Healthy Vending and Concessions
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Vending machines are convenient when we need a quick snack or a cold drink. But choosing a healthy snack can be difficult when vending machines are stocked only with chips, candy bars, and soda. The lack of healthy choices often forces us to choose between a high-fat, high-sodium, high-sugar snack and no snack at all.
“Healthy vending” refers to policies that increase the number of healthy choices in vending locations, which may include vending machines, concession stands, and other places where packaged or prepared food is sold. Healthy vending policies may also require that healthy choices be no more expensive than unhealthy choices, that healthy choices be located at eye-level or clearly labeled, or that unhealthy choices be removed altogether.
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The Randolph-Sheppard Act and its state law counterparts make vendors who are legally blind powerful agents with respect to vending and other concession services on a wide variety of government property. The Public Health Law Center conducted a 50-state review of mini-Randolph-Sheppard Acts in March 2014.
The Public Health Law Center and the American Cancer Society have partnered to update the Center’s Healthy Healthcare Toolkit, which is designed to help organizations create healthier food environments with a special focus on hospital and healthcare settings. Although the series focuses on beverages and healthcare settings, many of the principles and approaches outline in this toolkit can also be applied to food environments, and also to other types of organizational settings.