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New Mexico State University

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Sustainable, local snack vending machines becoming popular at NMSU

It used to be that when you needed a quick snack, you would be stuck with a candy bar or bag of chips from a vending machine. Sure, they would power you through to your next meal, but what if you could find healthier, sustainable, locally produced products, but still in a convenient vending machine?


This 2bU snack vending machine is located on the first floor of Corbett Center Student Union, near the temporary entrance to Taos Restaurant.
This 2bU snack vending machine is located on the first floor of Corbett Center Student Union, near the temporary entrance to Taos Restaurant. 2bU machines offer gluten-free, vegan and kosher snacks, along with some locally sourced snacks. (NMSU photo by Emily C. Kelley)

Now, on the New Mexico State University Las Cruces campus, you can. Mesilla Valley Snacks recently added two 2bU vending machines to its offerings on campus. One machine is in Garcia Hall and the other on the first floor of Corbett Center Student Union, near the Aggie Underground.

2bU vending machines are stocked with healthy food from carefully selected companies, offering a range of local, organic, vegan, gluten-free and kosher products.

"NMSU strives to serve all Aggies. The addition of the 2bU snack machines to campus has helped those on gluten-free and vegan diets find healthy, well-labeled snacks that fit their needs," said Kyle Pierson with NMSU Auxiliary Services Marketing & Promotions.

Bill Jensen, owner of Mesilla Valley Snacks, said his company decided to participate in the program, as a franchisee of Canteen, who offers the 2bU machines and products.

"There's a constituency on campus looking for organic, sustainably sourced snacks," Jensen said. "And, many of the companies whose products we sell support sustainability, and that's desirable for many people."

2bU machines offer healthy, sustainable snack options, but the machines themselves are eco-friendly. The machines use LED lights, rather than the traditional fluorescent lights, and motion sensor dimmers, so the lights are only activated as someone approaches the machine, saving electricity. 2bU machines are Energy-Star rated.

Jensen said that the machines on campus contain Heart of the Desert pistachios from Alamogordo and Taos Mountain Energy bars from Taos. Mesilla Valley Snacks is working with other area producers to add more local options to the 2bU machines in the future. The choices in the on-campus machines will be rotated on a monthly basis.