For anyone who has ever wondered about the why's and how's of special lunch, I thought I would post some information.
Special lunch is a lunch provided for the children once each term as a special treat. It is paid for out of P&C funds and is prepared by volunteers. Providing lunch for 60 children and several teachers is a big task and we have to work within the constraints of our own domestic sized kitchens and equipment. The menu is usually a savoury item (pie, sausage on a roll, etc), fruit and a sweet treat for desert (ice block, jelly etc).
There have been some questions as to why we serve items like pies, when we should be encouraging healthy eating. There are two reasons; firstly, we are very limited with what can be prepared given that we have less than 2 hours between the end of lines and lunch at 11.30. We have no access to refrigeration other than what spare space there is in our own fridges. We rely on being able to heat food in an oven as we simply don't have containers large enough to attempt to cook, heat and transport a dish like spaghetti for example. Secondly, we see this lunch as a special treat, and differentiate between healthy everyday foods and treat foods that are only eaten occasionally. Our aim is to provide something that the children will really look forward to and enjoy. We do try to balance out the "treat" food by always ensuring that a fruit course is served.
We are always looking for helpers. Most of the shopping is done a day or two prior to lunch day; it is on lunch day morning that we really need help as most of the preparation is done then. Of course the fun part is serving lunch to the kids. It is really lovely to see how excited the children are, and to watch them enjoy a special event. Also we are always happy to listen to any suggestions as to new foods to try or better ways of doing things. Let me know if you would like to be involved or have a question or suggestion.