While many may seek out vending machines to feed their snack and hunger fix, some of the university's snack vending machines operate at a reduced capacity during the summer months to prevent food spoilage and waste.
The university operates with 52 snack vending machines and 114 beverage units to support the holistic campus food service program. The snack vending machines are typically full to match on-campus population volumes during fall and spring academic semesters. That changes during the summer months when that number drops to 50 percent for some campus vending machines.
But not all snack vending machines operate at 50 percent capacity during the summer. Only about 60 percent of snack vending machines have low availability of snacks.
The main reason for a drop in snack vending options – food spoilage.
"We have to remain conscientious about recycling and sustainability efforts, specifically for snack vending," said Auxiliary Services Program Director Nadine Frias-Martinez.
"Because of the lower volume of students that we have on campus [during summer], I've worked very closely with our vending partners to mitigate food spoilage where we might not have as many students or staff on campus."
While there is a reduction in students and staff during the summer, the university still has plenty of visitors throughout the summer. Whether it be for orientation, camps, or students taking summer classes, for that reason, the Auxiliary department is strategic in which snack vending machines operate with reduced capacity and which ones remain full.
During the summer months, snack vending machines at MD Anderson Library, the residence halls, and the student service centers operate at full capacity.
"When we talk about reductions at the machine, this means that not all the vending spirals are filled. We reduce the spiral load down to no less than 50 percent for machines in buildings that may have a decrease in occupancy in the summer,” said Frias-Martinez.
“This only affects the months of June and July. By early August we will coordinate with our vending partners to ensure that all machines are back at full capacity to prepare for the new academic year.”
The Auxiliary Services relies on communication with campus departments and programs to determine the machines that can operate with reduced items during the summer months. To report a concern about a vending machine in your building and to request vending machine servicing, please contact Frias-Martinez at 713-743-5424.