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Foodie fundraisers

You can run food-related fundraisers at any time of year, but given that October is FULL of food-related campaigns such as National Curry Week, National Baking Week, and World Food Day, it seems like the perfect fundraising event for the autumn term.

'Mucky dip' at Halloween

'Mucky dip was simply really, it was a game we had at our Halloween themed disco. We have a large flexi tub/bucket which you can easily pick up for around £3 or £4 in supermarkets. All the PTA members cook up spaghetti pasta and bring it into school prior to the disco. A couple of us also made up jelly just to give the 'slime factor' to it. We mixed the spaghetti and jelly together and threw in some goodies including lollies, mini packets of sweets, plastic spiders and Halloween toys. We gave it another mix just to make sure all the toys were hidden! Last time we charged 20p a go because we wanted to see how well it would go down and had over 60 kids have a go. Make sure there are plenty of napkins, kitchen roll or similar on stand by as it gets very very messy! The kids loved it, I think we had to put more sweets and that in last time as it was so popular!' Pearl Hughes, secretary, Parclewis Primary School, South Wales (210 pupils)

A taste of round the world…

'Our international evening really helped connect with parents who don't normally get involved with PTA events. The event ran from 6.30-8.30pm and we invited whole families to attend. The first hour allowed everyone to taste foods from around the world, which represented the variety of nationalities in the school - Jamaican, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Lebanese, Greek and Swedish. We charged £2.50 for entrance and 50p for food tokens, which were exchanged for tapas style serving of food from whichever stalls they fancied. The food was mostly served and prepared by families at the school, but we also approached local restaurants for donations. They were very generous in lending us heating trays and providing food such as prawn crackers, spring rolls, onion bhajis, pizzas and so on. Our bar included beers from around the world too!' Claire Henderson, chair, Tyntesfield Primary school, Cheshire (404 pupils)

Indian street food stall

'Some of our parents offered to put together a stall, selling vegetarian Indian street food (Chaal) at our summer fair. It was very popular served alongside samosas which always do well, and made £174 profit. The bowls of Chaal were sold for £2.50 and included boiled potatoes, chickpeas and homemade chutneys.' Sharon Newland, PTA co-chair at Lordship Farm School, Letchworth Garden City, Herts (400 pupils)

Good old fashioned carvery

'Our school is set in the foothills of Exmoor. The Quiz and Carvery night is held twice a year and is run in a nearby pub. The pub organise the carvery/catering aspect of the evening and indeed set all the quiz questions. The PTA publicise and promote the evening and organise the selling of tickets. We have teams of 4 - 6 people and the ticket price of £10 per person includes the carvery and entry to the quiz. The PTA also provides a quizmaster. Our night starts at 7.30pm and half of the quiz is done before food is served and completed after everyone has eaten. The PTA and pub share the ticket price (£5 each). We also run a raffle. Our winning team get their ticket price back (but actually often donate it back). These evenings are really sociable and fun with good food thrown in, ideal! It also attracts all members of the community and so potential for fundraising is greater. Our best-attended evening sold approx. 80 tickets and with the raffle raised over £1000, even our quieter quizzes have made in excess of £500. Our next is on Friday 22nd November.' Steph Harris, chair, North Molton Primary School, Devon (100 pupils)

Bake-off competitions

'We've been running bake-off competitions for around four years. We hold four each year, one per year group. We choose a theme, either something seasonal such as Valentine's day or bonfire night, or something related to what the children are learning in school, for example a country they are studying.

The children receive a flyer inviting them to enter small cakes or biscuits, as these are easier to sell. There is no cost to enter as people are already donating their ingredients and time to make the cakes, so the profit comes from the cake sales. We usually receive around 20 entries, which we find is a sufficient number for the sale.

Cakes are judged by school staff in the afternoon. The relevant year group then comes into the hall for the awarding of the prizes, where the judge will give their verdict on all entries and the overall winner is awarded a "star baker" apron or a book voucher. All the children who enter get a bag of sweets as a thank you.

The cakes go on sale after school to the whole school community. We usually raise about £120, which goes into our central pot. The children really enjoy taking part, and it doesn't require a lot of organisation or volunteers.'

Elizabeth Tucker, PTA chair, St Nicolas E Junior School, Newbury, Berkshire (256 pupils)


Looking to buy the food for your fundraiser or event? Sign up with Booker for low prices and great goods. Sara Seabourne, PTA chair at Oxbridge Lane Primary school, Stockton-On-Tees, said 'I went to our local Booker store to stock up for our disco - the staff were lovely, we found everything we needed and it was all quite a bit cheaper than places we have used in the past!' Register for an account at booker@pta.co.uk.

For information on catering at events, click here.


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