Vending machines are the lifeblood of any college student. They make life easier by providing snacks that are cheap and easily accessible. However, many of us often find ourselves wondering why these machines cannot provide something that offers a bit more sustenance. Sometimes, the typical vending machine offerings are not filling enough and you are left wanting more.
That’s what makes this story such a special one. Pizza ATMs are now starting to become more and more popular. This machine is being found on college campuses with greater regularity. While the location at the University of North Florida is not the first one, it is receiving a great deal of attention. Ohio State University and Xavier have also installed their own pizza ATM machines.
University of North Florida students now have better dining options when they are trying to get their late-night studying done. These machines do require a certain amount of work from the university kitchen staff. They are the ones who are reloading ingredients and prepping the dough on a constant basis. These pies remain available around the clock, 7 days a week.
Vince Smyth is the associate vice president of Administration and Finance at the University of North Florida. He told Jacksonville’s Teresa Stepzinski that these machines have been installed with the wee hours in mind. 3 AM is when a number of students are up studying and these students do not always have access to the necessary dining options.
The ATM has been placed in an area of the campus that is considered to be a bit of a food desert. “Our other resident students have good opportunities for hot food right through 3 AM,” says Smyth. The students near the pizza ATMs were previously restricted to sodas and typical vending machine snacks. Kudos to this university for stepping up to provide something a bit more substantial to their hungry student body.
These machines do cost around $60,000, but they accept student dining dollars and Smyth considers them to be a viable investment. Being able to access hot meals at any time of day is very important, isn’t it? The game has certainly changed since our days in college. No more having to smuggle a hot plate into your dorm or ask for a spare cup of ramen noodles. Please share this awesome news!