There’s panic among students at Queen Charlotte Secondary- the pizza is gone! But not to worry – there’s also shepherd’s pie, turkey soup, garden salad, Jamaican patties, and baked potatoes on the menu today. The new lunch program at the high school is providing a hot, healthy (and inexpensive) alternative to vending-machine fare, and the response so far has been great-among students and teachers-who are lined up in front of the Home Ec room to see what’s cookin’.
Teacher Norm Wagner, the driving force behind the whole operation, obviously enjoys what he’s doing. He jokes with students about their escalating ‘tabs’ and warns people about the potential nutmeg overdose in the mashed potatoes. “It’s kind of the Grenada special,” he says to one teacher, who is right in there with the hungry kids. “But it’s not my fault!” he says, jokingly. The student cook responds, “it is too your fault! You told me how much to put in!” Regardless of excessive spice, everything seems to have been gobbled up by the time the bell rings again. The customers are definitely happy – students sitting around the table all give the lunch a thumbs-up. “Two thumbs, actually,” says one girl, chowing the whole-wheat crust pizza.
Students Isabel Moody and Renee Jensen made a coconut curry Thursday for the lunch program – something that was a big hit. They explained that it’s up to the students to decide what to make, their creativity only limited by whatever supplies are on hand. If you want to make something special, they said, you have to let Mr. Wagner know a class ahead, so that he can get the required supplies. Mr. Wagner is also appealing to community residents for donations of anything they can spare. One student just brought in 20 pounds of salmon, he said, and Joe of Joe’s Fruit Truck donated a huge box of apples. Did you have a bumper crop of zucchini you just can’t get rid of? Halibut overflowing from your freezer? Well, here’s a good home for it. Call the school!
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