Dragon Dining’s Pay-It-Forward Lunch Donation Program

Dragon Dining’s Pay-It-Forward Lunch Donation Program

by High School student, Miki

Dragon Dining currently offers a Grab & Go meal service for YIS families, which not only alleviates the burden of preparing lunch at home but also continues to support them as a business. From Monday, April 20, YIS families will be able to continue supporting our community and a service group through an additional service provided by the fabulous team at Dragon Dining. 

The new Chiku Center Pay-It-Forward Donation program allows us to continue to support Dragon Dining by donating a meal to the Center to support and provide food for those living with food and housing insecurity in the Yokohama area. The meal - purchased via your Lunchbox account, prepared by Dragon Dining, and donated to the Chiku Center - includes two onigiri, one senbei (rice cracker), one miso soup, and a piece of fruit. After ordering the meal, we will arrange for them to be delivered to the Chiku Center once a sufficient number of orders have been received. So, no matter where you and your families currently are, you can support our community and the Chiku Center through this new program. 

In addition to the above, starting Monday, April 20, Dragon Dining will be offering a weekday Grab & Go lunch service from the YIS cafeteria for families whose children are not registered at YIS. The Grab & Go service is provided during the temporary campus closure to alleviate the burden on families of having to cook meals daily. Lunches through this service may be ordered by any non-YIS family through the Dragon Dining website. The website provides further details on the lunch service.

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a wrench into the daily routines of everyone across the globe, as I’m sure many of you - and perhaps your families - have now experienced firsthand. In times like these, the chaos surrounding our very own lives can be all-consuming, and we’re left wondering when we’ll finally reach the light at the end of the tunnel.

In these difficult and confusing times, we’ve come to truly realize the significance that our school community has played in our daily lives. Despite our inability to step foot into the school, we’ve been able to maintain these connections via the power of the internet - even if those familiar faces have now been reduced to a small box into the corner of a Google Meet.

But the one thing that we can’t replicate is the physical school experience: the exchange of inside jokes or reassuring smiles over morning break and lunch, sometimes providing a welcome distraction from a test next period. The cafeteria (or canteen, as some might prefer to say) is the hub of our YIS community, and it wouldn’t be the same without Dragon Dining. 

Their page on the YIS website reads as follows:

A great meal and a friendly smile from Dragon Dining await you in the modern, bright YIS cafeteria.

And I couldn’t have read anything more true.

But in these past few weeks of the school closure, the cafeteria is now void of its students and faculty. The chairs and tables are empty, and the squeaks of cutlery scraping plates have disappeared from its landscape. Many school cafeterias and other independent food businesses across the world are facing a similar new reality where it’s becoming increasingly difficult to continue to support themselves. 

Dragon Dining is similarly a cafeteria service that operates exclusively at YIS, and they’ve played an indispensable role in making YIS the school that it is today. They’re a huge part of this community we’ve built here, and it’s now more important than ever for us to step up and continue to support them. 

Our lives are shaped by the communities that we are a part of - whether that be our families, our friends, our workplaces, or our schools. In this truly “unprecedented time”, as many have put it, it is vital that we hold each other up (figuratively and from a distance!) and rely on one another. Despite our physical limitations, we must embody the true YIS community spirit that we wear as a badge of pride and honor, and have continued to cherish so dearly.


In addition to the services mentioned above, Dragon Dining will also have pizzas, granola, baked goods and delicious sourdough bread baked on campus available for purchase.