Most of my posts on school lunches are from France, as part of my ongoing French Kids School Lunch Project. But every once in a while I come across a great school menu in North America…and I always love sharing these. It’s so inspiring to read about families and communities that have come together to create great meals for their kids.
A friend in Toronto recently told me about a great lunch program being run at Fern Avenue Elementary, in the Parkdale/Roncesvalles neighborhood.
The school-wide lunch program is a not-for-profit collaborative effort between the school and the on-site daycare, supported by parent volunteers. Meals are prepared by Chef Maggie in an on-site kitchen, and provided to both students at the school and daycare. Children must purchase a minimum of one month of lunches, which cost $90 (or $80 for those purchasing 3 months or more), which works out to about $4.25 per meal. Produce is bought locally wherever possible, and you’ll see from January’s lunch menu that the meals sound super-tasty and healthy. Fresh fruit, salad (or other vegetables), bread (or a starch), and milk are served at every meal, in addition to the main course. Subsidies are available for low-income families (important in this traditionally working class but now gentrifying neighborhood).
My favorite lunch menu of the month:
Chickpea and pasta soup
Cream cheese on a bagel
All of the menus sound good; balanced, tasty, with a little bit of kid appeal. And I love their motto: Healthy Food, Healthy School, Healthy Community! If only we had something like that at my daughter’s school in Vancouver…but that’s another story.