Administrators at Semiahmoo Secondary have told students and food-delivery companies that meals can’t be delivered during class time or on school property. (Tracy Holmes photo)

South Surrey schools crack down on class-time food-delivery

District says disruption an ‘ongoing, growing and more wide-spread’ issue in south-end schools

Excessive use of online food-delivery apps by South Surrey high school students prompted administrators to prohibit the practice on school grounds and during class time.

But while the step isn’t exactly new, district officials say the need for it is somewhat unique to the Semiahmoo Peninsula.

“There has been the odd occasion over the years where a student has ordered a food delivery at a secondary school, but more recently, with online apps that open up options, some schools have seen such deliveries increase or become more regular,” district spokesman Doug Strachan told Peace Arch News Wednesday.

“A few other secondary schools I have asked say there were a few deliveries earlier in the year, but it appears the novelty wore off, and it didn’t become an issue they had to address. It’s possible other secondary schools have had the issue crop-up, but it appears only Semi and Elgin have had an ongoing, growing and more widespread issue that staff had to address in a more systemic way.”

Semiahmoo Secondary vice-principal Debbie Johnson said Wednesday that the reminder – which Strachan confirmed is not a district-wide policy – was most recently delivered to students in early October.

Johnson told PAN that students have been told they can’t leave class to meet a delivery driver for a pickup –but they haven’t been told they can’t use the apps, “as long as the food that they’re ordering arrives before school, or at lunch or after school, and isn’t delivered on school property.”

Apps such as SkipTheDishes, Uber Eats and DoorDash offer on-demand delivery from area restaurants – including Subway, Tim Hortons and Afghan Kitchen – through freelance drivers who receive a small fee per trip.

READ MORE: Tim Hortons tests food delivery in 3 cities; kids menu and loyalty program to come

The orders became an issue at Semi as office staff began to find themselves inundated with “bags and bags” of midday meals on a daily basis, Johnson said, estimating that at the beginning of the school year, there were up to a dozen deliveries a day.

“We were finding that lots of food-delivery companies were coming to the office, and so then it becomes sort of a logistical thing that now gets dumped on the office,” she said. “If the kids weren’t coming to pick it up, then it was sitting in the office.

“We said, we can’t have this happening.”

There is also a concern with having a flow of unknown adults through the school’s doors, she said.

Johnson noted the school does have a cafeteria that offers “lots of choice,” and acknowledged that as more and more apps are developed, students’ choices are expanding.

Choices, however, are not the problem, she said.

“We don’t have a problem with kids having choice. It’s about the disruption that it causes.

“The message is, we want kids in class.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Drifting sailboat runs aground on White Rock beach

Vessel dragged anchor in high wind, no environmental damage sustained

Increased border enforcement curbs cross-line parties at Peace Arch State Park

Gatherings between U.S. and Canadian citizens ‘a daily carnival’ – resident

Virtual challenge to benefit Delta-based guide dogs charity

Funds raised to help BC Alberta Guide Dogs provide people with free guide dogs, autism and PTSD service dogs

Legion to hold private Remembrance Day ceremony at Cloverdale Cenotaph

General public will not be allowed in Veterans Square for Nov. 11 services this year

Sullivan Heights, Tamanawis each report second COVID-19 exposures

Fraser Health has created a new webpage listing COVID-19 cases in schools

Pandemic derails CP Holiday Train

Canadian Pacific will work to get donations to food banks while also producing an online music concert

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Mounties cleared by watchdog in fatal shooting of man with schizophrenia in Maple Ridge

Kyaw Din was killed by the RCMP during a mental health incident in August 2019

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

B.C. Green leader says NDP abandoning environmental plan

Horgan’s claim of unstable government false, Furstenau says

Most Read