Boxed Lunch Pilot Program Coming to Sag Harbor Elementary

Sag Harbor Elementary School. Christine Sampson photo

The Sag Harbor School District is developing a cold, boxed lunch service to offer to students a few days per week at Sag Harbor Elementary School, likely beginning in October as a pilot program, school business administrator Dr. Philip Kenter announced during the August 13 school board meeting.

In a letter dated August 2, the Suffolk County Department of Health Services notified the school administration it had approved the district’s proposal to deliver cold lunches that will be prepared and wrapped at the Pierson Middle-High School kitchen and transported to Sag Harbor Elementary.

“No food handling is to be done at the elementary school other than the handing of the boxed lunch to a student,” Bruce Johnson, Suffolk County’s senior public health sanitarian, wrote in the letter to the Sag Harbor School District.

Superintendent Katy Graves on Tuesday said the district is currently developing the specific lunch items to offer to students.

“This is really in the development stages because we want to meet with parents, students and personnel to get their feedback,” she said. “The biggest hurdle we had to get through was getting health department approval, and we’ve gotten that approved. It’s really an exciting next step for us.”

Ms. Graves said the plan is to bring the lunches from the recently expanded Pierson food preparation area, made by employees already on staff, to Sag Harbor Elementary in specialized food transport containers called Cambros. The district plans to outfit a truck it already owns to accommodate those containers. The goal is to have the program supported by the purchasing of the lunches, Ms. Graves said.

“The goal is to be sustainable for the district — what’s best for students, fair for adults and what the community can sustain,” she said.