New Mexico State University is deploying new campus vending machines on its Las Cruces campus this fall that dispense face masks and other safety supplies designed to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The new vending machines are the result of a joint effort between the university and industrial and safety supplies reseller, Fastenal.
According to an official university release, there will be nine vending machines equipped with the safety supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE). Alongside help from Fastenal, the new vending machines will be located in buildings across the central part of campus, including dorms and the student union.
“We are learning to exist in a world with COVID-19, so it’s imperative that we create and enforce good habits when it comes to behaviors like wearing a mask, social distancing, frequent hand washing and cleaning high-touch surfaces,” says D’Anne Stuart, associate vice president for Administration & Finance, who oversees NMSU’s Procurement Services. “These vending machines will remain stocked with supplies to make it easier and more convenient to build these habits and help protect our Aggie community.”
The vending machines will be stocked daily with hand sanitizer, nitrile gloves, reusable and disposable masks, safety glasses, disinfectant wipes and other items. All items will be available at no charge to NMSU students and employees when using their Aggie ID card number or a swipe of their Aggie ID card. The vending machines will provide the free masks and supplies throughout the month of August.
Beginning September 1, the safety supplies will be made available for purchase at posted prices using cash or credit card. Going forward, the university is also planning to offer reusable masks and other personal protective supplies for students to purchase at select snack vending machines across campus.
Funds for the PPE supplies comes from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Departmental supply orders from various vendors are also available through NMSU’s Aggie Service Center.
“We’ve got many ways for departments to ensure they are well stocked with the supplies they need to disinfect surfaces frequently in classrooms and workspaces,” says Javier Cordero, director of Procurement Services. “This adds another layer of protection to the enhanced cleaning and sanitizing protocols that our custodial teams are completing every day.”