Help me liven up our school's important fundraiser - the dinner sale

Our elementary school has an annual bake sale that is an important fundraiser. It grew from small to large when we figured out that most people don’t need ten sweets but everyone likes dinner in the freezer. So while we have sweets prepared and on the day off the sale, most sales are frozen meals. And they are great with an emphasis on healthy and organic cooking. We have parents cooking and kids cooking and grandmas cooking and others who secure donations from local businesses.

However, our school is diverse and the the bake sale is not. At all. We have largish populations of Korean-Americans and Russian- Americans (usually first or second generation) and Latinos from multiple country of origins and multiple generations.

My goal this year is to directly solicit at least ten families to make family specialties.

Cooks donate the cost of the ingredients and the school gets the sales price. In a few instances another family has subsidized the cost of ingredients and that is an option here too.

I need help with ideas from these cultures that are appealing, freezable/storable/transportable, and can sell fro enough that they represent a good return on the investment of time and money.

Ideas? Advice?

For Korean I’d love a kimchi sampler, mandu (included store prepared), maybe a barbecue marinade, etc. Other ideas?

We do have one very healthy Ukrainian borscht but that is it for the region.

We have nothing Latino at all from an actual Latino.

Not an expert on any of those cuisines but enchiladas, empanadas and tamales spring to mind for the Latino families. Posole or carne adovada would also freeze well, as would tubs of green or red chile.

See my post about pierogis . You can make plenty of them . They freeze well and are inexpensive . Russian-American.

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Lol. My immediate response to that is no no no. I make them every year for our holiday meal and they are such a PITA. But then again I’m not the one making them, they seem special to the people who like them, and they are cheap to make.

A Dumpling-Thon is in order. Russian: Pelmeni. Korean: Mandu. Filipino: Lumpia. Chinese: Shumai

Inexpensive ingredients, freeze/keep well, easy to transport. Hard to make for yourself. Win-win-win-win.

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I was thinking of items people wouldn’t ordinarily think of, such as Homemade Croutons, Crumble Topping either sweet or savory, different kinds of Dough, Seasoned Bread Crumbs, Crackers, Stock, etc.

Good ideas, Gio, to which I’d add frozen logs of slice/bake cookie/cracker dough. Slitting the side of an empty paper towel roll will help them maintain an even tubular shape. Also baggies of frozen balls of dough for individual cookies. These ideas aren’t specific to any particular ethnicity.

A frozen quart of soup accompanied by 4 frozen, unbaked rolls/biscuits would make a good “meal kit” though a family would probably need more than one kit. You wouldn’t want liquids frozen in larger amounts because those thaw too slowly.

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Along with our weekly seafood shares we’ve been buying frozen fish stock and Asian seafood soup from the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives. They come in quart zip lock bags. I have two in my freezer now.

I agree. They do perogy fundraisers in my area.

You could also do homemade panzerotti.

Chili con carne

Butter chicken

Lasagna

I really like this dinner idea- I get so bored of bake sales

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If you’re asking said ethnic families to buy/cook/prepare the meals i would just ask an open ended question, like what traditional dish they make that their family loves, or what they make best vs asking they make a specific dish. (Kimchi can take a long time, and tamales are a legit PITA, especially for just four servings)
You may get some surprising great meals from family recipes.

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Mini Quiche
Chicken pot pies
Tomato soup
For more of a complete meal that can be frozen and reheated like a TV dinner:
Get some 3 compartment disposable covered containers
For "Latino’…Classic South American meal
Pernil, Black beans, Yellow rice…All freezes very well. should cost you about $2 per container, and could easily sell for $5 or $6 each.
You can also go Southern food:
Chicken Fried Steak, with a side of gravy and frozen biscuits.
I would be careful to have someone carefully label all of the products with respect to food allergens.

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^^^this. i’d feel awfully presumptuous as an italian-american telling a korean or guatemalan what traditional dish he or she SHOULD cook for a fundraiser.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold