FORT HOOD — Soldiers at Fort Hood will have healthier snacking options, thanks to new vending machines at some on-post locations.
On Wednesday, Jonathan Dukes, a local franchisee for the California-based HUMAN Healthy Vending, announced the placement of a new vending machine with healthier options at the Clear Creek Main Exchange.
The machine will be delivered to the location later this month, and is the sixth HUMAN Healthy Vending machine at Fort Hood. The new machines feature alternatives to the fatty, high-sugar fare found in most vending machines and offer low-sugar, organic and even gluten-free items.
“I worked as a contractor in the states and overseas, so I did a lot of traveling,” Dukes said. “I noticed that a lot of what you get (in vending machines) is very good for you if you’re trying to live a healthy lifestyle.”
In addition to healthy alternatives to junk food, the machines also feature a large liquid crystal definition monitor that displays information about available selections. The machines are 50 percent more energy friendly than normal machines.
Annabel Adams, a spokesperson for HUMAN Healthy Vending, said 10 percent of all the profits from the machines are donated to nonprofit organizations dedicated to fighting childhood obesity.
Dukes said he was able to get the machines at Fort Hood with help from Central Texas College’s ENACTUS student organization.
“We helped him to market and advertise the machines,” said Taryn Ellis, ENACTUS president.
As part of her duties, Ellis manages Operation Hope, an ENACTUS initiative created to fight hunger. She said the vending machines were a good fit with the goals of Operation Hope.
Dukes is contracted to place 10 machines on post, in locations including Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, III Corps Headquarters and Copeland Soldier Services Center. He also has a machine at the Killeen Independent School District’s Career Center.