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Nassau vending machines to stock healthier foods

Nassau County is partnering with Quick Snack to put vending machines in county parks and schools, replacing unhealthy candies with healthy snacks. Videojournalist: Jim Staubitser (Aug. 9, 2012)

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano announced Thursday that, as part of his “Fit Nassau” initiative, vending machines in county buildings, parks and other facilities (such as museums and preserves) will have fewer high-calorie snacks and more healthy ones.

“One of the chief culprits for obesity is unhealthy eating habits, which are encouraged by many of the food and snack choices placed in vending machines,” Mangano said during a news conference at county headquarters in Mineola.

He said the healthier snacks will include such items as granola bars, baked potato chips, sunflower seeds, and tomato and orange juices, as well as other foods such as those recently mandated by the state for vending machines in schools.

MORE: newsday.com/nassau

There are about 200 vending machines in Nassau County parks and buildings. The program should be fully implemented by mid-September, officials said.

Among those at the news conference was Merrick school board member Butch Yamali, who is president of Quick Snack Foods in Plainview and the food vending machine contractor to Nassau and Suffolk counties.

“As a father of three children, I am proud to be able to participate in County Executive Mangano’s war on obesity,” he said. “This new venture expands healthy eating choices.”

Mangano also announced his recent appointment of Donna Martini, a local wellness coach and activist from Oyster Bay, as the volunteer lead ambassador of the county’s new Wellness and Green Program.

Tags: Nassau County

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