This post contains everything you ever wanted to know about the "Biffer Baum" Boxed Lunches I coordinated for my daughter's school.
Our amazing Hospitality Committee and Room Parents volunteered to make personalized boxed lunches for every staff member at the school. To make that task as easy as possible, I asked the staff to complete a lunch questionnaire. It was included with their Appreciation Week invitation and asked the following questions: What is your favorite sandwich? Favorite bread? What do you like on your sandwich? Favorite chips? Favorite salad? Favorite dessert? Favorite drink? Any allergies? (I printed the questions on this cute Cat in the Hat paper.)
I asked that the questionnaires be returned by the Thursday prior to Staff Appreciation Week. Once I received them, I forwarded the answers to the parents who signed up to make lunches. Of course, there were a few teachers that did not return their questionnaires by the deadline. I had to “encourage” them via email to respond, and gave myself a four day buffer to make sure all the parents had the information they needed in time to prepare the lunches.
THE SIGN UP
Let's start with the SignUp Genius form. You should include every staff member. Don't forget the lunch ladies! Be sure to ask the school secretary or office manager for the following information:
- Current student teachers (they come and go throughout the year)
- A list of staff not working on the day of individual lunches
- The staff lunch schedule. Lunches are usually staggered. You want to make sure that a staff member eating lunch at 10:45am actually has a lunch to eat!
Recruiting parents to make lunches for teachers and favorite staff members like the librarian and music teacher is easy. You may struggle to find volunteers for staff members that parents and kids don't see often, like the janitor. If you are having a hard time filling all your slots, ask the room parents to reach out to the other classroom parents. There are so many parents willing to help when they know there is a need. Just ask!
I did not create any printables for this event because the lunches took up every square inch of space in the staff lounge, and then some. The lunches themselves were the decorations!
The parents really outdid themselves. I was completely floored when I walked into the staff lounge and saw the “boxed” lunches. Clearly, I use the term loosely. I thought I was doing well with “Cat in the Hat” reusable bags and tissue paper for my lunches. I need to step up my game next year. WOW.
Tips For A Successful Lunch
The lunches at our school are staggered from 10:45-12:30 so this year I sorted the lunches by time on six foot tables at the back of the room. Sorting the lunches by time made it a snap to find the lunches, and having them on a table in the back (instead of the lunch tables) gave the teachers and staff plenty of space to eat their lunch.
Print out your SignUp Genius sheet and bring it with you to the staff lounge, along with a school directory. As the lunches come in, cross them off the sign up sheet. Hopefully all of the lunches will be delivered with time to spare, but prepare for the worse. Start making phone calls 20 minutes before lunch if any meals have not been delivered.
Make one or two extra lunches, just in case a parent forgets.
- Bring ice and some extra cups. Drinks will be included in each lunch, but after sitting out for an hour or so, they may be sort of lukewarm. The teachers and staff will appreciate the ice.
More Seuss-y Goodness
This is just one event from our Dr. Seuss inspired Appreciation Week. You can read about the other days and activities below.
How to Plan a WHO-TASTIC Appreciation Week
"Hop on Pop" Gourmet Popcorn Bar
Pink Yink Ink Drink Breakfast
Who Feast Lunch
Who Treats Dessert Bar