Public school board preparing for cafeteria changes

The city's public high schools will have some changes with cafeteria services, though they won't be running for the start of the school year.

The Lakehead District School Board contracted confirmed in June it would be contracting out food service operations in the high schools, citing mounting losses on its cafeterias. The board issued a request for proposals, which closed in August.

The school board will be partnering with Roots Community Food Centre and Horizon North.

“The vision with the [request for proposals] was really about not just offering healthy, diverse menu options for kids but to also have them be able to have opportunities [for] experiential learning opportunities,” said Kirsti Alaksa, the board’s superintendent of business on Tuesday.

“We are very excited to be partnering with [the] Roots Community Food Centre and Horizon North. The options that we have available to us by partnering with them being able to integrate students in the cafeterias is very exciting. The board is very happy with this partnership.”

Roots Community Food Centre executive director Erin Beagle said the menu for students will focus on quality, fresh from scratch food.

“[Our organization] helped to partner with the board to create the menu that exists already in cafeterias when the province introduced the School Food and Beverage Policy),” Beagle said. “[Students will be able to get] soups, sandwiches, hot options, fruits, and vegetables. There will also be vegetarian options, [as well as] ethnic food options that we can celebrate. [It’s all about] what is local and in season, [in addition to] what is culturally relevant for students at the school.”

Beagle added that access to food is another goal of the partnership, ensuring that it is more cost effective to eat at the cafeteria than to go out for lunch.

Full-service breakfast and lunch options will be available to students at Superior Collegiate and Vocational Institute beginning on Sept. 18.

Grab and go options will be available at Hammarskjold High School starting on Sept. 25 while students at Westgate Collegiate and Vocational Institute will have the full-service option of breakfast and lunch available to them on Oct. 2.

Kevin Jeffrey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,