Dear Parents,The Island School designates an hour a week to community meetings where all forty-eight of us and many of the faculty members gather in the boathouse to discuss issues and successes in our community. Yesterday, we discussed the homework policy, clubs, and the snack policy among other things. Food in general creates drama down here. We, as students (and the faculty) are all worked hard by the rigorous schedule that the Island School puts us through. Sweets are a great treat because dessert is not a routine supplement to dinner. We also love getting packages. You can feel the air buzz with excitement when mail and other packages come which is a testament to the appreciation of our family’s thought and care. However, food still presents a problem. Many students have requested that their parents send them some snacks or food from home. Here is the situation at The Island School. We are on an island and everything that comes on the island must stay on the island or be shipped (which can be costly) to the mainland. Some of the items that go into our waste system can be recycled and reused, but many of the plastics have to be burned. Things like candy wrappers or anything with shiny paper must be burned. The burning pollutes the air causing stress on our environment and the organisms that live here. So if you would like to send food to your children, it will be appreciated, but please consider how you package the food and how it will contribute to the waste on our campus. Send it in brown paper bags or something else that is easily recyclable. There are a few more things that I implore you to keep in mind. Unfortunately not everyone receives packages and so when one person is consistently receiving snacks from home (which is awesome) it also may make other students feel hurt. The policy at The Island School is that if snacks are sent from home they must be eaten on the spot. There is no place to store them as we live in the tropics and there are plenty of insects. We are not allowed to bring food into the dorms because it attracts rodents and there is no refrigerator space to store food either. If food is left in storage outside of the dorms it could rot and get disgusting in our warm humid environment and/or attract animals into other living spaces that we use daily. Keep in mind too that we are well fed down here. We have three huge meals a day and trail mix is available. Also consider the nutritional value of what you are sending as a healthy life style is encouraged. Food (and sweets) are available locally and this process saves money, waste and supports the local economy. Thank you for your consideration in how we all interact and affect our surroundings.