They were "hiring" plates, bowls and cutlery for a gold coin donation to be taken to the stall of one’s choice to be filled with food.
Upon return of these reusable items the children would wash them to be used again. A very practical and environmentally-friendly alternative to plastic and polystyrene one use containers.
I was therefore more than a little puzzled and disappointed when I saw the teacher or parent in charge go to a nearby food stall, get his food in a polystyrene container, complete with plastic fork and sit at a table opposite his charges and eat his dinner out of the supplied container!
Not a good example to set for the kids trying to do their bit for the planet.