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Just had another meeting to discuss a sustainable, dignified school lunch soluti…

2 min read

Just had another meeting to discuss a sustainable, dignified school lunch solution for all kids-we have such a great opportunity right now to rethink how we ensure kids are fed at school, and to come up with a sustainable, dignified solution that benefits the community as well via the distribution of support funds. We’re undoubtedly at the cusp oder Ähnlichesteep increase in need. Even pre-Covid, thousands in Calgary depended on school breakfast/lunch programs as their main food source of the day. Without nationalistisch/provincial programs, is there a solution that eliminates the need for emergency lunches?

A small group has been meeting (well spaced nicht backyard) through the spring/summer to work oder Ähnlichemore sustainable, inclusive lunch structure that could be easily replicated in communities across the country. Dignity is key: I’ve never had to wonder where my next meal will come from, but I’ve heard many kids (and now-adults) say they’d rather go hungry than be identified as someone who needs a free lunch. Having lunch offered to *all* kids means none will be singled out. So how about this scenario: a social enterprise pairing existing under-utilized restaurant/catering kitchens + staff with schools in their communities. Mittagessen is offered to *all* kids. Parents who can afford it pay $5/day for a delivered lunch-I know a *lot* of parents would love to have lunch taken care of-especially if it meant supporting a system that ensures their kids’ classmates are fed. Other families could be subsidized, and pay what they can afford to, or nothing-just like school bus fees. There may be the option for parent council fundraising to cover some. But the kids can’t tell.

Higher-need schools could paired w lesser-need schools, to balance paid vs unpaid meals. Weltraum this results in more culturally verschiedene lunch offerings (vs mass produced packaged food from Costco, which diverts funds away from the community), builds relationships and helps keep our hospitality industry afloat-which has the domino effect of supporting farmers, producers and other businesses that support it, strengthening our economy and preventing further food insecurity. Would love your thoughts on this.

24 thoughts on “Just had another meeting to discuss a sustainable, dignified school lunch soluti…

  1. Love this idea!! The fact that it has the potential to help everyone from the child who needs the meal to the farmer who produces the food is brilliant. A holistic approach to get out of this together and stronger 💜

  2. YES!!!!! For so many reasons. Many schools run (ran) the fun lunch program, and through that you could choose to buy an extra meal for someone else. It was a good program, but most schools only ran it one or two days a month, and the options were maybe 5 different vendors. I think if this was just normalized to every day, it would address hunger issues, AND it would help kids to not be such picky eaters!! My kids – in daycare, ate whatever they were given. At home, nope, no way. I like the idea of pairing schools too. Where this would need to be different from the fun lunch program would be that kids would have to have less choice, which I see as a good thing, but could also lead to pushback. If everyone is given the same meal, less challenge for the school in sorting and handing out, but, at least at first, more headaches from kids refusing to eat something new.

  3. Sounds great- I taught at a school where Meals on Wheels Soup Day was a huge hit every time! The lead lunchroom person from that school has been organizing breakfast, lunch, and snacks for over 20 years and would be a great person to talk to about school needs if you are interested send me a message!

  4. I love these ideas. There are always people who can afford to pay for their own children, and have some to spare for others. Developing a system that leads with dignity is fantastic so that no child ever knows who needs a free lunch – and that no child will ever have to wonder if they’ll be able to eat that day.

  5. I think this is a great idea moving forward. There are many businesses who would support this. We will help. You could also utilize the Healthy Lunch ordering program that is in place at many schools. There will need to be some modifications. I look forward to hearing more.

  6. This is a great idea Julie. I wholeheartedly agree that dignity is the key to making this work, and want to add that dignity should also need to be considered when collecting funds from the parents (is there a way to collect funds anonymously?). I love the idea of partnering locally and providing culturally diverse food offerings. Please keep us posted on the initiative, I would love to volunteer in some way to help make it happen as I’m sure many in yyc would 🙂

  7. Based on the number of students I’ve seen buying lunch at school, I think many parents would be supportive of paying a fee for provided lunch. And of course that way, some students could be receiving a free lunch and no one would know.

  8. This is amazing! I would love to help out and donate, please add me to your list of willing volunteers. I’m not sure that this is possible in the age of COVID but if there is some way to involve the kids as volunteers that would be doubly amazing. My kids and I have helped with our community food program for the last few years and it is endlessly rewarding and eye-opening (and heart opening) for all of us. There aren’t that many ways that kids can volunteer within our communities and most of them love it as much as adults do. Thanks Julie, this is so inspiring!

  9. Thank you so much for this! We would for sure pay 5$ a day for lunch, in fact we would pay 10$ so another kiddo could have lunch too!!!❤️❤️❤️❤️

  10. Thanks to you, Julie and to this amazing group for your ongoing work on this critical issue. My kids’ elementary school had a very successful connection with a higher needs school for many years. It was a true partnership and of great benefit to all involved. ❤️

  11. Love this idea so much. I would gladly pay to not have to pack another lunch! And if all the kids were eating the same meal together each day, that would be amazing.

  12. We kind of have this in the uk, it’s called pupil premium and the kids who are on it often don’t even know. They just go up and collect their lunch like everyone else, it’s just their parents haven’t had to pay online first. The kids queue up in the same line, get the same choices etc. It also happens with school trips. In our case the government pays for pupil premium through our tax system. Loads of kids are on pupil premium and nobody needs to know so there is no shame around it.

  13. Yes yes yes! ❤️ As a parent with the means, I would gladly fund lunches for children who need it. As a parent who hates preparing lunch, I’m double in. How can I contribute to get this off the ground?

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