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City of Seattle Will Remove Candy And Soda From Vending Machines In Seattle Parks

Deborah Wang
11/29/2011

The city of Seattle is worried about your waistline. So beginning next year, the city will remove candy and sodas from some city vending machines. KUOW's Deborah Wang has the story.

TRANSCRIPT

Starting next year, here are the things that you won't find at vending machines at Seattle's parks and community centers: cookies, candy bars, chocolate, trail mix that includes chocolate and buttered popcorn. You also won't find any kind of sugary soda or sports drink.

What will they be replaced with? Things like nuts and seeds, dried fruit, beef jerky, fat–free popcorn, milk and juice.

Seattle's Parks Department has been gradually phasing in healthier food options at all 80 of its vending machines. Eric Friedli is the acting deputy superintendent.

Friedli: "We're about health and fitness, and want to make sure that, you know, people who are in our community centers and facilities have access to healthy choices."

So now, the department is moving to stock all of its vending machines exclusively with healthy foods. That's based on a recommendation from the Seattle–King County Department of Health.

The Parks Department wants to sign a five–year agreement with Compass Foods USA. The contract states the company can only provide foods that fall within the category of healthier or healthiest.

The City Council voted on the contract this week. Councilmember Sally Clark cast the lone vote against it. She says she worries it takes away people's choices.

The contract is worth about $40,000 a year to the city. Eric Friedli of the Parks Department acknowledges that the city may lose some revenue as a result of the healthy changes, but he says revenue is not the Parks Department's most important concern.

I'm Deborah Wang, KUOW News.

© Copyright 2011, KUOW

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