Vending machines in schools can either be an advantage or a disadvantage to the school children, parents, and school management. It all depends on how responsible each party uses the utility.
Vending machines in school are a convenient source of beverage and snack items. Aside from not needing to staff it with a salesperson, it makes it easier for children to get food items anytime. What makes it a disadvantage is that snack time cannot be controlled because the machine is not like a salesperson who can tell the kids “Ooopppsss! That is already the 10th time that you got this chocolate!” It cannot educate the children on what to eat and what not to eat and when to eat and when not to eat. Therefore it is highly advised that the school management control the type of food and beverage stocked in the vending machines in school.
Meanwhile, another advantage of vending machines in school is the fact that it cuts off the time for parents to prepare snack items for kids. As long as they are assured that the vending machines in school offers a wide array of nutritious and healthy food and beverage items, all the parents have to do is send their children with enough money for the vended snack products to school. They need not give them a variable amount because the vending machine snack items prices are constant and predictable. But the disadvantage of sending kids to school with money can sometimes lead to spending the money on other items, other than the snack items which the money was supposed to be intended. This aspect makes it a disadvantage. Thus, it is advised that if you choose to send the kids to school with money, they have to understand that this money is intended for their snacks and not for anything else.
Some schools also use vending machines to make payments for school fees, supplies, etc. This is one advantageous feature brought about the the vending industry. It cuts the schools’ budget for staffing on some minor fees that can be managed by the machine. It automates both the service, document filing, and accounting part of some simpler requirements in school. For example, it makes the work of the supply officer easier to release school supplies as they have now been automated. Nevertheless, the disadvantage will lie on the fact that machines are not 100 percent guaranteed to work all the time. At the time of failure, transactions cannot be fixed anytime as it will become dependent on the machine. Thus, it is highly recommended that machine operated transactions be backed up with a plan b in case the machine fails at a given time.
It is, therefore, advised that when a school decides to put vending machines in their campuses, the school should aim at convenience for school children, parents, and school management and the school should not focus on profit alone. Responsible vending is highly advised when putting vending machines in schools.