Many schools these days are growing kitchen gardens and creating outdoor classrooms. A new venture from Get Kids Cooking – the Kitchen Kart – is bridging these outdoor concepts not only as an extension of learning but as a way to involve the whole school community in a paddock to plate experience.
In a nutshell
Fundraising Idea – mobile commercial grade teaching kitchen
Suitable for – schools
Profit – n/a
The Kitchen Kart is a new product from the team at Get Kids Cooking. While it is not a fundraising tool per se, it may be something a school can purchase with fundraising money, or it could be used in community events as part of a larger fundraising program.
The Kitchen Kart is a compact yet fully integrated mobile kitchen that can be wheeled anywhere from the classroom to the garden, oval or assembly area. It contains a commercial convention oven, an induction stove top, a kitchen sink and clean/waste tanks (no plumbing required) and lockable cupboards and drawers. It is made from hospital grade stainless steel and has been designed and manufactured here in Australia. Access to a standard power point is required.
The Kitchen Kart comes fully equipped with everything needed for a class of 30 students.
Fully mobile, the Kitchen Kart has sturdy, lockable caster wheels for when it is being used, and can be folded away and locked for when it is being stored. There are no gas bottles and the Kitchen Kart has safety cut-off switches and comes with an Australian Standards fire blanket in case of emergency.
How can it be used?
The Kitchen Kart can be used in conjunction with the Cook in a Box modules from Get Kids Cooking, which are tailored for ages from Kindy/Prep to Year 6. Cook in a Box modules are linked to the curriculum and include lesson plans and instructional videos, so that classroom teachers can be self-sufficient.
Each module contains all the supplies, ingredients, utensils, serving containers and eating tools for a class of 30 and will take around 40 minutes to complete. All utensils provided are child-safe and can be kept by the school. Children each receive a recipe card to take home. Modules can be ordered as one-off special events (such as ANZAC/Harmony Day, Asian cultures, NAIDOC Week etc) or as part of a 4 lesson or 8 lesson skill building programs. An example of the dishes children can learn to cook include san choy bau, fritters and Vietnamese rolls.
The Kitchen Kart can also be used as part of other in-house cooking programs, parent-led events, kitchen garden events, buddy classes, school fetes and more.
How much does it cost?
The Kitchen Kart costs $23,500 (plus GST and delivery) and payment can be tailored to your school’s circumstances with a 3, 4 or 5 year lease period, at the conclusion of which, the Kitchen Kart is fully owned by the school.
Schools may choose to hold a special fundraising event to raise funds to purchase the Kart, apply for funding from local councils or granting bodies or add a small charge to annual/term school fees.
Cook in a Box modules start at $4 per student for the one-off classes, $15 per student for the 4 lesson skill builder program and $24 per student for the 8 lesson program. There is a minimum order of 20 students, GST is extra, and delivery is free across Australia.
Benefits of @ School Cooking
Educating children about cooking, nutrition, sustainability and healthy food choices is becoming more and more important, and the earlier children incorporate these concepts into their everyday lives, the more lasting the impact will be.
Teaching children that they have the knowledge and skills to not only make decisions about what food they should be eating but they can also make that food themselves builds self-confidence and kids who cook at school often then want to bring their skills home and help parents with cooking at home.
It is also very special when parents and family members are invited into classrooms to cook special dishes for their children’s classes. When my middle daughter was in Year 1, I was able to demonstrate to her class how to make pumpkin scones using my grandmother’s recipe. Within days I had a number of requests from other parents to share the recipe as the children had been asking if could make scones at home. (Here it is: https://www.weekendnotes.com/pumpkin-scone-grandmas-recipe/)
The Kitchen Kart is a major investment piece that would require substantial fundraising to secure.
While teachers do not need to be accomplished cooks, there would need to be a commitment from the school that cooking be incorporated into the program.
Research shows that hands-on learning promotes collaboration and critical thinking skills, while the Cook In A Box modules all have links to numeracy, literacy and science and include lessons plans and curriculum sheets.
The mobile kitchen could be used by the parent body who want to demonstrate family or cultural meals they prepare at home.
A great way to fundraise specifically to purchase the Kitchen Kart could be to publish and sell a school recipe book. You could have a specific theme (kid-friendly meals, lunchbox ideas, party food, cultural dishes etc) and have families each contribute a favourite recipe which can then be illustrated by the students.
For more information about Cooking at School click here.
For information about the Kitchen Kart – click here.