New Vending Machines Offer Healthy School Lunch Options

A new vending machine offers healthy options for local students

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    NEWSLETTERS

    New vending machines make their debut on the first day of school in Miami-Dade. (Published Friday, Aug 19, 2011)

    About a dozen students got a tasty preview of what's in store for all public high schools in Miami-Dade starting Monday. The new meal vending program was unveiled at Miami Beach Senior High.

    Star Food’s Healthy Express is a high tech vending machine stocked with nutritious meals incorporating locally grown produce. Celebrity chefs like Michelle Bernstein of Michy’s and Kris Wessel of Red Light Restaurant helped unveil the healthy option for students.

    “At Edison High School where thousands of kids are trying to get food and don’t necessarily want to stand in line,” Wessel said. “This is an alternative and it’s a healthy alternative.”

    No cash is needed. Each student will enter his or her own pin number. A grilled chicken salad, for example, is $2.50. The free meal program will cover the cost for students who qualify.

    “This is a new way of providing nutrition to kids in an expedient way, in a healthy way,” Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said. It’s an idea whose time has come.”

    Among the items students get to choose from - wraps, salads, and yogurt parfaits.

    Malik Wright, who attends Miami Northwestern High, liked what he tasted. Compared to regular cafeteria Wright said this was “ a lot different, way healthier. I like it.”

    “It’s really delicious and I think it would be a good breakfast for kids who come really early to school,” said Miami Beach High student Zoe Thoennes, who taste tested a yogurt parfait.

    Students at nine middle schools and Sunny Isles Beach K-8 will also have the vending machines thanks to a grant from the Dairy Council of Florida.

    The middle schools are: Jose Marti, Palm Springs, Lamar Luis Curry, Jorge Mas Canosa, Nautilus, Ruben Dario, Country Club, Arvida and Doral.