Vend Natural Wins Nation’s 8th Largest School District Healthy Vending Contract

 — Philadelphia School District Makes Full Commitment to Healthy Snacks and Eliminates Carbonated Drinks

January 5, 2017

Annapolis, MD – Jan. 5, 2017 – The School District of Philadelphia has awarded its vending contract for its 220 schools – the 8th largest public school district in the U.S. – to Annapolis, MD-based Vend Natural, announced the company’s CEO William H. Carpenter, Jr. This award follows other large school districts – in Baltimore, Minneapolis, Richmond, Dallas/Ft. Worth and others –across the nation that have selected Vend Natural as their healthy vending partner. Today, more than 2 million students have access to Vend Natural’s nutritious snacking program. Vend Natural is partnering with NJ-based Refreshments Plusto provide bottled water.

Vend Natural ( was selected for its long track record in the healthy vending industry and its specialty in providing customized nutritional vending programs to large public school districts and prominent higher education institutions across the country. The school district values Vend Natural’s commitment to offering the latest technological advancements in vending, including: energy efficient machines with touch screens and a broad array of payment options; real-time inventory management systems providing the company with 24/7 sales information; and its extensive array of all-natural snacks. Vend Natural is the oldest healthy vending company in the country and now operates in 25 states and the District of Columbia.

Vend Natural CEO William Carpenter said, “We are excited that more than 134,000 Philadelphia students and nearly 20,000 teachers and staff will now have access to a nutritionally sound snacking program. Recognizing the connection between good nutrition and learning outcomes, we applaud the school district for making sure their environment is fueled by healthier snacking options,” said Carpenter.

“The District has found a partner in Vend Natural that will continue to promote a healthy school environment for our students by following our comprehensive Snack and Beverage Standards,” commented Wayne Grasela, Senior Vice President-Division of Food Services for the School District of Philadelphia.

With this contract award, the School District of Philadelphia has instituted a no-carbonation program and will offer water as the only beverage. Vend Natural and their partner Refreshments Plus will provide bottled water in addition to USDA-approved snacks and ice cream options throughout the school district.

“Philadelphia Schools’ decision to avoid carbonated drinks and follow USDA’s Smart Snacks recommendation puts them on the forefront of our nation’s schools making the right decisions to fuel our young students,” said Steve Warech, President of Refreshments Plus.

Vend Natural’s machines will carry a wide selection of healthy snacks such as all-natural chips and popcorn, low-fat health bars, high protein nuts, trail mix, dried fruits and a full range of whole grain, low sugar snacks. All of the products available to the District through Vend Natural meet or exceed federal, state and school nutritional standards for calories, fat, vitamins, fiber, sodium and more.

“With the first phase of our machine installations now complete, we are looking closely at how students are responding,” said Vend Natural’s V.P. of Operations Hans Lutkefedder. “Our success depends on us balancing products that appeal to students, adherence to the nutritional requirements, and attractive pricing,” said Lutkefedder. “Technological advancements make it possible to see sales in real time and make adjustments quickly. We are proud to provide this to Philadelphia’s schools.”

About Vend Natural

Vend Natural’s mission is to support improved eating practices by offering healthy products that are easily accessible and affordable. Vend Natural is the only healthy snacking company in the U.S. that both partners with local market distributors and owns and operates its own machines, enabling the company to test new equipment and products and provide relevant training and customer service operation for its distributors. For more, visit

About Refreshments Plus

Refreshments Plus is a full-service refreshments company offering gourmet and specialty coffees, bottled or filtered spring water, state-of-the-art vending machines and break room essentials. The Cherry Hill, NJ-based company has been serving its vending customers in New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia for more than 25 years. For more, visit