Vending machines to remain locked down during lunch

Chelsea Flanigan, Writer

Imagine you packed your lunch and you forgot a drink and you’re up on the fourth floor. You decide to go downstairs to get a drink from the grab-n-go line on the first floor. Once you get downstairs, you see how long the line is, so you go and check the student union and those lines are even longer. So you think, “Maybe I could get something from the vending machines. There are plenty of them on campus.” You go to the one in the student union building but see that it’s dark. On the screen on the top right it says “timed locked.”

The school vending machines lock down at a certain time every day during lunch. Some students don’t want to wait in line to get food because the lines are too long or it’s too cold to stand outside at the food truck. So many students don’t even eat lunch during the time they have. Yes, they have an hour to eat lunch but some students have tutorials A or B lunch, or they even have tutorials during both A and B, so they don’t bother to get food. Usually, people just wait until the end of the day or during the day to eat from the vending machines because of the lunch lockdown. However, students aren’t allowed to purchase items from the vending machines during class time.

“I don’t like that the vending machines are locked during lunchtime,” freshman Noah Lakey said. “I think they should be unlocked so it’s easier to get food.”

MHS does not have its own food service, so it is under contract with Southwest Foodservice Excellence (SFE). SFE provides all the meals on campus including breakfast and lunch.

“It is a requirement per our district contract with SFE that the vending machines be turned off one hour before lunch, one hour during lunch, and one hour after lunch,” Assistant Principal Matt Dickerson said.

Since SFE is an outside company, Principal Kenneth Wooten explained that they must make a profit to stay in business.

“SFE is trying to balance their budget,” Mr. Wooten said. “Last year SFE lost money so that’s why they [vending machines] are being locked at certain times.”

As of now there is no chance the vending machines will be unlocked during megalunch, so students will have to prepare wisely.