The Student News Site of Alta High School

student purchasing from the vending machine

National Inflation Crisis Hits School Vending Machines

A story on the increasing price of vending machine food

From muddy buddies to cranberry juice, the Alta vending machines have a wide variety of snacks and beverages, but many students are noticing the increase cost of individual items. It’s also no secret that inflation is plaguing the country and affecting food and restaurant prices.

It even trickles down to the vending machines at school. This question raises the question of why are the snacks and drinks so expensive?

Alta students are grateful for the snack and beverage options at the school but share on the angst about the prices and the lack of variety. “No body wants to buy a $4 pop tart,” says Natalie Euler. “Everyone keeps complaining on how everything is getting so expensive.”

Student Justin Harris used to go for the fruit snacks all the time. “After the price increases, I’m just sticking to pop-tarts because the price stayed the same,” he said. The price jump since June has just increased month after month. From 2.3% in May, to 10% in August. Many have jumped from $1 to almost $1.50.

T&B vending, the business that stocks the numerous Alta machines, makes $300,000 a year.

Half of the money goes to the purchase of the products. That leaves 25,000 for each of the 10 staff members which isn’t exactly a thriving income. For restocking 130 vending machines a day, 80 bucks isn’t that much. Those staff members are picking up second jobs as the vending machine work doesn’t pay enough to get by.

The work they are already doing is time consuming and takes up most of their day-not leaving time for a side hustle. T&B stocks 900 machines a week. The Alta machines are stocked every other day.

Staff and Students said they wish the school would switch up the types of food in the vending machines every once in a while. But while students want things like “sour gummy worms” and “recess pieces” that’s just not possible with Michelle Obama’s new ‘Smart Snack Calculator’ which calculates the right amount of calories and sugar in a product and decides if it’s acceptable for America’s growing youth. says that the cost of a typical new vending machine is usually “between $3000 and $7000,”  but many more advanced machines like the ones in Alta are being sold for higher amounts even above $10,000.

What about vending machine theft? Students have been heard talking about the vending machine giving more/less than payed for- are students willing to steal? shares about vending vandalism and theft “At some point every owner of a vending machine business finds that one or more of his machines have been vandalized or broken into. Inventory is either missing or destroyed and you may need to spend quite a bit of money to repair or replace the damaged property”.

Students need to learn to be more accountable and honorable. If students can’t respect vending machine rules, the machines may end up in being revoked. Which in turn causes the workers to lose income, and loose ability to get snacks at school.

The vending machines are always being restocked and selling new snacks to students every day. The students may wish for the beverages and snacks to cost less but after learning on how much the stockers are making, the prices almost seemed like they need to be raised even more.

Students need to realize that even just a vending machine has a huge affect on the whole school and community, with loss of income to workers being a common problem. Staff and students will just have to wait and see how the scenario rolls out and what creases are left in the plan.

Hopefully students will see the importance of vending machines and can possibly come to a compromise in the future.


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