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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida schools without vending machines?

vending_machines.Assuming he gets control of food in public schools, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says he may shut down or restrict vending machines, according to this News Service of Florida story we missed last week. "I'm not opposed to doing what it takes to improve the quality and nutritional value of what our kids have to eat," Putnam said.

Sounds good, said State Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, but what about the money the machines generate for schools? The vending machine industry weighed in yesterday, saying the Automatic Merchandising Association of Florida "has a big job ahead of it" in educating officials about what it's doing to offer healthy options.

"Schools should offer healthy products, but nutrition rules must be reasonable," wrote the editor of Vending Market Watch. "Restrictions on products in the machines won't change kids' eating habits, and many schools have faced serious financial consequences from strict restrictions."

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[Last modified: Monday, May 23, 2011 6:06pm]


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