In June 2019 Holy Rosary CES Burlington learned they were the recipients of a Farm to School Grant application for funding completed with thanks to one key parent, the public health nurse team and school administration.
In March of 2019 Holy Rosary launched a Salad Bar program with 81 student participants… and they have never looked back!
A Farm to School funding requirement is building partnerships with local farmers and community partners, and procuring locally grown food, which is where relationships with Drummonds Farms and Ippolito come in! The school also has 4 parents and a student collaborating on menu ideas, two parents to do the shopping, and two members of the Knights of Columbus who assist with clean up. Older student volunteers help the younger students fill their plates with healthy options.
It’s a group effort that is paying off; the next round of Salad Bar has over 130 students signed up!
A priority of the volunteers running the program is to not turn any child away. If students walking by check out the cart with curiosity, volunteers always ask if the student would like to try it. Students will also ask volunteers if they can have a plate because the other kids in their class are so excited about their lunch. Wow! So awesome!
For future goals, Holy Rosary hopes to use of their Salad Bar for other school functions like EQAO testing – providing healthy snacks for students during testing days and at their Fun Fair – offering fruit/veggies and dip as a healthy option. They plan to use it for their Lasagna Night so parents can experience the cart for themselves, for their back to school BBQ / curriculum night with healthy snack options, for Breakfast with Santa, and possibly for their Heart and Stroke Jump Rope Day. The possibilities are endless!
Holy Rosary doesn’t stop at feeding students, many staff members look forward to Salad Bar day each week stating it saves them time and money while being able to enjoy a healthy lunch instead of buying fast food.
What are parents saying about Holy Rosary’s Salad Bar Program?
- “My kids love it; they can’t wait for it to start up again!“
- “My daughter looks forward to it every week, she is always saying amazing things about her wonderful salads. We never thought that would happen!!”
- “My eldest loooves it! She’s in grade 5. She brags so much about it that my SK is now signed up for the next round. An amazing addition and the variety and themes are extremely well planned and organized. Grateful for such healthy, fun lunch options.”
- “I’ve only heard amazing things about this program from my children and their friends! Great work!”
- “Who would have thought my kids would get so excited about Salad Cart lunch days? This is an amazing program and my children are trying veggies and fruits that before they would never try, thank you!”
- “I can’t believe how my son looks forward to the salad cart! I’m shocked (happily).”
- “It’s amazing all the great food you guys are serving, such a variety!”
- Another parent said her child loves the salad cart and she never realized that she has never given her child a boiled egg before!
Congratulations to Holy Rosary CES Burlington on the successful launch of this great alternative to pizza or hot dog day!