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Two healthy vending machines were recently installed in a barracks building and a motor pool to offer 10th Mountain Division (LI) Soldiers some nutritious snack options. (Courtesy photos)


Soldiers have new, healthy snack options at Fort Drum


Mike Strasser

Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs


FORT DRUM, N.Y. (April 15, 2021) – These are not your typical vending machines.

You won’t find candy bars, sugary beverages or bags of ultra-processed snacks inside.

What you will find are plastic-wrapped bowls of salad greens and veggies, yogurt and fruit cups and other nutritious food items.

Sgt. Maj. Barton A. Beatty Jr., the 10th Mountain Division’s chief culinary management sergeant major, said that the new machines were installed by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) to provide Soldiers with healthy choices when they are subject to snack attacks.

“The healthy vending machines offer service members additional options to fuel the body,” he said. “It offers items that are more in line with the Holistic Health and Fitness (H2F) initiative. Nutrition is only one part of H2F, but it fuels the body for fitness and recovery. A Soldier who is eating healthy or is focused on certain nutritional goals need options to become that lethal warfighter who is fit.”

Beatty said there are two vending machines installed in a barracks building and a motor pool on a trial basis, but if the response among Soldiers continues as it already has, there should be more to come.

“The goal is to offer the machines into all of the barracks for the service members,” Beatty said. “The machines themselves are expensive, so it was agreed to try this as a pilot and see how well they would do on post.”

The vending machines are part of ongoing efforts from 10th Mountain Division (LI) leaders to encourage Soldiers to consider healthier food options. The Mountain Tough Athlete Program introduced a nutritious meal prep option for Soldiers at the dining facilities earlier this year. It features a selection of dietitian-approved meals that provide a quick, nutritious way for Soldiers to eat at their convenience.