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Issue Date: Vol. 53, No. 9, September 2013, Posted On: 8/27/2013

Maryland's Montgomery County Restricts Afterschool Vending

Emily Jed
TAGS: school vending machine, Maryland's Montgomery County school vending, snack vending machine restrictions, afterschool vending, after school vending ban, Real Food for Kids

ROCKVILLE, MD -- Schools in Maryland's Montgomery County are not turning on snack vending machines that aren't stocked in line with certain nutritional guidelines for 30 minutes after the school day. Prior to the new rule, vending machines that didn't meet the school's nutrition guidelines were allowed to operate after school hours.

A parent group, Real Food for Kids, pushed for the measure, which is intended to deter kids from buying "unhealthy" snacks before they go home. The afterschool vending rule went into effect with the start of the school year this month.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently published nationwide nutrition rules for snacks in public schools. The regulations require vending machines be turned off until 30 minutes after the school day ends, but they don't take effect until the 2014-15 school year.

Real Food For Kids wants machines that don't match a school system's wellness guidelines removed altogether since students are at school for longer than 30 minutes after the day ends. The organization recently applied for a grant to develop such legislation statewide.

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