Opinion: vending machine access  

The vending machines at Jupiter High School are available before and after school and between lunch bells–but that’s only if you make it there in time. As soon as the bell for lunch rings, students have exactly six minutes to get out of class, wait in the vending machine lines and get their drink of choice. This is an expectation many students haven’t been able to achieve. 

At the start of this school year, new safety protocols were implemented such as the ‘10-minute rule,’ which prohibits students from leaving the classroom the first and last 10 minutes of class. Following this, a timer system was set on the vending machines to prevent unnecessary movement during class time.

Last year students had access to both snack and drink vending machines. Now students are limited to drink machines and one snack machine located in the cafeteria. 

Theia Barela, freshman, uses the vending machines almost everyday. 

“The lines are super long and I have to rush out of class to get there in time,” Barela said. 

There is never a certainty that you will make it in time. If your class is at the opposite end of the school, you’re out of luck. You may make it to the vending machine, but you’ll be greeted with a scrolling message saying “Not Available until 14:40.” 

“It’s super annoying because they said the vending machines would be open during lunch, which makes you think it’s for the whole lunch, not for only six minutes,” Emma McMullen, junior, said.

The simple solution to this issue is to change the timer to allow access to the vending machines during the whole lunch period. This would give more students a chance to get a drink in time without having to rush from class. 

The only vending machines that are open throughout the lunches are the ones in the cafeteria. The only problem is they are always broken or out-of-order.

“If I forget my lunch, I can’t get anything because the vending machines in the cafeteria never work,” Deanna Rodriguez, freshman, said.

Issues like forgetting lunch, could easily be resolved if students had access to snack machines again. Packing lunch is not a priority for highschoolers so having snack machines is quite useful. 

“I get off work late on some nights. Sometimes I forget to pack lunch,” McMullen said. “Snack machines would be nice to have on the days I don’t bring food to school.”

Having something to eat throughout the school day is crucial for students to maximize their thinking skills. Food and drinks nourish the brain and hydrate the body, preventing stress. Reimplementing snack machines with a proper timing system would not only be beneficial in preventing stress, but would allow for adequate learning and focusing in school. 

Also with the majority of students at Jupiter High who are taking AP and AICE classes, which come with a lot of responsibilities and expectations to uphold, students having more access to vending machines would be beneficial.