FORT WAYNE – Items sold in Fort Wayne Community Schools vending machines are unlikely to change based on new federal regulations, but the district’s nutrition department could see a loss of revenue and an increase in the amount of food it throws out, an official said Thursday.
Two years ago, the district implemented a wellness policy that includes guidelines developed by the district with community input on the kinds of snacks and drinks sold in vending machines, said Candice Hager, director of nutrition services. The district’s internal guidelines are as stringent as or more so than the new rules, she said.
But in a la carte lines that offer alternatives to the day’s school lunches, Hager said, the regulations could result in lower participation. With fewer students buying goods, the program, which is self-sufficient, would take in less revenue, she said.
The rules don’t allow cafeterias to sell items such as cookies unless they are part of the day’s menu. That could mean cafeterias are throwing out these items after just one day if they go unsold, she said.
The Agriculture Department allows time for comments and feedback from schools before the final rules are released. Hager said the district has suggested the rules allow schools to sell some items for a week instead of just one day. She said even cookies are relatively healthy because the district makes them with whole grains.