There’s an app for that: Students opt for delivery over bag lunches, cafeterias

Skip the Dishes says the company doesn’t keep count of its school deliveries

Gone are the days of bag lunches and bologna sandwiches.

With a tap on a smartphone, students are getting burgers, paninis and sushi delivered right into their hungry hands at school.

It’s a growing trend that has school officials across the country deciding whether they should impose rules on the use of food delivery apps, including Skip the Dishes and Uber Eats, or ban their services altogether.

“We wanted to get ahead of it,” says Raza Husain, principal of Balmoral Drive Senior Public School in Brampton, Ont.

Lunch deliveries at the middle school aren’t causing a problem, he says. But he has heard about it creating a bit of disruption at other schools, so a rule was put in place requiring lunches to be prepaid before they are delivered to the school.

“We treat it as if a parent is dropping off a lunch.”

St. Theresa Catholic School in Sherwood Park, Alta., just east of Edmonton, banned the use of app deliveries earlier this year.

“These businesses are not permitted on school property unless authorized by school administration, as the use of these services may pose a security risk to the school,” said a note sent to parents in November.

It’s difficult to track school lunch deliveries.

READ MORE: South Surrey schools crack down on class-time food-delivery

A spokesman for Skip the Dishes says the company doesn’t keep count of its school deliveries. And most school districts say it’s up to each school to determine whether it will allow them.

“If student use of these services disrupts the learning environment of a school, principals may make the decision to ban or limit the use of these services,” says Megan Normandeau, a spokeswoman with Edmonton Public Schools.

Anjana Rajan, a full-time working mother of two in Sherwood Park, says making lunches isn’t her favourite thing to do.

She had been running late one morning during the last school year and knew she couldn’t keep a promise to her eight-year-old for an after-school treat. So she had Skip the Dishes deliver a Quiznos sandwich to the front office at Ecole Campbelltown for his lunch.

“It was just the perfect storm and the idea of making lunch that morning just irritated me to no end,” Rajan says. She had also seen other parents occasionally deliver Happy Meals from McDonald’s during school lunch breaks, so figured it was no big deal.

She gave office staff a heads-up about the order and it wasn’t an issue, she says. Her son was happy, and she was relieved.

She hopes to surprise her kids with another lunch treat someday, as long as the school doesn’t impose a ban. “I understand the schools, if they’re getting an influx of orders and the office has to manage that.”

James Johnston, principal at Semiahmoo Secondary School in Surrey, B.C., says about five to 10 lunches were being delivered each day in October and he decided the problem should be addressed. Delivery drivers were showing up at different times and walking through the school to meet students.

“We started thinking about that as a bit of a safety issue,” he says.

The school now requires students to pick up food deliveries off school property — most go to a nearby public parking lot — and not during class time.

Although the school has its own cafeteria and is close to several restaurants, many students have their own cellphones and credit cards and want to have their lunches dropped off, Johnston says.

“The novelty of having it delivered, the novelty of being able to pay online through the app … a few kids are doing it, then a few more are doing it, and then everybody wants to give it a try.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Eagle eyes are needed for new club space

Archery club in P.R. aims for storage space as well as shooting range

Prince Rupert wolf attack on man reported on social media unsubstantiated, said COS

Investigation found no evidence of wolf attack on Moresby Trail

Necropsy for Port Edward wolf is inconclusive

Samples sent for forensic analysis; wolf sightings continue; bushes removed at attack site

Seafest parade sails on June 27

Tides are turning during COVID-19 for Prince Rupert parade

Prince Rupert school district fires superintendent

Dr. Irene LaPierre removed from position immediately.

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

‘Great Regional Air Hug’ being organized by the Vanderhoof International Airshow Society

A multi-aircraft flyover over the region is being planned for August 15.

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Most Read