Beyond algebra, history and language studies, students at a Saint John, N.B., high school are taking an active role in caring for their community. It was seemingly minutes between when the masses of school busses arrived on Prince William Street Thursday to the time that class was in session.Students in Tara Goguen’s class, however, had a different assignment – feeding dozens of students at lunchtime – and they had to help prepare.Each week, the students plan what they’ll be serving that Thursday afternoon. More than throwing mashed potatoes or a hot dog on a plate, the students carefully decide on what to offer. Chilli, vegetables with dip, salad and a charcuterie board are all on the menu this week. Sometimes, with help from teachers, they even go to the stores and pick up supplies. Story continues below advertisement This week’s debate was about whether the students wanted juice boxes or water. The final consensus was that the students were tired of drinking juice boxes.Almost an assembly line, each student has a role – whether it be preparing a salad or handling each item of a mini charcuterie board. Once the preparation is done, some of the students will come back later to serve the food. 1:59 Demand for school meal programs soaring Coupled with the free lunch for students is a slip of paper. It’s a survey to find out what the meal recipients liked or didn’t like, or if they would rather have something else. The planning team will be able to use that information when they turn to the flyers on Wednesdays, looking for deals. Trending Now Some of the students came into lunch with nothing. The school serves many priority neighbourhoods. Before the program began, students didn’t have this kind of lunch option on Thursdays. Story continues below advertisement Budgeting, unit prices, discounts and practicing calculations like price per unit has helped the team put into practice what they learned throughout grades 9 and 10.Student Adrian Richard spent the morning preparing salad. Just two weeks ago, he had the opportunity to go to the grocery store to help pick up food for the weeks ahead. Richard said that he looks forward to helping prepare the lunches each week. Zack Power / Global News “I really enjoy doing it,” Richard said. “I like bonding, and I feel like I’m building up my skills to move into the real world.”He spent the better part of his lunch serving the salad he prepared to other students. The food went quickly, his station was a huge success this week, and the experiment worked. Story continues below advertisement They’ll clean up after another successful week, use the feedback from that lunch, and prepare to do it again next week. © 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.