A lunch box with goodies from home and an occasional note from Mom or Dad are looked forward to by all children being away from home all day.  On occasion, having a special meal, prepared by a mom or dad or the kids in one of their classes, is something celebrated by all! 

It is a wonderful sight to see the happiness and pride of children and their families serving each other.
— Sarah Hodgkinson, Elementary Teacher and Parent
Thursday Hot Lunches served by students and their families are my favorite. The enthusiasm and pride that the serving students have in sharing their favorite meal with their classmate and teachers is a pleasure to witness.
— Maggie Cotignola, Music Teacher and Parent

What is Hot Lunch?

Hot Lunch is a special community lunch prepared and served by Love of Learning parents. Families take turns volunteering to serve a meal to the school community. Families have the option to partner up or host a meal all on their own.

How it works will varies for each campus:

  • At Harborside it means preparing for 90 or more children.
  • At Top of the Hill it means preparing a meal for approximately 20 children in Ms. Cassalini's early childhood class. This is much easier in terms of numbers but because of the smaller number of parents to volunteer Hot Lunch may not be available on a weekly basis. Please note: Ms. Giordano's elementary class have Hot Lunch at the Harborside campus.

If you volunteer to be responsible for a Hot Lunch, you have a several options: 

  • Cook & Serve: celebrate your inner-chef and cook a simple, kid-friendly meal. You can cook at home and drop it off shortly before lunch time or use the professional kitchens on site. 
  • Provide Ingredients: Put the ingredients together and drop them off in the morning with cooking instructions and we will see that your offering is properly prepared and served.
  • Sponsor a Meal: Make a donation to cover the cost of a Hot Lunch for students to prepare. 

However you choose to help, it's all greatly appreciated. The more families who participate, the more enriched the whole Montessori family is.

The Hot Lunch program is an ongoing fundraiser – the school does make some money with each serving. However, it is important to have wide participation and we don't want the cost to deter anyone from participating. If you need to be reimbursed for the ingredients you purchase, simply provide your receipts and we'll reimburse you for the cost.

Tips for Menu Planning

We like to have ethnic dishes that celebrate the diversity or our community, but we encourage having at least one item familiar to children. We prefer healthy foods with some seasonal fruit to finish the meal.  Usually we serve family-style from a big bowl rather than having the parent be responsible for a set number of portions already served out. Cooking for so many children may sound daunting, but be assured, the office staff are very helpful in providing necessary help and guidance.

Popular entrees from the past:

  • Macaroni & Cheese
  • Home-made chicken soup
  • Pasta with marinara sauce & Italian bread
  • Various kinds of Chinese food
  • Chicken nuggets, mashed potatoes, and a green vegetable
  • Grilled cheese with carrot sticks and cucumbers
  • Breakfast for lunch which sometimes means pancakes or scrambled eggs & sausage

Sign up for Hot Lunch

Spaces tend to fill up quickly for this favorite volunteer activity. Many parents like to serve Hot Lunch around their child's birthday. Click the button below to sign up. 


Contact food@lolmontessori. Courtney Thaler oversees our snack and lunch program.