With an eye on the food allergy community as a unique group of consumers since 2008, we're on a quest to find and share ways to continue enjoying the good things in life.

08 January 2010

School Has Subway Bring Lunch in for Elementary School Students?

Yes, you read that right. We received an email today announcing that Subway would be providing lunch to two of the elementary schools in town on a designated day in the near future. The heading on the email was "Subway is coming!!!" It clearly was intended to be exciting news. It never occurred to me that a fast food sandwich chain would provide lunch at school. I thought to myself "What? The MBTA is going add a subway stop way out here?" But no, our food services department has kindly arranged a special day where students may purchase a turkey, tuna, ham and cheese, or vegetarian cheese sandwich from Subway.

As the parent of a child with a life threatening food allergy, a school sponsored event focused entirely on food was disappointing news, to say the least. Of course, this event is not terribly surprising. I had already discovered just how sensitive to the needs of food allergic students our food services department is a few months ago. See my earlier post, Bewildered by School Allergy Accomodations and the Lack Thereof. My child is in half-day kindergarten and accordingly does not eat lunch at school. If he attended full-time, as he will next year, I can imagine how left out he would feel. I do not feel comfortable with him eating at Subway. He reacts to very minute, trace amounts, and I have heard things about Subway that leave me feeling less than confident. Peanut Allergy Kid had a post about Subway in August 2008 entitled No Way Subway which confirmed my feelings of hesitation and discomfort regarding Subway.

So, as I head off to bed tonight, I confess my continued disappointment in our school department's food services decisions. I hope for increased awareness and sensitivity. I dream that my son won't ever feel excluded in school due to his food allergy but...I know. I know he will, just as I know he will rise above it and the grown-ups in charge who just don't "get it" or don't want to "get it". I knew this was coming, having read the stories of children and families who are further along in this food allergy journey than we are, and I am comforted by the knowledge that we are in good company.
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