Watch Employable Me Featuring The Lunch Lady in Episode 6

About the Show

Employable Me is a moving documentary series featuring job seekers who are determined to show that having a physical disability or neurological condition shouldn’t make them unemployable. Each of the six one-hour episodes features two individuals from the Greater Toronto Area or Montreal who want nothing more than to find steady employment.

Every member of the Employable Me cast is either living with vision loss or a neurological condition such as Tourette Syndrome, Asperger Syndrome, Down Syndrome or ADHD. Some of them have never had a job before, some have applied for hundreds of jobs to no avail. Regardless, their end goal is the same as they embark on this life-changing journey. It isn’t always easy but each job seeker is determined to overcome their challenges, help change employers’ perceptions and find their passion.

Employable Me is produced by Thomas Howe Associates Inc. in partnership with Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) and TVO, and is licensed by all3media international. About The Show Accessibility “If I have a job then I’m able to have dreams.” – Christine, Employable Me job seeker Employable Me is completely accessible to audience members who are blind or partially sighted as it features Integrated Described Video. This form of description was pioneered by AMI and integrates natural sound with a description from the cast at the time of production, eliminating the need for a secondary audio track.

Why The Lunch Lady Got Involved With Employable Me

As told by Ruthie Burd, The Founder of the Lunch Lady –

One of the reasons the Lunch Lady began in 1993 was because of my son Brendan. Brendan is on the Autism Spectrum. I needed to create a job for myself that would free up my afternoons to take him to his many therapies and although I had no culinary or nutritional expertise or experience, the idea of a Lunch Program for schools fit best into my plans

Ruthie and the Boys Jan 17

Over, our son Bren ( 2nd on the left) between his brothers Dylan and Chris, is now a young adult and this program really pulled at my heartstrings. I know so many parents worry about what the future will look like for children who face unique challenges and I am no exception.

I was so proud to have been part of this program, and so amazed by the young woman who came as a job seeker to our Lunch Lady location in Hamilton.

Although our son is not as capable as she was, being at a different spot on the Spectrum, this program has really made me wonder what more we can do as Canadians to provide opportunities for young people like Blair and others to find a place where they feel appreciated and welcomed.

Where to Watch

I hope you watch the program. Here are the details below.
Episode 6 : Blair and Robert
August 25 at 10 amp.m. ET and PT
September 3 at 8 p.m. ET

Thanks again to the AMI network and THA Media (the folks that brought you undercover Boss Canada) for the opportunity to be part of this show.

Most basic digital cable packages in Canada include AMI-tv, meaning you likely already have access to our channel.

Full episodes will also be available for online viewing one day after they initially air. Online episodes will only be available in Canada. We welcome you to share the link with your family and friends, but do keep in mind episodes will not be available outside the country.

Anyone Can Watch

Employable Me is accessible for visually impaired or partially sighted viewers. The show features Integrated Described Video (IDV), an innovative form of description pioneered by AMI that integrates description from cast members and natural sounds at the time of production. This eliminates the need for a secondary audio.

Make sure to watch Episode 6 to learn more about the Lunch Lady and Blair.

In case you missed Ruthie Burd, the Founder of the Lunch Lady on AMI-Audio live from Studio 5 here it is:


The Lunch Lady

School Lunch Never Looked So Good


Farm and Field Plate                     Fresh Blended Berry Smoothie            Crunchy Chicken and

                                                                                                                             Apple Harvest Salad



WE are so glad to be back serving school lunches again. It’s year 22 for us and we are offering our best program ever!

Since we became involved with the Nourishing School Communities initiative, we have been committed to more from scratch menu items and buying from suppliers closer to home.

Here are some new items for this year.

  • Freshly Blended House Smoothie
  • Homemade Dips and Dressings
  • Fresh-baked Cookies
  • More Smarter Meals – like our NEW Crunchy Chicken and Apple Harvest Salad, Campfire Chili and a Farm and Field Plate
  • Our Secret House-made Pasta Sauce

And of course we have all the classic kid-friendly classics like our top selling Homemade Mac and Cheese and Spaghetti and Meatballs.

Our menus should be showing up in your child’s backpack this week.

If you do not see a menu, then please reach out to your Lunch Lady.


Tips for Taking some of the Stress out of Home Packed School Lunches

We know that not everyone loves making school lunches the way we do and so we are including a few tips to make the process a little less stressful for you.

  1. Keep it Cold!
    [and Safe] – A frozen 100% juice container used as an090915_1428_SchoolLunch4

    insulator will be like a “slushie” by lunchtime and a yogurt tube , frozen overnight will be “just right”

  2. Follow the Canada Food Guide – It is not new, but it still works!

    Whole grains, fruits , veggies, and protein are the must- haves.

    Everything else is like icing. Don’t serve more icing than cake

  3. Be thankful – We live in a country with an overabundance of

    accessible and affordable food and perhaps we over-worry and over-cater to our children’s likes and dislikes. Most children in the world are grateful just to have enough to eat. Food is a blessing.

  4. Make them Laugh – There is no such thing as too much FUN. Visit Kids love corny jokes. And if you are packing a lunch for a partner, give them a good chuckle too.
  5. Make them feel Good – We seldom tell ourselves how amazing we are. Yet we all need to hear it. Visit and look for their 101 affirmations for children. Stick one in the lunch. Then tell yourself “I am a good parent” – because you really are!


We look forward to being of service to you and your family this school year


Team Building Event With Our Franchisees

angelThe Lunch Lady is proud of the great relationship we maintain with our franchisees as well as all the community work we do each year.

At our yearly Conference, our Lunch Lady franchisees joined in a team building event were we built some very sturdy wagons that were later donated to child care centres in Canada. The Lunch Lady believes in fostering strong relationships with our franchise partners as well as making sure we give back to every community we serve.

Through our partnership with Breakfast for Learning, The Lunch Lady raises over $60,000 a year to help underprivileged school children receive warm and nourishing meals and snacks across Canada.

Have a question about owning your own Lunch Lady franchise? Click here to learn more



FALL 2014

The Lunch Lady meals just got smarter!

We are excited to introduce the Lunch Lady ‘Smarter Meals’!  These meals are limited in sodium and fat, and are good sources of protein. All our meals at the Lunch Lady already meet provincial school guidelines— and the Smarter Meals meet criteria that go above and beyond:

Smarter Sweet Plum Chicken Wrap and BerriesSMARTER MEAL CRITERIA

Fat:         10g or less

Protein:   10g or more

Sodium:   720mg or less

Trans fat: 5% or less of total fat

Sweet Plum Chicken Breast Wrap with  a side Berry Cup

Cal: 360    Fat: 7g    Sod:520mg    Protein: 23g


We still offer all of your kids’ favourites, and we are hoping the Smarter Meals will become new favourites! We begin with the launch of five new Smarter Meals in participating schools, with more to come. See our menu for a list of options [link].This work is in collaboration with an exciting new initiative called Nourishing School Communities. Nourishing School Communities (NSC) is about inspiring healthy eating among school children—that means YOUR kids! Our partners include the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Farm to Cafeteria Canada, YMCA Canada, the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, University of New Brunswick and Propel Centre for Population Health Impact. Let’s face it, kids spend a lot of hours in school, so what better place to teach them about healthy living and eating?

We want our kids to enjoy food, and we also want to show them that nutritious food can taste good! Studies show that when children are well nourished, they perform better at school. Having a healthy diet can influence important skills kids need to do well in school, like improved memory, problem solving skills, and creative abilities (Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Position Statement: School and Nutrition, Aug 2013 at All the Lunch Lady Smarter Meals come with fruit or veggies, and the same great taste your kids expect and deserve. Top them up with water or lower fat plain milk and you will be doing your part to encourage healthy eating behaviors to support a lifetime of good health!  Nourishing Schools Communities is funded by the federal government through the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer’s (CPAC) Coalitions Linking Action & Science for Prevention (CLASP) program. Click here for more information about the Canadian Partnership against Cancer’s CLASP program []. Wishing your kids a school year of good grades, good nutrition and good times!


Devon Peart, MHSc., RD                                                   Ruthie Burd, Founder,

Registered Dietitian Consultant                                          The Lunch Lady Inc.