At the beginning of this school year, the high school changed vending machine suppliers. The high school’s old vending machine supplier, The Vending Company, stocked the machine with Snickers bars, Twizzlers, and other snacks that cannot be sold in schools. Many of those snacks also contained nuts— another food that the high school cannot sell because of its nut-free policies. As a result, the school changed to a new provider: Berkshire Naturals. 

These new vending machines sell a variety of new snacks and drinks, ranging from Popcorners to GoGo squeeZ fruit pouches to Envy energy drinks. 

They also have more advanced technologies that allow the stock of the machines to be tracked for faster and more accurate refilling. Furthermore, the new supplier is available five days a week to restock these machines, unlike the previous once-a-week refills that left the machines almost empty by the end of the week. 

The vending machines are also now refrigerated, causing the snacks and drinks provided to be cooler — for better or worse. Although some may prefer a cold drink, others may not like the change in their snack’s taste or texture because of the refrigeration. 

“Berkshire Naturals provides healthier snacks for schools. Things that are kid friendly, that fit the A-List guidelines, and they are nicer, newer vending machines,” said the Wellesley Public Schools Food Services Director, Matthew Delaney. 

The A-List is the “A-cceptable” List of items that can be sold a la carté in schools, created by the John Stock Institute out of Framingham State University. This list contains snacks and drinks “that are lower in fat, lower in sodium, and in a package that is 200 calories or lower,” said Delaney. 

These are a few examples of the many nutritional guidelines that the state of Massachusetts requires of public schools with any “competitive foods or beverages,” or all foods and beverages sold or provided by the school. These guidelines aim to reduce the sugar, fat, sodium, caffeine, white grain, and calorie content of these “competitive foods and beverages”. 

Students seem to enjoy the new options, despite their being healthier. 

“A week ago maybe I would skip lunch and skip the vending machines, but now they have some solid snacks,” said Erik Hellgren ’25. “I personally love the new addition of the vending machines.” 

Kai Chen ’26 agreed, saying that “the new vending machines are better than I expected, and the GoGo squeeZ, although overpriced, is a childhood staple.” 

Some students, however, prefer the previous vending machines. 

“I think the options were more appealing before the new vending machines. Before, if I was skipping lunch, I would get something from the vending machines, but now, I would skip lunch and not get something from the vending machines,” said John McCurley ’25. 

The vending machines are relatively new, and current snacks and drinks are experimental, “so we’ll see how it goes,” said Delaney

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