President’s Choice Children’s Charity for supporting the Roden/Equinox breakfast and lunch programs.
Order at 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 on-site hot lunch program with a cost-recovery model – one without external guaranteed 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
The lunch program is currently offered every Tuesday and Thursday between mid-September and June.
All Roden and Equinox students in grades JK-8 and staff may participate.
“All you can eat” student lunches are $5 per meal and include an entrée, cut-up vegetables and fruit sides, as well as optional plain white milk. There is also a FREE student lunch option for those who may need it.
Please speak to your child’s teacher, the school front office or the Principal/VP 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 encouraged 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. The exact menu details are sent out to Roden/Equinox families each month prior to service.
This is a school community created not-for-profit initiative. The $5 per meal, not only helps cover the cost of those individual meals (i.e. paid employees to make and serve the meals, food/supplies, etc.), but also the cost of the free meals provided to any students in need.
The Roden/Equinox Lunch Program receives no external funding, except the President Choice Children’s Charity grant and school community donations which vary in size year-to-year.
Orders may be placed through 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 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.
Meals are freshly made on-site that morning in the school kitchen, located in the Breakfast Room, by our trained lunch staff. Just before lunch service starts, teachers provide students who ordered with personalized printed lunch tickets. These tickets help ensure students are aware that their parents/caregivers have ordered lunch for them that day.
Grade 1-8 students are served lunch in the school gym. Students who ordered line-up. They are served lunch within an average of approx. three minutes (max. five minutes) of lining-up. Lunch is served by six different grade 4-8 student volunteer. All student volunteer servers are guided and managed by our trained lunch program staff. Grade 1 -8 students are invited to tell their student server exactly which foods they want from the displayed buffet, how much of each item, and how the food should be placed on their plate (i.e. dressing on the side, etc.). Reusable plates, bowls, cutlery, and cups are provided by the program and sanitized in-between services. Upon request, biodegradable compostable take-out containers and cutlery are provided for students who are participating in school lunchtime clubs or those who are leaving school property for lunch.
Kindergarten students are served lunch in their classrooms by our trained staff and by approx. four grade 4-8 student volunteers. Lunch is served in biodegradable compostable take-out containers with cutlery, plus white 2% milk reusable sippy cups (which help reduce spills in the classrooms).
Extra helpings are always provided so no JK- 8 student ever goes hungry.
Students are responsible for placing all used items into marked bins for the lunch team to dispose or clean and sanitize in-between services.
The Roden/Equinox Lunch Program is about more than feeding students. It is also about including them in the process. Our student volunteers gain a sense of ownership, leadership, community, and pride. Our trained lunch staff carefully help guide them along the way.
Each lunch service day, Roden/Equinox grade 4-8 students eagerly line-up in the hopes they can volunteer to help serve lunch and/or do clean-up. Families may be surprised to learn that their kids love rinsing and loading the school dishwashers. It’s always incredibly sweet to see a young grade 4 student serving lunch to a very patient and extremely tall grade 8 student.
Yes, we strongly believe no child should ever go hungry.
The lunch program first lunch serving portion per student is strategically limited to help reduce overall food waste because sometimes students’ eyes are much bigger than their tummies. For example, a grade 6 student in the past requested 12 tacos for their first serving. They were give three and only ate two. Students are always encouraged to come back for second or even third helpings if they want more food to eat.
The lunch program has never in its history run out of food. All students always receive a first serving of anything they want from the displayed buffet of food with portions limited to help reduce food waste. Second and third helpings food choices may be limited based on demand and availability. That being said, there is always multiple food options available for second and third helpings students may choose from.
All reusable dishes and cutlery will be provided by the lunch program. These items are washed and sanitized in-between lunch services. The program also has biodegradable compostable take-out containers and cutlery for those students who are participating in extra curricular on-site activities or leaving school property for lunch. Students are always welcome to bring and use their own reusable container if they prefer.
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 whoever you feel most comfortable with at the school: your child’s teacher, the school front office or to the Principal/VP 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 encouraged so the program knows how much food to make to ensure there is ample food for everyone who wants to participate.
Leftover meals are refrigerated/frozen and made available for FREE to any student who comes to school without a lunch on the days the lunch program isn’t running (i.e. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday). Students are welcome to inform staff that they need something to eat and they will be given one of the prepackaged meals. There is a microwave where meals may be heated by staff for students if required.
Some leftovers are also used by the snack and breakfast programs.
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.
If you are interested in volunteering with the school hot lunch program, please contact the school front office.