(PRWEB) March 19, 2013 - January, the Houston City Council approved a nutritious meal program for children ages 6 to 13 from low-income families enrolled in after-school activities. A grant from the Texas Department of Agriculture funds the program to feed children at 53 area community centers. Fresh Healthy Vending is encouraged to see the new program in place. Healthy food for hungry people is part of the company’s strategy of providing wholesome snacks and beverages from vending machines throughout the country.
Alan Rigo, a Franchisee with Fresh Healthy Vending in Houston, has 23 machines in 20 locations; about half of them are in public, private and charter schools. The machines are stocked with all-natural, organic and preservative-free snacks and beverages to make healthy choices easy for students and to ensure that nutrient-rich selections are available.
“It’s important to expose all school children to the healthy options.” Rigo said. “They can become familiar with them early, and hopefully, maintain those good habits as they grow into adults. In many cases, healthier choices are seldom available and, sadly, even less so in lower- income areas.” All products available from Fresh Healthy Vending machines comply with healthy food guidelines and meet or exceed standards set by the USDA.
“Fresh Healthy Vending is proud to support the Houston initiative that improves the quality of nutrition for school children,” Rigo stated. “Supplementing basic nourishment with whole- some snacks outside of regular meals is important, it promotes healthy eating habits. This is one of the biggest challenges our country faces regarding the health and well-being of youth, it isn’t enough to only promote active lifestyles at our schools.”
“Children need to be encouraged to take an active interest in their health and what goes into their bodies at an early age,” Rigo commented, “this is an important tool in tackling the national obesity epidemic as well as other health risks like diabetes and heart disease.”
Jornae Nevels is involved with one of Houston’s schools too. She is the coordinator forHealth Corps at Sharpstown High School. Health Corps is a non-profit organization established by Dr. Mehmet Oz and his wife Lisa, to combat the childhood obesity crisis. It uses peer mentoring in school and community programs that target high-need populations. By exploring the complex, underlying causes of the obesity crisis and discovering and communicating solutions, it is leading a nationwide movement toward a new generation of healthy young people.
A recent college grad, Nevels enjoys teaching classes each week with a health message involving nutrition, fitness and mental strength. She regards herself as a health nut who has a passion for promoting health and preventing and alleviating health conditions.
“We go through it in our classes, they now know what ‘empty calories’ are — and they didn’t before,” she said. She enjoys mentoring students, she shows them how to read food labels, and leads them in yoga and cooking classes. They set up health fairs and activities that involve friends and family, or they may head out on a field trip to Whole Foods Market. “Many of the students didn’t even know a place like this existed,” Nevels said. “These kids are hungry, and they need to get something to eat. The choices available in Fresh Healthy Vending machines are good for them and fit with what we teach. At first, they were not familiar with the products, but now there’s always someone in front of the machines.”
“They’re a great way to introduce the kids to new food items,” Nevels said, “I’m going to sample out the Izze drinks for them next week. They stop me in the hall and say ‘I haven’t had a soda for a week Ms. Nevels!’ and they’re all excited about it.”
Fresh Healthy Vending machines in Houston area schools are some of the thousands of vending locations throughout the country offering healthy snack food and beverage choices. Keeping minds and bodies in better shape are part of the directives for Fresh Healthy Vending, the first and largest franchisor of healthy vending machines. Fresh Healthy Vending’s quest is to help Americans become healthier by providing more nutritious and wholesome snacks and drinks purchased through vending machines. Experts at creating profitable vending businesses for franchisees, they also offer the Fresh Healthy Café machine, this unique vending machine dispenses gourmet, organic coffee drinks together with signature healthy snack options.
For more information about Fresh Healthy Vending franchises, visit http://www.freshvending.com. To inquire about receiving a free Fresh Healthy Vending machine where you work, live or play, visit http://www.freshandhealthy.org or call toll free 888-902-7558.
Fresh Healthy Vending