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A School Lunch Program to Drool Over
Pilgrim Lutheran School’s program offers fresh, homemade lunches catered to students needs
By: Pilgrim Lutheran School
Pilgrim Café, the school’s lunch program, is a thriving ministry, led by 4th grade parent Cynthia Dixon who has a passion for fresh, seasonal food, made by hand and served with love. Her culinary team of two paid assistants, volunteer parents, grandparents and Pilgrim friends dish out homemade lunches to the students Monday through Friday.
In 2010 the school board redesigned the lunch program to include healthier options. Under the guidance of a professionally trained chef, parent Gary Ploof, the program transformed into a delicious selling point for the school. Today, Cynthia prepares dishes such as teriyaki chicken, chicken noodle soup, beef and broccoli and breakfast sandwiches all from scratch. The salad option changes daily and includes chef salad, spinach salad and quinoa salad with sundried tomatoes and feta cheese. The dressings, served on the side of course, are homemade. You will never find a meal from a box in this kitchen. Everyday a vegetable and fruit is included on the tray and lunch just wouldn’t be complete without a homemade treat.
Another Pilgrim Café positive – students with food allergies are welcomed, cared for and served nutritious food made exclusively for them. Cynthia knows each student by name, their allergies and their likes and dislikes. “I have several students who don’t like melty cheese, so I will make sure on days where for example baked ziti or enchiladas are served, I reserve a couple portions that don’t have melty cheese. I want to make sure each child eats their lunch and if I can make that happen by omitting a dislike, I will do it.”
In the future the Pilgrim hopes to work closer with local farmers to procure more organic and even more fresh food. They also hope working directly with the growers will lower food costs. Currently each lunch is $3.00, but increases may happen to accommodate the rising costs of meats and produce.
Pilgrim Lutheran School is accredited by both AdvancED and National Lutheran Schools Accreditation (NLSA). It offers exceptional academic programs for Preschool 3 – 8th grade students.
About Pilgrim Lutheran School
Pilgrim Lutheran School is an accredited school providing education for preschool 3 through eighth grade. Pilgrim has a low student-teacher ratios with the largest class currently at 19 students. Since 2008, Pilgrim Lutheran School has been at either the 95th or 96th percentile of schools taking the nationally standardized Iowa Test of Basic Skills test, putting the school in the top 4-5% in the nation. Several children have been selected for the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth program. Nearly all (approximately 99%) of Pilgrim’s students go on to college or university after high school.
For more or information call our school office 503-644-8697 or email school.office@