Healthier vending machines coming to city-owned buildings

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond City Council voted Monday to make snack options healthier. It affects vending machines operated on city property.

The idea is to replace unhealthy snack items typically found in vending machines with items that meet nutritional guidelines.

At Monday’s meeting, the idea to encourage city employees to eat healthier passed with zero objection.

“Right now there are very few healthy food and beverage options around public buildings and parks in the city,” said Dan Hudgins, who represents the American Heart Association.

A group from the American Heart Association came out to show their support for the initiative.

“As awareness grows of the impact of healthy eating on the quality of our life, more people are seeking healthy options, but when there are no healthy options available in vending machines people tend to revert to whatever is available,” said Hudgins.

Aside from adding healthy options, the plan also calls for additional nutritional labeling. Council member Kim Gray says the plan could save the city money in health care costs.

“I think it will improve the overall health of our employees which will lower our costs for health care,” Gray said.

City employees say they welcome the new change.

“I would like to see some more healthier options I’m a big nut on trying to get more physically fit and eating better so I would like to see some more nutritional snacks in there,” said Vanessa Floyd, a Richmond City employee.

The nutritional items will first start in a limited amount of city controlled properties but eventually will roll out to all of the properties.

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