Group recommends restricted pop options for schools

From staff reports

The Rochester school district is considering a $2 million vending contract with Pepsi Cola. But the proposal has caused some to question whether soda should even be available in the schools.

The district's committee on beverages has made several recommendations, including:

1. Soda machines should be placed only in high school cafeteria/common areas. Machines that do not contain soda pop could also be placed in other areas. Machines offering water could be placed in new, convenient locations.

2. Soda should be sold only in 12-ounce cans. Other products could be sold in larger portions and in reclosable plastic bottles.


3. Beverage pricing should correlate with nutritional benefits in order to promote healthy choices, with soda being the most expensive per serving.

4. Soda should ...

Option A ... not be sold during breakfast and lunch periods, as required by law. Other products could be sold at any time.

Option B ... not be sold until after the lunch period. Other products could be sold at any time.

Option C ... not be sold until after the end of the last class period. Other products could be sold at any time.

(The committee could not reach consensus on this item and so provides three options for the school board to consider.)

5. The number and arrangement of beverage machines should reflect a clear preference for healthier beverages, with the number of pop machines reduced to a minimum. (For example, only one or two machines for high school commons/cafeteria.)

6. Beverages sold under the guise of concessions should not be held to these recommendations.


7. Dispensing machines in areas not accessible to students (to include, but not be restricted to, staff lounges, staff dining rooms and custodial rooms) should not be held to these recommendations; provided, however, that those machines should be limited to a maximum of 50 percent soda per location.

8. Elementary buildings should continue to have beverage dispensing units only in staff areas, and thus off-limits to students.

9. Middle school buildings may continue to sell beverages other than pop during lunch, with the goal of promoting a healthy beverage environment.

10. No additional machines will be placed in middle schools.

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