Proposed Federal Ban on Junk Food Could Hurt Local Jacksonville, Florida Schools

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The federal government is considering a ban on junk food in public schools; the purpose of the ban is to help keep children from becoming obese. The ban would prohibit sugar loaded sodas, candy bars, pastries and salty snacks from being sold on school property. If the ban goes through, all public schools in the United States will have to replace sodas in the machines with healthy alternatives like water and juice.

While the ban may make sugary snack less available to Florida kids, it may also have a huge impact on lucrative vending contracts that Jacksonville, Florida schools districts use to support athletic programs and other extracurricular activities. It is unclear if kids will want to pay as much for healthy alternatives as they do for sodas.

Last year the Duval, Clay and St. Johns county school districts made $2.4 million in extra cash through exclusive beverage contracts with PepsiCo. School officials are very worried that they would not be able to make up such a large loss through other means.

While health officials applaud the efforts to remove junk food from schools, many of the soda companies have put up little resistance, presumably because most of them also bottle juices and waters that they can sell in place of their less healthy beverage options. Read more about Florida school contracts with the major beverage companies and plans to cut back on junk food in campus vending machines at Federal ban on junk food, sodas in schools could impact First Coast deals.

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