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Brentwood Schools Send Vending Machine Junk Food To The Trash

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BRENTWOOD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Long Island’s largest school district has removed fatty snacks and drinks from vending machines.

As TV 10/55 Long Island Bureau Chief Richard Rose reported, the ban at the Brentwood Union Free School District on almost all carbonated drinks and snacks containing more than 200 calories comes in advance of new federal rules take effecting July 1.

At Brentwood High School on Wednesday, students crowded into the hallways to help strip vending machines of the tasty but fattening treats and applauded as the last of the banned snacks were dumped into trash bags.

Experts say such junk food has contributed to an alarming rise in childhood diabetes and obesity.

“Our obesity in our teens has tripled since 1980, and they develop health problems later in life and eventually shortens their life span,” said Suffolk County Legislator Monica Martinez, D-Brentwood.

Starting next month, vending machines at public schools receiving federal lunch money must feature snacks with whole grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy or protein.

Fatima Tarranca, a junior at Brentwood High, said she’ll miss Doritos but will try getting used to the healthier alternatives.

“It’s a good thing, and everybody can take advantage of it, so I think it’s a good choice,” she said.

Brentwood schools are the first on Long Island to implement the new standards. Vending machine distributors are waiting until the fall to stock machines at most other schools.

“We service over 30 school districts in Nassau and Suffolk counties,” said Butch Yamali of Quick Snack Vending. “Brentwood is just in the forefront. But we’re going to make sure every one of our customers that we service understands the law, and we will be in full compliance of everything we operate.”

The vending company can still use the snacks banned from schools in public machines they operate elsewhere.

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