Parents Council’s New Covid Lunch Program

Parents+Council%E2%80%99s+New+Covid+Lunch+Program

Aviva Schilowitz ’24

If Charles de Gaulle really asked, “How can you govern a country that has 246 varieties of cheese?” then he would probably have sympathy for Ramaz administrators, considering all the lunch options students have this year. Ramaz announced over the summer that it could not provide its usual lunch program this school year because of Covid restrictions. In response, the Parents Council stepped in to offer a substitute lunch program and fill an important need for both parents and students.

The new lunch program allows students to choose lunch packages from surrounding restaurants and caterers. Lunches are provided by Eighteen Restaurant, Mazza and More, Olive Tree Catering, Park East Kosher Butchers, and Zami Caterers, depending on the day of the week. To receive lunch, students or parents must place an order online at least three days beforehand, with most options priced between $8-$10. The food is then delivered to school pre-packaged for each student. 

Upper School students’ opinions about the lunch program are thus far generally positive. The variety of options to choose from has been particularly appreciated. Grace Cohen ’24 said, “[While] there are so many great nutritious options to choose from,” students are still “getting used to their options.” 

Students are split on their favorite lunch order. The sushi was singled out as a favorite by several students, including Evie Rosenfeld ’24. “Monday is my favorite because I like the kale salad but I also like Friday because I like sushi,” she said.

The program has not been without growing pains. The Parents Council reported, “The biggest challenge has been ensuring accurate delivery and for that, we are so appreciative of so many parent volunteers as well as our liaisons in each division and Casey Talmas, who have donated their time to ensure that the lunch program is successful.” 

One improvement Upper School students would like to see is more flexibility. Claire Landy ’24 said, “The [one] negative part of tshis program is I don’t know what I am going to be in the mood for in advance.” She would like the ability to choose her lunch the same day she will eat it. The Parents Council says it is aware of this issue but feels that they are not set up to offer same-day ordering at the moment.

According to the Parents Council, students and parents can expect tweaks and improvements to the lunch program as the year progresses. “We feel it’s going well and are constantly trying to learn from our mistakes and improve. For instance, for some vendors, we offer too many options and we will be streamlining menus for December. We also recognize that the Lower School food choices should not be identical to what we offer in the Upper School and the December run will reflect that.”