By Tathali Urueta Ortiz, Youth Curriculum & Empowerment Manager

2022 saw the return of LunchLAB chefs and sous chefs to schools! Chef TJ and sous chefs Dana and Luca, returned to Lord Roberts Elementary School to engage children (G 4-7) in cooking and eating yummy lunches twice per week. Meanwhile Chef Tasha and sous chef Carrie continued their engagement twice per week with Total Education students.

What is LunchLAB?

LunchLAB is an innovative and educational school meal program developed in collaboration between Fresh Roots and Growing Chefs! This program seeks to support food literacy and food access among children and youth. In LunchLAB, students learn to grow their own food, supplement that food from local farms and stores, and with the support of their teacher, chef and sous chef in-residence, learn to cook for themselves and up to 180 of their peers twice a week. Through LunchLAB, we want to transform what school food can be: meals that provide non-stigmatizing access to those that need it most; meals that are nourishing, safe, healthy, and delicious; meals that kids and youth want to eat; meals that strengthen local food systems and support local farms. 

The good news is that we are back to pre pandemic numbers (lunches served) and activities! We are also happy to report that the Total Education LunchLAB Team will be cooking with students three times per week, Yay!  If you want to know more about the program please visit our website you can contact us at

We are always seeking community members to volunteer  with us, if you are interested please let us know! You can send us an email to


We acknowledge the financial support of the City of Vancouver & Province of British Columbia to allow the LunchLAB program to continue to make healthy school food accessible to students!

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