KANSAS CITY, Mo. — This year, students at the University of Missouri - Kansas City will notice something a lot different in the vending machines on campus: personal protective equipment.
The university installed two vending machines dedicated to selling only PPE at its campuses in Kansas City, Missouri. One is at the main Volker Campus, the other is at the Health Sciences Campus near Hospital Hill.
The vending machines sell surgical face masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes. Students can also buy a kit from the machine which includes a mask, gloves and wipes.
Leaders hope the items help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Those kits will also be for sale alongside chips and candy in more than 30 regular vending machines throughout campus.
The director of the student union said the vending supplier, Superior Vendall, had this PPE concept ready to roll out quickly during the pandemic.
For UMKC this move is all about access and affordability: nothing in the machine costs more than $4.
“While those items have become commonplace, they are not always easy to get. So this really gives us an outlet to do that, to cover all situations; whether a student is unable to get access to those, or whether they’ve just forgotten those,” explained Jody Jeffries, UMKC’s director of the student union.
Students will return to campus for hybrid, in-person and online classes beginning Aug. 24.