Opinion:  Vending Machines Could Use an Upgrade


Photo by Henry M.

Reporter Nick D. contemplates which snack to get from the vending machine.

Sometimes after lunch, you just need a little bit more food to get you through the day. That’s where the vending machine comes in. The two Longfellow vending machines are located in the cafeteria. With just a dollar, you can buy anything from spicy Doritos to a chewy Rice Krispies Treat.

Students at Longfellow weighed in on three main vending-related issues: placement, frequency of use, and desired improvements.  They also rated the vending machines on a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being the best).

Placement is a big deal. It can determine how many people use the vending machines, and that can directly affect how much profit is made from them as well. Students agreed that the cafeteria is a great placement but would also like to see another location such as the lecture hall.  

It would be used more, so then it would be more efficient,”  said 8th grader Malcolm A. 

Students who don’t use vending machines have one or two reasons. Either they don’t have a dollar, or the snacks are not enticing to them. So to increase frequency of use, students would like to include their favorite snacks. Pringles and Sun Chips received a few votes and also more candy, which is no big surprise. Unfortunately, rules about what food is provided for students might prevent our favorites from gaining space in the machine, but it is nice to fantasize about. 

To address use for those who don’t have change, 8th grader Joey F. suggested that the vending machines start taking credit cards.  Not as many students bring cash to school these days, and many have access to a debit or credit card.

With their current location and selection, the average rating of the vending machines isn’t great.  Though we only talked to 8 students, the overall rating was only 5.75 out of 10. The highest rating was 9, and the lowest was 4.

Back in elementary school, when I heard that Longfellow had vending machines, I was pretty excited and wanted to use them. But alas, the actual experience was a letdown. Since these are student vending machines, students would like to have a say in the different options.