I remember the days well - getting ready for work, making sure everyone is up and fed, beds made, after school plans in place, lunches made snacks packed – and, oh, don’t forget that water bottle! There would invariably be those days I'd open the refrigerator and the cupboard only to find that they had mysteriously gone bare - as though our household was somehow sucked into the Old Mother Hubbard Nursery rhyme as we slept in our beds.
At All Saints, we consistently seek ways we can ease the burden and the business of our families lives, and this time, we believe, we may have struck gold. Thanks to the vision and commitment of Laura Coraci, Director of Admissions, ensuring children have healthy and nutritious, well-balanced snacks and lunches just became something parents can easily cross off their lists. I am proud to share that All Saints is now patnering with Orange and Olive Caterers of Jersey City, NJ. Orange and Olive (O&O) have catered our last few board events, including last year’s auction, so we were thrilled to learn that they were not only receptive to our school lunch proposal, but were in the beginning stages of branching out into schools. We are so happy to be their pilot partner!
Families should rest assured that we did not rush into this partnership before properly testing it out! The exploration began with a taste test for the admin team, followed by a lunch sampling by our student ambassadors and staff. All of these groups have provided useful feedback and input with O&O, so we are confident that families will have a positive experience. That said, being their pilot school means that there will undoubtedly be a few hitches along the way, but in our experience O&O is more than happy to respond to our requests and suggestions.
There are many wonderful things about the program, but here are some of the highlights:
- The food is locally sourced and nutritionally balanced (O&O has a nutritionist on staff)
- There are multiple options each day, including two “Safe Options,” which are vegetarian and allergen-free
- The website is super easy to use, even on mobile devices
- There is an option to order snack as well as lunch (the company will be making two deliveries per day)
- There is a field trip (bagged lunch and/or snack) option, which also includes snack
Staff members have had many wonderful things to say about the program, including:
- “I only ordered once, but the process was easy, the choices were varied and the food was food tasty and healthy!” (Debbie Jacobus, Business Manager)
- “Having sampled both my lunch and several other people's lunches, they were all tasty and a very nicely sized portion. It is great to have a cost-effective, healthy, tasty option. I particularly like the option of being able to order an "emergency meal" that is delicious! “ (Amanda Dillon, Middle School Teacher)
- “I love Orange and Olive! The food is fresh, organic, and delicious. We can compost the containers. I have only had one student try it so far, but she loved it as well.” (Tatianna Wisniewski, Third Grade Teacher)
- “I am really excited for this new program. All of the options look very healthy and appealing to adults and children alike. This is the first time at our school that I will be using the program regularly for Lainey! I am also excited that we are continuing to use a local business!” (Colleen Nguyen, Fourth Grade Teacher)
- So far, I have only had one meal and I really enjoyed it. The portion was huge and I found that I could get two meals out of it! The ingredients are really fresh and the flavor in the vegetable quinoa was so flavorful. The menu selections are really great and I'm excited to try more! (I have ordered lunch for tomorrow and Friday -- I'm excited to try the tikka masala and the arroz con pollo. I found the ordering very easy as well! (Rebecca Van Loon, Middle School Teacher)
So what do you need to know to take advantage of this new program? To get started, create an account with Orange and Olive by visiting their website (http://www.orangeandolivecaterers.com
). Click on “Special Ordering” and then on “School “Lunch.” Our school’s code is 07-030.
The rest is super easy. Order for one day or for a whole month in advance. Our existing partnerships with Simply Gourmet and Hoboken Hot Bagels are unchanged by this addition, so feel free to mix and match!