rules, which go into effect July 1, 2014. Several schools are already 50-80% compliant with the rules, with many more schools closely behind.

Los Angeles, Calif. (PRWEB) September 30, 2013

HUMAN Healthy Vending, the nation’s premier socially-responsible healthy vending franchise, is currently working with schools around the nation to comply with the USDA’s “Smart Snacks In School” rules, which go into effect July 1, 2014. Several schools are already 50-80% compliant with Smart Snacks In School, with many more schools closely behind.

As part of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, the USDA passed interim final standards for all foods and drinks sold in school vending machines, student stores and a la carte (AKA “competitive foods”), which it published in June of this year and called, “Smart Snacks In School.” All schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program must ensure that the snacks and beverages sold on campus during school hours meet these specific nutrient limits and ingredient standards or potentially face thousands of dollars in fines.

One school that has decided to start incorporating Smart-Snacks-In-School-compliant snacks and beverages into its healthy vending program, in advance of the deadline, is Avon High School, in Hendricks County, Ind.

Avon High School’s Assistant Principal, Kellie Rodkey, led the effort to bring a HUMAN Healthy Vending program to the school to replace the student-run vending machines that sold items that would not comply with the USDA’s new standards. “I wanted our snacks and beverages to comply with ‘Smart Snacks in School’ and to create some funding for our students to use,” said Rodkey.

“Our student government is the one who benefits from the funding and any bit helps our kids’ activities. Plus, it’s great to educate kids on healthy eating and not have to worry about complying with the USDA’s rules next year. “

Eduardo Sol is the franchisee behind the HUMAN Healthy Vending franchise serving the Indianapolis area. “As a father, I want to set an example for my daughter and prove that healthy living can be a way of life as well as a way of business,” said Sol. “I’m proud to be working with Avon High School and look forward to working with additional schools in the area to comply with ‘Smart Snacks in School.’”

Hume Fogg, a magnet high school based in Nashville, Tenn., is also getting ahead of the curve and integrating compliant snacks and beverages into its planogram now, rather than waiting until next year. As the #1 ranked high school in Tennessee, according to US News and World Report’s “Best High Schools” list, Hume Fogg prides itself on providing a top-notch education as well as a healthful environment for its students.

“At Hume-Fogg, we care not only about the academic wellbeing of our students, but about their physical and mental health as well,” said Dr. Kellie Hargis, principal. “Bringing in healthy vending is just one way to ensure that our students have access to healthy, responsible snacks.”

Suzanne McMillan, one of HUMAN Healthy Vending’s Nashville-based franchisees who owns the machines at Hume-Fogg, thinks it is important to introduce the school’s student body to the snacks that will make the cut next year. “As a mom to five children, I know that children can be picky eaters. I also know that palettes can change if you give them time. So, I think it’s important for schools to start introducing their students to Smart-Snacks-In-School-compliant snacks now so that, come next year, everyone is on board.”

When asked what the response has been to the healthy vending program, Dr. Hargis remarked, “The response to the new items has been better than we ever anticipated. We had to bring in an additional machine to supply the demand within weeks of the first trial machine.”

Sarah Tarka Baer and Alex Baer, HUMAN’s Missoula, Mont.-based franchisees, are transitioning their schools to Smart Snacks In School compliant snacks and beverages as well. “Several of our current best-sellers--Popcorn Indiana Kettlecorn and GoGo Squeeze, for example--are already compliant with the new guidelines, so we expect it will be a smooth transition into the 2014-2015 school year,” said Tarka Baer. The Baers are currently working with Bonner School and St. Joseph School where up to 55% of the current planograms are compliant.

Doug Ardiana, superintendent of Bonner School, an elementary school in Bonner, Mont., cancelled his school’s soda machine contract and incorporated a HUMAN Healthy Vending program instead because he wanted to provide his students with healthful alternatives. “Our students really only have access to a couple of restaurants and a convenience store outside of our school, so it’s imperative that our school introduce the children to healthful snacks and beverages that they might not otherwise have the chance to encounter,” said Ardiana. “Providing healthy vending and getting in ahead of the curve on Smart Snacks In School really helps set the standard here for healthy living. We’ve already changed our lunch menu, so this was a logical next step.”

Lastly, schools with healthy vending in Houston, Texas are also getting an early start by working with Shelley Levine and Corban Bates, a HUMAN Healthy Vending franchisee team. The Awty International School, a college prepatory PK3-12th grade international day school, is already 80% Smart-Snacks-In-School-compliant and The Kinkaid School, the oldest independent coeducational school in the Houston, Texas area, is also on pace to be fully compliant.

Levine and Bates recently signed a contract with Austin High School and hope to work with additional schools in the Houston Independent School District, which is the largest public school system in Texas, to ensure its schools are in full compliance by July of next year.

For more information on becoming a healthy vending franchisee, visit http://www.HealthyVendingTeam.com. For more information on having a healthy vending machine at your location, please visit http://www.healthyvendingschools.com or call 310.845.7745. For an extensive guide on “Smart Snacks In School,” please visit http://www.SmartSnacksInSchool.com.

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About HUMAN Healthy Vending

HUMAN (“Helping Unite Mankind And Nutrition”) Healthy Vending is America’s premier healthy foods distribution platform. Via healthy vending machines, healthy micro markets, and other innovative automated retail technologies, HUMAN delivers on its vision to “make healthy food more convenient than junk food.” The HUMAN Healthy Platform can be found in over 2000 schools, offices, hospitals, health clubs, YMCAs, and other locations in over 40 U.S. States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The “better-for-you” platform delivers a wide variety of healthy snacks, fresh produce, coffees, and locally-sourced foods. In addition to providing healthful food options, HUMAN healthy storefronts provide nutrition education via high-definition LCD screens that display streaming videos and other digital content.

HUMAN Healthy Vending has been ranked by Inc Magazine as the #168th Fastest Growing Private Company in America, by Entrepreneur as one of its “Top 100 Brilliant Companies” and by Forbes as one of “America’s Most Promising Companies” (two years in a row).

HUMAN donates 10% of profits to charities that fight the causes of childhood obesity and malnutrition, with a predominate recipient of those funds being HUMAN’s non-profit arm, HUMAN Everywhere.