Arizona State University’s Downtown Phoenix campus is launching a pilot program designed to promote healthy living by adding new snack and beverage options to its vending machines.
Starting this week, vending machines at certain locations across the campus will add healthier snack and beverage choices to accompany traditional food and drinks found in the machines. Food and beverages will include nuts, granola bars and high-fiber chips as well as water, juice and tea.
The new vending options will be located at the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, the Mercado, the University Center and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, as well as the Sun Devil Fitness Complex, which will have snack options for the first time since opening in 2013.
The new initiative was spearheaded by Teri Pipe, ASU’s chief well-being officer, and Christopher Callahan, vice provost of the Downtown Phoenix campus. The program was made possible through Auxiliary Business Services, which manages the vending partnerships at ASU.
Callahan called Pipe “a national leader in creating an environment that supports the health of college students.”
As ASU’s chief well-being officer, she is charged with creating an environment that supports mental and physical health for students, faculty and staff.
Pipe, who is completing her tenure as dean of the College of Nursing and Health Innovation so she can focus full-time on her university-wide role as the chief well-being officer, said ASU has “the opportunity to help students shape their own lives and influence positive change.”
“This particular initiative, connecting the different units of the Downtown Phoenix campus with the goal of healthy living, really gets me excited,” she said.
The new food and beverage options are through Coca-Cola and Gilly Vending. The vending machines with healthier snack and drink options will include special signage on the machines.
Krystal Lewis, manager of strategic partnerships at ASU who played the key role in executing the initiative, said the pilot is aligned with the Live Well @ ASU program, which provides information and resources to empower the Sun Devil community to achieve a healthy lifestyle.
She said the new initiative will help the university understand consumer behavior when it comes to making decisions about snacks.
“Many of the new healthier snacks have a similar taste to the more traditional vending options,” Lewis said. “We’re looking forward to examining the impact this initiative has on our campus.”