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Campaign to ban unhealthy foods from vending machines in Secondary Schools

Posted by SchoolDays Newshound on 09/02/2014. Campaign to ban unhealthy foods from vending machines in Secondary SchoolsTags: Parenting Teachers

The Sunday Times has today (9/2/14) announced that it is launching a campaign to have unhealthy foods banned from vending machines and tuck shops in secondary schools in Ireland. According to the paper, the aim of their campaign is to encourage principals to “junk the junk and replace fatty, sugary and salty products with fresh and nutritious alternatives."

The Sunday Times refers to a survey carried out by the Department of Education which says that of 325 secondary schools surveyed, 30% sell fizzy drinks and confectionery through vending machines or tuck shops. One of the main reasons that secondary schools are reluctant to remove vending machines is that they cannot do without the revenue that they earn from food and drink sales. Vending machines are usually installed free of charge and according to the Sunday Times, schools are paid between €3500 and €4,000 each year by companies who supply and stock them.

The paper advises that when the issue was previously raised with the Education Minister, Ruairi Quinn, he responded that he “cannot dictate” what schools sell through vending machines but “he believed he could work with them to include healthy alternatives". The paper quotes Minister Quinn as agreeing that machines were an important revenue stream for some schools and “would not interfere with that”.

The Sunday Times believes however it is possible to junk the junk and points out that sweet and fatty foods have been banned from schools in the United Kingdom with Northern Ireland swapping them for smoothies, water and fresh fruit in 2007.

So what’s your view – will you support the Sunday Times campaign to have unhealthy foods banned from vending machines and tuck shops in secondary schools in Ireland?



(11-02-2014 12:28)

Minister Quinn issued a Press Release this morning announcing that he will be advising schools on the appropriate use of vending machines in order to promote healthy eating.

- See more at:

Anne Cleary

(10-02-2014 18:27)

yes, I would agree with banning junk food sales. We should also consider banning unhealthy vending from 3rd level colleges


(26-02-2014 14:43)

Hello there, I am the Sunday Times journalist who is working on this campaign to persuade secondary schools to remove junk food from vending machines and tuck shops and restock with healthier foods. We're one month into the campaign and have had a huge amount of support from the country's top chefs to health experts and a survey published by us last Sunday showed that 70% of people backed the campaign.
What I would love to do now is speak with and meet with secondary schools who have introduced their own healthy eating campaign and cleared out the junk food since we introduced the initiative.
If you can help, please do contact me on: or call me on 01 479 2418. I have the permission of SchoolDays to post something here so I very much look forward to hearing from you. Many thanks, Siobhn Maguire


(10-02-2014 16:39)

Follow up on yesterday's story -

The children's minister rules out junk food ban in schools . FRANCES Fitzgerald says its not a matter of banning junk food in schools after reports that a third of secondary schools are selling sweets and fizzy drinks.

Speaking to reporters in Dublin today, the minister said that she saw the promotion of healthy food as a priority within the education system but added that there are industry considerations that have to be acknowledged.

Her comments follow a report in The Sunday Times at the weekend which claimed that the Department of Education was reluctant to ban vending machines in school because of the revenue they raise.


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