This is an event I am especially proud to announce and promote. Queen Victoria Public School’s Parent Council is holding the first, of many more, hot school lunch days. On Tuesday May 4 senior students will be preparing 2 types of soups for the rest of the school to purchase for their lunch. This program acts as a fund raiser for the Parent Council but reaches far beyond that in promoting the new food guidelines set out by the Provincial Government as well as teaching the students where their food comes from. The program was made possible by working in partnership with private sponsors. We at the Black Kettle Bistro along with the Essex County Associated Growers are contributing our time and products for the program. All produce used is grown locally and helps promote the Buy Local movement. Once we have worked out all the kinks we hope to grow the program to eventually have regular scheduled hot lunch days in our school; all prepared from local ingredients and by our very own students. This program has been in the works for awhile and we hope to expand it more in the coming school year.
The idea was born out of necessity and frustration. I have been on the Parent council for a few years and have seen all the things that we ask our student to do to help raise funds for various programs around the school. I took specific aim at fund raisers and events that dealt with food. We spend all day teaching our kids about math and science and literature and history but the habits that we pass along regarding food promote hot dogs, chocolate milk, chips, high fat cookie dough, etc etc. I wanted to not only change the way the school dealt with food and the image it promoted but also turn it into a fund raiser kids could be proud of. Eventually we would like to provide a hot, healthy lunch on a regular scheduled day; making it extremely affordable so that all kids take part. Equally as beneficial, the senior level classes learn how to make the soup as well as hone some basic culinary skills. Hopefully they take away an enthusiasm for food and nutrition and try to cook at home. They also get a complete picture of where their food comes from, soil to plate. We will only be using local ingredients working with the Essex County Associated Growers. Local farmers have donated produce for our event. Mac James, a potato farmer near Leamington has graciously donated the potatoes for this event. My years on the parent council have been few but they are a long way from over. I figure I’m looking at another 13-14 years before Wilson is off to high school. In that time I would love to see this type of program replicated across the city and grow beyond the humble expectations we have this year. This idea has been extremely well received from our School Board and it has been great bringing it to fruition relying on the partnerships we formed locally with the Board, the farmers, BKB and the Parent Council. It’s a win, win, win, win, situation all around.