Let’s set the table for LunchLAB!
Learn. Access. Build.
LunchLAB is a fun, new pilot program that serves healthy, delicious lunch prepared by a chef-in-residence, student chefs, and their teachers. Do you want a healthy delicious lunch served to you or your kid at school? Then let’s get cooking!
Why LunchLAB exists?
LEARN: Empower Kids and Youth
Kids learn by doing. In LunchLAB, with the support of their teachers and a Chef-in-Residence, students grow and cook food for themselves and each other to promote broader student learning, fuel them through the day, and encourage them to be leaders in their school and community.
ACCESS: A Good Lunch
Every student should have access to a delicious, local, healthy lunch–a lunch that nourishes the body, mind, and planet. LunchLAB helps provide that access to all kids.
BUILD: A Strong Community
By bringing students together at the lunch table to share meals and conversation, to reflect and reconnect instead of just quaffing down calories, we are forging strong relationships with themselves, one another, and their community.
What is LunchLAB?
In LunchLAB, students learn to grow their own food, supplement that food from local farms, and with the support of their teacher and chef-in-residence, learn to cook for themselves and their peers.
Lord Roberts Elementary, Total Education High School, Fresh Roots, and Growing Chefs! have partnered together to create LunchLAB a new education program where students learn to grow, cook, and share delicious food! What’s for lunch (or dinner… or breakfast… or snack)? is the question du jour. LunchLAB is about helping students be able to answer that question on their own.
LunchLAB changes the narrative about lunch. Students can and do make lunch for themselves and their peers. Learning with their teacher and a chef-in-residence, students help create the menu, make it, and serve it to their peers. It is an exercise in learning and sharing. And it’s delicious.
How It Works
LunchLAB is serving lunch twice a week
Meals will be plant-forward and aligned with the new Canada Food Guide. Lunches will change each day and will be inspired by what’s in season. Each meal will include a fresh salad bar and a hot item, whether that’s tacos, chickpea curry, or lasagna, it will be packed with delicious flavours and fresh veggies.
LunchLAB costs $5 per meal
Once you enroll, lunch will be available for the entire semester. We want to help make LunchLAB affordable for you AND we want to ensure that the program will be financially sustainable for years to come. We know that living in this city can be challenging financially, that’s why if you need extra help, please get in touch with us to order your student’s meal. There will be a place in the form to do that.
February 6, 2023-June 22, 2023
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays
I Want To Volunteer
Let us know when you’re available to volunteer
Join the LunchLAB Waitlist!
Let us know you’d like to join our wait list
We believe that everyone should have access to a delicious healthy lunch–a lunch that nourishes the body, mind, and planet. And that’s not always easy. Whether a student has to use their lunch money for school supplies, they choose pop and chips, or forget their lunch at home – all those students are hungry.
We also believe that students can learn by doing. That’s why they are involved in growing and cooking food. They learn not only important food skills, but also about math, literacy, science and more.
On top of that, we know that making lunch is HARD! Enter LunchLAB.
How does lunch get made (and will my kid eat it)?
Cohorts of student chefs grow the food, exploring the science curriculum and building critical hands on skills. Then, students cook it with a teacher and chef-in-residence, learning how to meal plan, budget, and how to cook–a skill they will need for the rest of their life. The best part about it–when kids make it–they eat it! It’s an age old method of getting them to eat their veggies. So what are you waiting for, let’s get ready for lunch!
I love this idea, how can I sign up for LunchLAB?
All you need to do is click here and sign up!
I love this idea so much, how can I volunteer?
Amazing! We love volunteers and we have lots of fun opportunities for family and community members to take part. Please contact us to volunteer.
This program is so neat, how is it possible?
Funding for this program is provided by three main sources: Grants from the City of Vancouver and other philanthropic foundations, parents and guardians who help to buy the meals, and individual donations from parents and people who believe everyone should have access to Good Food.
If you are able to financially support LunchLAB, we’d love your support. It’s the only way that this program will be able to continue for years to come. Contact us to make a donation.
I love this program, and want to ensure that it continues, how can I help?
There are three great ways you can help this program thrive:
- First, let us know what you think! Your stories and photos help us be able to share the impact of LunchLAB.\
- Second, sign up! Revenue from the program helps us to become a sustainable model that can continue for years to come!
- Third, make a donation to ensure the program continues for years to come! Contact us to learn how.
When is LunchLAB?
LunchLAB is every Tuesday and Thursday at Lord Roberts Elementary School and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays at Total Education when there is school. Depending on your school, you might have a few other days where LunchLAB is not in session, as you order lunch, we’ll let you know the specific details for your school.
How many students can LunchLAB support?
LunchLAB can support up to 180 students Tuesday and Thursday at Lord Roberts and 100 students at Total Education.
What happens if this program is not for me and I want to stop participating?
We understand that LunchLAB is maybe not for your kid or for you. Not a problem, you can let us know and we’ll cancel your orders and issue you a refund for the rest of the program. All you’ll need to do is contact us.
What happens if we miss a day because we are not at school?
We offer sign ups throughout the year based on your school’s schedule. We do this to help make it easy for you to sign up and to help keep meals inexpensive. Unfortunately if you miss a day of LunchLAB during the term, we are not able to offer a refund for a particular day.
I’ve heard that this program is a pilot, what does that mean?
- LunchLAB is a pilot program in partnership with the VSB, Fresh Roots, and Growing Chefs! Funded in part by the City of Vancouver, Telus, a private family foundation, CLICK, and individual donors, we have funding for one year. We are testing this program to see if we will be able to make it sustainable in the long run, which will require parents who can support the program to do so.
Wow! Students are learning how to cook, how can I or my child/student sign up to be one of the student chefs?
At Lord Roberts
Participating in the the LunchLAB Chef Team is a leadership opportunity as an extension of Edible Education. The opportunity to participate in Chef Team will be open to Grade 6 and 7 students through different times of the year. Mr. Brent will be talking to all students about when and how they can be involved.
At Total Education
Participation in LunchLAB is open to students enrolled in Foods with Jill. After lessons about kitchen safety, students will work with Chefs Tasha and Carrie in preparing lunch for the school community three times per week.
What’s for lunch?
Each lunch will include items like a beautiful seasonal salad bar, topped high with sprouts, fresh veggies from the garden and local farms, fruit, fermented pickles and kimchi, seeds, beans, and student made dressings. Lunch will vary depending on what is in season and available.
Every LunchLAB meal will have a hot main. Whether that’s tacos, chickpea curry, palak paneer, ramen soup, or lasagna, you’re going to find it packed with delicious flavours and fresh veggies.
LunchLAB is plant forward, including lots of veggies and fruits, whole grains and plant protein foods. This is in line with our Food Values, which is derived from Canada’s Food Guide, recommendations for a healthy planet and to ensure that all students can participate. Animal-based foods will be included sometimes, but vegetarian and vegan options will always be available.
What about allergies?
We know that many students have different dietary restrictions, allergies, and needs. While we are not able to accommodate specific dietary requirements, allergies, or requests, every LunchLAB will serve a vegetarian option and use low-risk allergenic foods. Your child/student will choose from a salad bar with multiple veggies, pickles, and toppings, as well as from one or two hot entrees. If they have a veggie that they do not like or are allergic to, they can avoid choosing that option. However, some mixing of items is to be expected. If your child/student has specific dietary restrictions or allergies, this program may not be the best fit at this time. Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.
How much does it cost?
Each meal costs parents or students $5! Wow! We want to help make LunchLAB affordable for you AND we want to make sure that we can ensure that the program will be financially sustainable for years to come.
We know that living in this city can be challenging financially, that’s why if you need extra help, please get in touch with us to order your student’s meal. There will be a place in the form to do that.
We’re all in this together. If you’re able to support a student in need, please let us know in the sign up form. When we all work together, we can help make sure that everyone has access to a healthy, delicious lunch. Should you choose to sponsor a LunchLAB meal, we are able to share a charitable tax receipt.
Why is ordering ahead of time important?
While we’d love to serve everyone, we also know that we can only serve LunchLAB to those who have ordered online, or been in touch with us about their situation. This ensures that we keep kids safe, that we make the correct amount of food, and ensure that we can keep this program running for years to come. LunchLAB will only serve those students who have ordered online with us.
What are the terms of service for LunchLAB?
You can read our terms here.
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I’ve been reading all of this information, and now I’M HUNGRY!
Lunch is just around the corner! Sign up here to get started!