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City Asks For More Unhealthy Food In Vending Machines

tkraska / Flickr

tkraska / Flickr

There may soon be fewer healthy drinks and snacks in vending machines owned by the City of Sacramento. A proposed change will go before the City Council Thursday night.  

City of Sacramento code says half of the options in city-owned vending machines must be "healthy." For example: water, granola, cereal bars, or baked potato chips are acceptable health options.

This year, the Sacramento Department of Finance put out to bid its vending machine contract.

None of the 37 vendors in the region responded.

Craig Lymus is the City's Procurement Services Manager. He says vendors told him there's no profit in healthy options.

"They tried to put these same types of selections in medical facilities where there are doctors and the product doesn't move. People elect to eat and snack on exactly what they want to. If you stock it with too much healthy food and it's not desired, the customer will go elsewhere."

Lymus identified one vendor, Legend Vending, willing to stock the machines with 25 percent healthy food. He will go to City Council to ask for the 50 percent requirement to be cut in half.

City-owned vending machines are located in government buildings as well as community centers and public swimming pools.

Under the agreement, Legend would give the City 19 percent of gross receipts. 

A list of "healthy"items found in a 75 page inventory of food and drinks available currently: water, Baked Lays, Baked Cheetos, Sun Chips, Fiber One Bars, Quaker Chewy Granola Bars Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip, and Kellogg's Apple Cinnamon Nutri-Grain Bars.

A list of "unhealthy" items: donuts, big cinnamon rolls, sour gummy worms, P-Nuttles Toffee Nuts, spearmint and peppermint candies, regular Cheetos, Bugles Corn Chips, pretzels, Grandma's Mini Vanilla Sandwich Creams, Famous Amos Chocolate Chip Cookies, Rice Krispie Treats, Milano Cookies, Keebler Fudge-Striped Cookies, Chex Mix, Butterfingers candy bar, gummy bears, Pop Tarts, and Peanut M&Ms.

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