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.