This month high schools and K-12 schools across Cincinnati, Ohio installed student and school-friendly vending machines that feed kids in less than 20 seconds, visually stimulating and are USDA approved to distribute healthy meals.
“Star Food machines also tie seamlessly into the school point-of-sale (POS) system so they can track which students are on the reimbursable meal program and manage the accounting aspects, said Bob Gottlieb, who oversees the Star Food Healthy Express project nationwide, in a prepared statement.
Thanks to a grant from the Walmart Foundation and the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) students at Cincinnati schools will be eating a healthy breakfast. Using these grant funds 14 schools across the Cincinnati Public School district have just finished installing the Star Food Healthy Express machines and strategically placed them where students gather in the morning to assure easy access before class.
With more than 65 percent of the students eligible for free or reduced price breakfasts, the Superintendent of Cincinnati Public Schools, Mary Ronan said they are devoted to improving breakfast participation.
“No child can learn well on an empty stomach,” said Daniel Domenech AASA executive director. Across the country, more than 19 million children qualify for free or reduced price lunch, but less than half of them get breakfast at school.
Star Food was one of the first companies seven years ago to recognize the need to feed more kids, healthier meals. Star Food Healthy Express was the result, and it was developed with the input and co-operation of school systems and POS companies that serve the schools. Some schools have developed programs with local farmers and local chefs to design meals that are USDA compliant and can be easily served from the Star Food healthy Express.
“We knew there had to be a way this tried and true vending system for delivering food could be the solution at the crossroads of increasing government regulations to help curb childhood obesity and the desire of our school leaders to do what is best for the students,” said Gottlieb. “It makes us incredibly proud that Star Food Healthy Express was chosen by Cincinnati Public Schools and AASA as they set a national example.”
Star Food Healthy Express in based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. For information, go to: www.starfoodhealthyexpress.com.