School Hot Lunch Program
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Order at www.SchoolCashOnline.com or through the school front office. The front office accepts exact payment only. Open to all grades, JK-8.
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 last 2018/2019 school year 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. This 2019/2020 school year, the lunch program has been expanded to include kindergarten students. We are now serving approx. 250 students and staff lunch.
The lunch program is currently offered every Tuesday and Thursday. In April 2020 the lunch program will be expanded to Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
All Roden and Equinox students in grades JK-8 may participate. Grades 1-8 are served lunch in the school gym using real plates and cutlery. The kindergarten students are served lunch in their classrooms.
Lunches are $4.50 per meal and include an entrée, cut-up vegetables and fruit, as well as optional plain milk served by the glass. Students who order are always welcome to come-up for extra helpings if they want.
All meals are freshly made onsite and are nut-free, fish-free, seafood-free. All meat served is halal certified. Whenever possible items are served separately so students may pick and choose what they want to eat based on their individual preferences and dietary needs. Meals are served using real plates, cutlery and cups.
The exact menu details are sent out to Roden/Equinox families each month prior to service.
No, this is a not-for-profit initiative. The $4.50 price you pay covers your child’s meals, the lunch staff and helps to subsidize the meals for those students who are not able to afford the program.
There are approx. 650 students combined enrolled in Roden (450 students) and Equinox (200 students). In 2019/2020, on average the lunch program feeds approx. 200-250 students (grades JK-8) and staff per meal service. Of those approx. 25+ students participate in the free lunch service option.
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. Furthermore, over 200+ personalized student lunch tickets need to be printed, cut and sorted prior to the lunch service. Late orders result in not enough ingredients for the lunch service and missing student lunch tickets. 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.
- Students who ordered will receive a personalized lunch ticket from their homeroom teacher. It lists exactly what they ordered. The ticket is a great reminder for your child that they will get a lunch that day. (You’d be surprised by how many students forget!)
- Students may exchange their tickets in the gym for their lunch.
- If a student didn’t receive their ticket or lost it, then we will refer to the master lunch list to confirm they are on it. If they aren’t on the master list and we know they don’t have a lunch from home, then we will provide them with a lunch. Rest assured, we won't let any child go hungry.
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.
Of course, but it is not required. All of our plates, bowls and cutlery are reusable. We wash them and re-use them for every lunch service.
To prevent loss and breakage, our plates, bowls and cutlery can only be used in the school. If your child wants to eat outside, please send them with their own cutlery and a container with a lid. We strive to ensure all students are given ample time to eat lunch indoors and play outside during the lunch hour.
Absolutely! Students may grab their hot lunch before/after their extracurricular. If they wish to take lunch with them to their activity, then they should let our volunteers know. Our volunteers will give your child a sealed lunch container that has a lid which they can borrow. It will make it easier for them to carry their lunch to wherever they have to go. They can return the sealed container when they are done eating.
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 Ms. Pollock about participating in our free lunch service. It is confidential and your child will receive an identical lunch ticket like all the other students.
Any leftover fruit and/or veggies are used by the breakfast program, snack program and/or for upcoming lunches. We strive to have minimal food waste. For example, cut-up veggies are often frozen and then used to make future delicious homemade soups.
Leftover lunch entrees are put into small individual serving tupperware and refrigerated or frozen. They are then used on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (the days the hot lunch program is not available) for students who come to school without a lunch (i.e. they forgot their lunch at home). Those students are welcome to inform staff that they need something to eat and they will be given one of the prepackaged entrée meals located in the gym kitchen fridge/freezer. There is a microwave where meals may be heated if required.
If you would like to donate to the lunch program to help subsidize the free lunch service, please either drop your donation off at the front office or make an online donation through the link below. Online donations of $25 or more 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.
If you can spare an hour or two, even if it is just one time or once a month, please email email@example.com. Or feel free to swing by the breakfast room any morning to offer an extra hand. All volunteers get a FREE meal.