A non-profit that has taken over P.E.I.'s school lunch program will have some new offerings for students this year.
Katelyn MacLean, executive director of the newly established P.E.I. School Food Program, said the menu for fall retains some old favourites and adds some things students have been asking for.
"I think the one that's most exciting for students this year is pizza, so we are going to have pizza on every Friday," said MacLean.
"We've got a homemade sauce that's actually packed with quite a few vegetables."
Other new items include a shepherd's pie and different wraps and sandwiches. Returning favourites include roast chicken dinner and hummus and pita snack box.
New online ordering
It's been a busy summer for the new non-profit, said MacLean.
In addition to the basic tasks involved in creating a new organization, it has launched a new website and ordering platform.
The website includes ingredients for all the items on the menu along with photos. MacLean expects the new ordering platform will be easier to navigate.
One thing that won't change is the price. Each item costs a maximum of $5, but it is a pay-what-you-can model. The system is entirely anonymous. Items delivered will look the same whether the student paid nothing or full price.
P.E.I. School Food Program was also busy with the new menu, said MacLean.
Each new idea had to be examined to make sure it was a healthy option that students would actually want to eat. Vendors were consulted to make sure the food could be produced and delivered to large numbers of students.
The group worked with Canada's Smartest Kitchen at the Culinary Institute of Canada in creating the new offerings. That included taste testing.
"We were able to have a couple of students there of different ages. We were able to have a school principal there. We were able to have a few parents there. We were actually able to have one of our vendors there, as well as members of our team," said MacLean.
"It was a really great opportunity to hear from many different perspectives on what they felt was good for the menu."
The first day for school lunches is planned for Sept. 13.