April 15, 2020
Did you know that Providence Hall Charter School participates in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs? This is a unique part of our school culture, because not many charter schools in Utah have fully operational cafeterias. Our cafeteria plays an important role in our school. Keep reading to learn more about it, and make sure to check out our infographic towards the end.
The Role the Cafeteria Plays at Providence Hall
It Acts as a Social Gathering Place
The cafeteria serves as a social gathering place. While eating, students can sit down with their school friends and talk. For many of our students, lunch is a break they look forward to everyday—and not just because they’re hungry and in need of food. Their lunch period is a time they can relax and not worry about homework or tests. This social opportunity is certainly beneficial to our students’ mental health
It Supports the School’s Fun Initiatives
Our cafeteria staff take their jobs seriously! They do more than just serve our students food as they support our school culture. They provide holiday meals, like Thanksgiving dinner, ham dinners for winter and spring holidays, and quesadillas at Halloween. They also do special events like National Breakfast Week where students can eat breakfast for lunch. There’s also Try New Breakfast Week where breakfast meals that aren’t too traditional are provided to encourage students to try new foods. When the school participates in Pajama Day or Spirit Week, the meals are designed to support those themes.
It Teaches Students Valuable Life Skills
Our cafeteria teaches students to make healthy eating choices, be waste-free, and know where their food comes from. To help students develop healthy eating patterns, we provide smart snacks that are low in sodium and sugar. We also don’t have vending machines. Our “A La Carte” station further gives students the ability to make their own eating choices as well as allows them to get extra food should they be craving it. There, they can get items like cookies, chips and salsa, churros, pretzels, Naked Juice®, Propel® water, and pizza (available only on Fridays).
Providence Hall is striving to become as waste-free as possible, and our cafeteria plays a huge part in reaching this goal. We promote recycling and serve meals on reusable trays. We also have a sharing basket so that students can put prepackaged and sealed items they don’t eat in there for other students to take.
Our cafeteria staff also runs a garden club to help students learn where their food comes from. Gardening helps students take responsibility by taking care of plants and to take pride in their hard work as they see them grow. The food they grow is also used in our student meals.
We Take Care of Students with Dietary Restrictions
We understand that some parents and students may have questions about how we accommodate students with dietary restrictions, and we want you to know that we’re on top of it! Parents, if your student has any allergies, diabetic needs, or other such dietary restrictions, please inform our school nurse. They keep a file on each student’s needs and will meet with students with certain needs each day before lunch to make sure they’re eating properly. Parents can also check the nutritional information of each day’s meals on Nutrislice.
What about students with peanut allergies? We understand how important this issue can be, and so we are a peanut-free school. All meals provided by the school will be peanut-free. Because students may still bring food from home for their lunches, we also limit the amount of trading that happens. After all, we don’t want students to accidentally eat something they are allergic to. At our elementary school, we also have a separate table just for students with peanut allergies.
Many students with dietary restrictions will regularly bring their own lunch from home. If there is ever a day where they would like to eat school lunch, our Nutrition Director Ms. Weiss says parents are more than welcome to give her a call and let her know. She will make sure they have something they can eat and enjoy.
Check Out Our Creative Infographic for More Information
Have Any Questions About Our Breakfast or Lunch Program?
If you have any questions about our meal plans or in regards to your student’s dietary needs, please call Providence Hall. Our front office will direct you to our school nurse or nutrition director who should be able to answer your questions.