The Healthy School Lunch Program

Prince Edward Island’s Healthy School Lunch Program launches today, something Oliver and I saw evidence of out at Gallant’s on Saturday morning picking up our salmon bagels: the kitchen was filled with tomato sauce, ready to serve as part of lunch in four schools this morning.

As I related here, the kernel of the seed of this program hatched on a fall day seven years ago at Montague Consolidated. From that first meeting, to a home and school policy resolution in 2015, to lobbying and plotting by parents, guardians, teachers and staff, officials in government and the school board, farmers, fishers and those in food service, a plan began to emerge, and after a pilot project this winter, which evolved into a COVID-adapted meal plan over the spring and summer, the program rolls out today to all Island schools.

What’s perhaps most remarkable is that the program as it launches today retains most of the key points of that original home and school resolution: it’s a “pay what you can” model, it emphasizes healthy, locally-sourced and locally-produced food.

In other words, it’s kind of a miracle.

For all those who poured their hearts into making this a reality, thank you; not only is it a wonderful thing, in and of itself, but it demonstrates how a good idea, with patience and nurturing and community-building, can come to fruition. That gives me an even larger sense of hope for what’s next.