Morley: 7-Eleven addresses John Forrest Secondary College’s concerns over sugary and caffeinated drinks

7-Eleven in Morley. Picture: Kristie Lim
7-Eleven in Morley. Picture: Kristie Lim

Students having easy access to slushies, donuts and coffees at the recently-opened 7-Eleven in Morley has prompted the store to work with John Forrest Secondary College to address concerns.

The convenience store and petrol station on Russell Street opened earlier this month.

It is located across from the College.

On August 13, parents received a letter from principal Melissa Gillett about the College’s concerns over students buying sugared and caffeinated drinks at 7-Eleven before and during school.

Other concerns include students walking across the unsupervised area near Broun Avenue at peak times, unhealthy food impacting students’ concentration and engagement levels and an environmental impact created by single use cups and straws.

Ms Gillett, who is also a registered psychologist, said the College had no concerns about the store itself but were concerned about the accessibility of low-cost, highly sugared and caffeinated drinks, which might have a negative impact on student learning.

“The College has a long-standing healthy eating policy that excludes these products,” she said.

“When the store first opened, some students elected not to cross the road where traffic wardens are located, causing safety concerns.

“We have therefore reminded students of the healthy food policy; the importance of crossing roads where traffic wardens are located; and that students may not leave College grounds during school hours without permission.

“Students have responded exceptionally well to the reminder and there have been very few occasions where staff have needed to confiscate items.”

Ms Gillett said the College appreciated the ongoing support of the store management, including their agreement not to serve unaccompanied students during the school day.

7-Eleven corporate affairs general manager Clayton Ford said 7-Eleven would continue working with the College and community stakeholders to ensure the store was a positive part of the local neighbourhood.

“We are well aware of the College’s concerns and our local team has engaged with the principal of John Forrest Secondary College as to how we can address any concerns together,” he said.

“Obviously 7-Eleven can’t discriminate as to who we serve, but we welcome the principal’s letter to parents encouraging them to play a strong guiding role in their children’s choices.

“We know from past experience that there may be a flurry of interest when a new store opens, which may not be representative of regular trade.

“7-Eleven is also well aware of the public’s concerns regarding single use cups and straws, and has implemented a pioneering program facilitating the recycling of these items.”

Mr Ford welcomed the College’s support for healthier choices, which the store also promoted with fruit, salads, sandwiches and low-sugar Slurpees.

He said they shared the concerns over road safety and encouraged customers to take proper precautions and use safe crossings to approach the stores.