- Parents and Friends
- Amazing Green Canteen
Delicious, affordable and healthy lunches – that’s what’s on offer at Newstead Primary’s Green Canteen. Lasagna, sushi, soups and burritos are just some of the tasty items on the menu.
The canteen is held on a number of occasions during term time, and is run by parents, carers and family members. It uses local, seasonal and organic ingredients wherever possible. The canteen also makes the most of donations from local producers and community organisations such as Real Eggs, Growing Abundance and Newstead’s community garden.
The school community are big fans of the canteen. The students and staff love the changing menu, home cooked food and snacks such as apple slinkies, mini muffins and popcorn.
The canteen has been operating for several years now, and was initiated by Vanessa Boyack and Sam Chapman. These two mums, along with the school, recognised the importance of offering students a break from the usual lunch box offerings. As well as providing an inexpensive and healthy meal option, and presenting menus that might be different to what children experience at home.
The green canteen makes good use of facilities and integrates with projects already on at the school.
“It is great to see the kids excited by the food we make at green canteen. They really look forward to the delicious meals and snacks,” commented Karly Smith, one of this year’s green canteen organisers.
Affordability is important, with lunches costing $2 - $4 a serve. “At this price, costs are covered and any profit goes towards other “green” initiatives such as purchasing reusable cutlery and plates and other items for the school kitchen, and helping with the school garden,” said Karly.
Another reason for its success is the talent, time and skills that the volunteers bring to the canteen. Some come up with ideas, others create and cook an entire menu themselves, there’s ‘bakers’ who whip up a batch of muffins, and others who just like to serve and help with the clean-up.
“There are lots of simple ways for interested parents, carers and friends to help, whatever their skills or time availability. Anyone can get involved, even if it’s just once a year, for an hour or two,” said co-organiser Kirsty Mackay.
The green canteen makes good use of facilities and integrates with projects already on at the school. The school’s art room has been equipped with a functional kitchen and is an ideal serving space. Many of the ingredients come from the school vegetable garden, and suitable scraps/wastes are collected to feed the onsite compost and worm farm.
“It’s great to see students looking after the garden and worms as well as being able to enjoy the vegetables of their labour for lunch!” said Julia Robinson, who helps head up the school garden.
The proof is in the pudding… or in the words of one of the grade 6 students, “it’s an amazing canteen that’s run by the best parent helpers, and… it’s good and healthy too,” said Wil Burnes.