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Bring Your Lunch to Work Challenge- A Healthy Start to the Year

In January 2020, as a part of the My Healthy Workplace monthly theme Take Notice, the Health and Well-being team challenged McGill employees to bring their lunches for four consecutive weeks to encourage healthy eating and financial benefits. We asked employees to send in their favourite lunches and a reflection of how the challenge went for them. We were pleased to see so many inspiring, healthy, diverse and colourful submissions from employees across the University. Congratulations to our lucky winner Elena Bernier who won a beautiful lunch kit from Boho and Hobo!

The common theme reported from all participants was how the experience saved time and money. Many participants mentioned how it minimized waste and they were encouraged to choose healthier options. Here are a few of the inspiring submissions:

Christina Zhu, Administrative Coordinator from McGill's School of Environment
Bringing my own lunch is win-win for my budget and my health. By bringing my lunch to work, I save time (by not waiting in lines etc) and I can enjoy other activities, such as going to the gym. Furthermore, it is great for the environment, an excellent way to reduce food waste and lead a more “low to zero waste” lifestyle.


Pichara Chhe, Compensation Advisor in Human Resources 

From this challenge I’ve realized the advantages of bringing a lunch – the cost saving, the impact on the environment, the time I saved from not waiting in line to buy a lunch, and also the opportunity to make healthier choices in what I am making to eat but also packing the right portion size. The most significant advantage for me personally was that it forced me to plan and organize meals, which was also beneficial to my family and work life balance. I am so proud that I successfully completed this challenge – it helped me set good habits for 2020 and made me try new recipes and foods. 

Sonja Washer, Project Administrator from the Faculty of Education 

I followed the “pack a lunch challenge” and started the new year off by packing and bringing my lunch to work with me. Having a friend who also works at McGill partake in the challenge with me definitely made it easier as we encouraged each other along. It was great to see that after the four weeks set out in the challenge, I really got into the habit and continue on with “friendly lunches".

Alexandra Hauck, Program Administrator, Faculty of Medicine

I can definitely say that having a warm and yummy lunch to look forward to really makes a difference in the overall quality of my workday. The "pack a lunch challenge" is undoubtedly something I will continue into the year; hopefully I will become a kitchen wiz with practice!

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