The results of BSS’s food related focus group

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The results of BSS’s food related focus group

Photo by TriAxis Construction

Photo by TriAxis Construction

Photo by TriAxis Construction

Shelby Ochshorn

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On October 26th, 2017, Dr. Terpstra sent out an email regarding a Focus Food Group that would be held with Ms. Chell, the new Director of Food Services here at BSS.. As a student who eats from the Student Centre and Boarders’ Dining hall every day, I immediately replied to this email, and so did six other Senior School day and boarder students. When we arrived to the Think Tank on the following Tuesday afternoon, we were greeted by the new Food Services Director.

I had two main goals I wanted to accomplish in this Food Group. One, question the lack of food available for the Senior School after the Middle School students consume more than half of it in the Student Centre. Two, advocate for equality between the salad bar in the Student Centre and the salad bar in the Boarders’ Dining Hall.

Firstly, Ms. Chell asked us all our favourite foods and what an ideal meal would look like. Our responses ranged from healthy quinoa salads, to my ideal meal, which was a Big Mac with a large side of fries. We then went on to discuss issues we believed were prevalent within the current food system at BSS.

Everyday, when I go to the Student Centre for lunch, I often have trouble finding a filling meal that I actually enjoy. The majority of the time, I find that the food is either not as fresh as it could be or absent altogether. When I brought up the issue of Middle School students getting the bulk of food before the Senior School, Ms. Sullivan and Dr. Terpstra agreed that this was a pressing issue that they were trying to resolve.

We then addressed the second topic I wanted to bring up, the inequalities between the salad bars in the Student Centre and the Boarders’ Dining Hall. First of all, we discussed the issue of the salad bar in the Student Centre running out quickly, which forces girls who want a salad for lunch to purchase a full meal from the Boarders’ Dining Hall, even if they do not want the main meal there. This causes girls to spend around 4 dollars more on just a salad versus purchasing a salad in the Stu for much less. Ms. Chell’s response to this was to look into a more consistent restocking of the salad bar in the Student Centre.

Cordelia Dingle, a Grade 12 student who also participated in the Food Group, had her own opinion on this topic. She echoed the same feelings about the salad bar options and wants more variety in toppings. “As a vegetarian, I wish there was more variety in the salad bar options, because there is often a lack of meatless options after the Middle Schoolers buy everything before the bulk of Senior School students.” Additionally, she acknowledged that there are only a few filling vegetarian/vegan meal options that are available. She said, “I am also concerned with the size of the ceramic bowls in the Student Centre, versus the size of the wooden-like bowls in the Boarders Dining Hall.” In response to this, Ms. Chell said that she would look into getting a higher supply of the wooden bowls available in the Student Centre and that she would research filling vegetarian options to add to the menu.

In the end, I suggested that Ms. Chell find a way for the whole Senior School to contribute to this discussion. To this, she replied that she would look into sending out a survey in the near future. Overall, I found this Food Group a really effective way to share our voice on an issue that we don’t usually get to discuss at our school.