School Districts in Mid-Michigan Cutting Caffeinated Beverages

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There's a chance it won't be soda kids will be drinking this upcoming school year. The Mid-Michigan School Beverage Consortium, a group of close to 50 school districts in Mid-Michigan agreed to a seven year agreement with Pepsi Co. to sell beverages in the participating schools. The agreement does not include most carbonated drinks.

"We will not be offering sugary, carbonated beverages in the school districts for student consumption," said Business and Grant Supervisor Janet Yachim of the Ingham Intermediate School District. "There will be more juices available instead."

Yachim works with the Ingham Intermediate School District, the leading district in administering the plan. Yachim says a final number for how much school districts will receive has not been settled, but by the districts working together-- they increased their worth to the soft drink giant. Extra commissions benefit each district.

"The collaboration on this really works out well because we can put the funds right back into the district," said Yachim.

Each school in the beverage consortium will make decisions based on their own individual need. For example the location of the vending machine, along with the types of beverages available.

"If the school takes into consideration the nutritional needs of young people-- that's what they ought to do when they make these contracts with beverage companies," said Dr. Dean Sienko, Director of Ingham County Health Department.

The measures in the new contract are intended to address obesity-related concerns of the youth.

"There is a strive towards healthier products, and coming to the table, the beverage companies actually have said by their own standards they're going to offer healthier products," said Yachim.

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