May 2020: What’s happening and what’s not happening?

What’s Happening?

Before the pandemic happened there was a lot of great news. We have joined The SAGE Climate Education Team. They are creating curriculum and 2030 Vision Fairs where students will first have an introduction to climate education curriculum and then get engaged with local organizations and businesses who are working on reaching Portland Climate Action Plan goals. Students can create their own projects and gain information about future employment possibilities within these environmental sectors. Greener World Lunches was invited to talk at Sunnyside Environmental School where we met with 8th graders, and our partner FFAC gave a presentation about factory farms and how our food choices matter. We also did an activity on food waste, and the students created posters that we will have printed and displayed in the cafeterias. We’re honored to be invited to be part of these Vision Fairs. Moving forward, we hope to have the Greener World Lunches initiative be more student-led as we keep growing the outreach into schools. If you are a PPS student wanting to work with us on the school lunches, please contact us.

We have had parent partners step up, and we will be introducing them soon. We’d love to have more parents, teachers or adult allies be part of this initiative! Email us if you want to join in.

The other good news is that Greener World Lunches has it’s own website! Thank you to Jonathan Bailey at THRIVE creative for providing web development. Check it out… we will add events as we ramp back up. We’ve added a donate button to defray the costs of materials needed for our new tabling events for the upcoming Vision Fairs, and to have student’s posters scanned, printed and laminated for all the school cafeterias. As you can see a peek here of a few of the posters- we would love to show their beaming faces, but will err on the side of privacy. Their youthful excitement give me hope and motivation to keep going so they can have a better future.

What’s Not Happening?

Well, besides physical school of course. We had been trying to have a meeting with our PPS Nutrition Director for several months to get an update or information as to what the forecast looked like with menu planning. Once schools closed I stopped my monthly emails asking about this information since this is even less of a priority for PPS as the focus is on making sure students who rely on their services receive any meals. The global pandemic has created challenges for everyone but we are still going to continue our work on a crisis which is even more destructive than Covid-19 for health, economy and all people and animals, and that is the climate crisis.

Policies are starting to happen in schools around the School Climate Resolution which passed, and it is our hope that having more plant-based options will be included as part of the sustainability goals. We’ve met with the PPS Sustainability Program Manager and Climate Justice Programs Manager to highlight this important climate solution. Our partners at Eco-School Network also support this initiative being implemented. At this point, I am not sure how next year will look for students overall or what the next year’s menus will look like, but with the health, rising costs and safety issues around the slaughterhouses and the pandemic in our country, more and more families are choosing to leave meat off their plates.

Next Steps

Let’s use this time with our students at home and during the summer to prepare for next year. We can do this remotely and virtually. The climate crisis isn’t going away, and neither are we! Sign up for our email newsletter for updates. Share it with others who may be interested! Follow us on Facebook, IG channel coming soon. And if you aren’t in school, check out Default Veg on how to get more plant-based options into your businesses and organizations!

 

Stay safe and stay tuned!

— Amy Hall, Founder/Parent Organizer