My student is at one of your schools. How do I enroll?
Go to www.patriciaslunchbox.com and click on “enrollment” and then select the option you want for your school. You will be asked to fill out the information sheet on your child upon check out then you can pay securely online by credit card. Patricia's Lunchbox representatives are usually available and on campus to help parents sign up on orientation days/back to school nights as well if they wish to sign up and pay by check.
Can I enroll part way through the semester?
If it is closer to the start of the semester, yes. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to see if the time meets the criteria. All new enrollment for the semester will be closed 3 weeks before the end of the semester; for example: we will NOT be signing up children for the last 10 days of school.
Why can’t I sign my student up for random days of the month?
In order to keep the price of lunches low, we need to limit the amount of accounting we have to keep. Our ingredients are natural, local or organic which makes them more expensive. By requiring daily or semester commitment, we can keep our accounting costs down and keep lunches affordable.
Once my student is enrolled, how will the cafeteria know that she is eating?
Upon receiving payment and their information, the student will be entered into the system and you can expect your child to be fed the next school lunch day.
Do I get a refund if my student is out for the day?
Regardless of whether or not your student is at school, the kitchen cooks have ordered food for her and will be preparing it that day. There are no refunds. However, you are welcome to come during lunch and take your student’s food home.
Do I get a refund if my student no longer attends the school?
Yes: contact the office.
If my student is signed up for lunch, what if he is scheduled for a field trip?
With 48 hours’ notice, Patricia’s Lunchbox will provide students with sack lunches. The student’s teachers are responsible for notifying the kitchen in advance.
How do you decide on your menus?
Our meals are nutritionally balanced and designed to appeal to children. We request feedback from our kitchen manager so that we can keep menus that are popular and revisit menus that are less appealing. We work with the University of Texas Department of Human Ecology nutrition interns to ensure that our lunches exceed FDA nutrition standards. Our high school menus are more varied and sophisticated to encourage teens to explore their palates and to be open to new flavors.
Why can't I see the full semester of menus?
Patricia's Lunchbox will usually post menus one to two months in advance, about 2 weeks before the new month. We sometimes will make menu changes if we feel it is a better substitution, so we don't post too far in advance. Most dishes will remain the same, however.
My student has food allergies. Can he/she eat?
Yes. When enrolling, please indicate that your student has dietary restrictions. Right now we have substitutions for Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Dairy Free and GF/DF on our menus. For other specific allergies, we try to accommodate everyone, but our storage and cooking spaces are very limited so on occasion we may not be able to. If this is the case, please contact the office as you may be eligible for a refund.
My student is a vegetarian. Can he/she eat?
Yes. When enrolling, please indicate that your student has dietary restrictions and we can prepare the vegetarian option for them.
My student is a big eater. How do I know he will get enough to eat at lunch?
We understand that some students need more to eat than others. Our regular portion sizes exceed federal guidelines and have been checked for balance by licensed nutritionists. Also, we encourage all our students to eat everything on their plate: that includes the fruits and vegetables which contribute not only to their health, but also to their feeling full after lunch without feeling sleepy or sluggish.
Can my student have seconds?
Yes on fruits and vegetables and sometimes protein when we've prepared extra (some proteins are more popular than others so we often try to accommodate on days like those).
Why don’t you serve French fries?
Patricia’s Lunchbox doesn’t fry any of their foods. Fried food is one of the culprits in the obesity crisis.
My student doesn’t like fruits and vegetables. Can she just get the meat and starch?
We will serve your student a full plate of food, including vegetables and fruit. We encourage all our students to try everything on their plate: that includes the fruits and vegetables which contribute not only to their good health, but also to their feeling satisfied after lunch without feeling sleepy or sluggish.
My student loved things on last year’s menu that are not on this year’s. Why do you change menus?
We track popular menus throughout the year and note which days of the week are most popular during enrollment. Days with less interest (usually we track this on how many seconds kids come back for and what they communicate to us) will mean that the menus will be changed in order to appeal to more students.
My student can’t have food dyes or partially hydrogenated oils in her food. Can she eat lunch?
We have eliminated all unhealthy ingredients from the foods we prepare and purchase ready made (such as snacks which are sold at the high schools). For more information about the list of eliminated ingredients, click here.
Why are your menus so varied? My student would prefer to eat fresh pizza or burgers every day.
We encourage students to explore the wonderful diversity of foods through our lunch program. We introduce foods that are popular in familiar cultures in the hope that our students are open to flavors and quality of food that is not available in our fast food culture.
You serve burgers and pizza. How are yours different from everyone else’s?
Our ingredients are carefully sourced from comparatively small vendors. For example, pizza crusts in the lower schools are 50% whole wheat from Sweetish Hill and made fresh the day before service. Our whole wheat burger buns are baked fresh for us by Sweetish Hill. Our burgers are natural beef from a Texas company. We don’t load our pizzas with cheese or top our burgers with bleached lettuce. We even make our own pizza sauce and bump up its nutritional value by added pureed veggies that taste great but are undetectable!
Why are you not in public schools?
Public school lunches are federally funded. We cannot work within public school systems at this time.
How can I apply for a job with Patricia’s Lunchbox?
As we look to expand our program to more schools, we are always looking for self motivated, trained culinary individuals (either school or with extensive work experience in a kitchen) ,who love children. Please email email@example.com for more information.