Over the years, Roden and Equinox tried different third-party hot lunch program vendors, like Real Food for Real Kids and the Kids Lunch Program. None of them were well received. In 2017, the Roden and Equinox School Councils began researching possible on-site hot lunch program options for our schools. The goal, to provide meals as tasty and healthy as the existing Breakfast Club and Snack Program.
Our research discovered that TDSB schools are no longer eligible to receive funding or subsidies for NEW on-site lunch programs. TDSB’s Nutritionist Liaison then told us about Dixon Grove, which is one of the few TDSB schools to create a self-sufficient onsite hot lunch program with a cost-recovery model – one without external funding or subsidies. Dixon Grove’s lunch program has been successful because of its student and adult volunteer support. Roden and Equinox representatives visited Dixon Grove to witness first-hand their wonderful on-site lunch program. It was truly inspiring.
Principal, Ms. Pollock, agreed that the Roden and Equinox School Councils could in 2018/2019 pilot an on-site lunch program to see if we could make it work here. Susanna (Breakfast Club) and Heather (Snack Program) graciously agreed to bring their expertise in making delicious and nutritious food for the new lunch program.
The response to the Roden/Equinox lunch program in its first year (2018/2019) was amazing! An average of 160 students and staff between both schools (grades 1-8) participated on any given day. Approx. 25-30 of those meals were part of the free lunch service which ensured every child in need was able to be fed. By its second year (2019/2020), the lunch program was expanded to include kindergarten students. It served approx. 250 students and staff lunch on any given day with approx. 50 of those meals part of the free lunch program.
The lunch program is currently offered every Tuesday and Thursday.
All Roden and Equinox students in grades JK-8 and staff may participate.
"All you can eat" student lunches are $4.50 per meal and include an entrée, cut-up vegetables and fruit sides, as well as optional plain white milk. Staff may also order lunch for $5.00 per meal. There is also a FREE student lunch option for those who may need it.
Please speak to the school front office or the Principal about participating in our free student lunch service. It is confidential and your child will receive an identical lunch like all the other students. Registration for the free lunch service is required so the program knows how much food to make to ensure there is ample food for everyone who orders.
All meals are freshly made on-site and are nut-free, fish-free, seafood-free. All meat served is halal certified. During COVID19, meals are pre-packed on-site in reusable plastic and/or compostable containers with stainless steel cutlery. Pre-packed meals will be delivered right to the individual classrooms. Students may eat their meals in their classroom or outside. If a student is still hungry, they may pick-up extra pre-packed meals which are available in the Breakfast Room. All utensils and plastic containers are sanitized in-between meal services for health and safety.
The exact menu details are sent out to Roden/Equinox families each month prior to service.
This is a not-for-profit initiative. The $4.50 per student meal and $5.00 per staff meal, not only help cover the cost of food, supplies, and staff to make those individual meals, but also the cost of the free meals provided to any students in need.
Orders may be placed through www.SchoolCashOnline.com or through the front office. The front office only accepts exact payments. All meals must be booked by the advertised deadline.
We are unable to accept late orders. Why? The lunch program has to order ingredients a week in advance for the vendor delivery schedule. Late orders result in not enough ingredients for the lunch service. It also may cause students to be missing from our lunch lists. Please be ensure you place your child's order on time.
You may pick and choose what meals you want for each month. Regardless of whether you order one meal or all of them, the order deadline is the same date – the last Tuesday of the month prior to lunch service. For example, you need to order the last Tuesday in September to receive lunches in October.
Unfortunately, special meal requests aren’t available, but rest assured, all of the meals served are nut-free, fish/seafood-free and the meat is halal certified. Whenever possible, lunch items are served separately so students may pick and choose exactly what they want to eat. Our meal plan flyers/posters clearly mark vegetarian and lactose-free options. There are no gluten-free options.
Pre-packed meals will be delivered directly to the individual classrooms prior to the lunch break. Students may eat lunch in their own classrooms or outside.
Students are responsible for depositing their own used containers and cutlery in the collection bins provided. Classrooms may return the dirty collection bins to the Breakfast Room. All utensils and containers will be washed and sanitized in-between meal services by the lunch program staff.
Students are always encouraged to come back for seconds or even third helpings if they want. Our goal is to ensure every child is well fed. Extra servings are available in the Breakfast Room.
All reusable plastic containers and stainless steel cutlery will be provided by the lunch program. These items are washed and sanitized in-between lunch services. Any other containers provided by the lunch program are biodegradable and/or compostable. Families do not need to send in reusable containers.
A minimum of 24 hours notice is required to cancel lunch orders. Please contact the front office directly to request your refund.
Our motto is: No Child Goes Hungry.
Please speak to the school front office or to Principal about participating in our free lunch service. It is confidential and your child will receive an identical lunch like all the other students. Registration for the free lunch service is required so the program knows how much food to make to ensure there is ample food for everyone who orders.
We strive to have minimal food waste. Any left over prepackaged unserved lunch meals are refrigerated/frozen. They are available for FREE to any student who comes to school without a lunch (i.e. they forgot their lunch at home). Students are welcome to inform staff that they need something to eat and they will be given one of the prepackaged meals on days the lunch service is not running (i.e. Monday, Wednesday, Friday). There is a microwave where meals may be heated by staff for students if required.
Please consider donating to the No Student Left Behind free lunch service. It's easy, you can donate at the same time you order your own child's lunches through School Cash Online or through the TDSB link below. Online TDSB donations of $25 or more through the link below will automatically receive a tax receipt. Be sure to select your school from the drop down menu and make a note in the message section that your donation is for the school lunch program.
Unfortunately, during COVID19 the lunch program may not accept parent/guardian volunteers at this time.