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Top 8 School Fundraising Ideas with Food

By Clay Boggess on Oct 23, 2021
Top 8 School Fundraising Ideas with Food

Tasty and profitable food ideas for fundraising with K-12 schools

Schools across the US raise money for extracurricular activities, educational supplies, facility upgrades, and classroom equipment with food fundraisers for a reason – they work. In fact, PTOs generate $425M to $781M annually, and a large portion of those funds derive from selling food products. Some PTOs even raise $2K per student each year, a 20% boost to per-pupil spending.

Although USDA regulations might seem daunting, the fundraising potential of food makes the extra time needed to research the requirements worth it. Across the US, 31 states have significantly restricted food fundraisers.

Certain nutritional guidelines must be met if students are selling any food directly to other students on campus during school hours. Just be sure to follow your district’s fundraising guidelines, and you can host a successful food fundraiser that complies with all federal and state regulations.

Not sure where to start with selecting a food fundraiser for your school? Check out our top 8 fundraising ideas with food:

1. Perfect Pies

Frozen pies can raise thousands for your school program, especially around the holidays. Sell gourmet pies from Sara Lee just before Thanksgiving, and customers won’t be able to say “no” to a delicious pumpkin pie.

2. Spaghetti Dinner

For a kid-friendly fundraising event, host a spaghetti dinner at your school and charge tickets for entry. Ask a local Italian restaurant for a discount on a bulk spaghetti order to simplify logistics and maximize revenue. Consider selling customized items, like branded tumblers, with a captive audience during the event.

3. Cookie Dough

This classic school fundraiser is a favorite among kids, parents, and teachers alike. Fundraise with no face-to-face selling using Big Fundraising Ideas online cookie dough program. For popular name brand food fundraising ideas, choose either an Otis Spunkmeyer or Mrs. Fields Cookie Dough brochure.

4. Jamba Juice

Jamba Juice offers several mouthwatering fundraising programs for schools, including the option to buy BOGO cards for $5 and sell them for $10. Some locations will also make smoothies on-site for events and give a percentage of the sales made to your school. Parents love this nutritious alternative to ice and soda as an afterschool snack.

5. Kind Bars

Kind Bars embody the definition of a healthy snack as a food loaded with fiber and protein, encouraging satiety and sustained energy. KIND® snack fundraiser products make an ideal food choice for children and adults by including the key nutrients that health experts suggest when picking a healthy snack option.

6. Homemade Cookbook

For a COVID safe fundraiser that fosters community without face-to-face selling, write a school cookbook. Families can submit their favorite home recipes to be shared with others. Keep costs low by selling an e-cookbook or have the cookbooks printed for a professional look.

7. Dessert Brochures

Can’t decide on just one type of sweet food to sell? As dessert fiends ourselves, we understand the struggle. That’s why we offer multi-product dessert brochures, including Cheesecake Factory & More, Cinnabon & Pretzel, Otis Extravaganza, and Epic Desserts.

8. Grocery Cards

Thanks to the community rewards program at many major grocery chains, schools can easily raise the funds they need without families spending a dime more on their monthly grocery budget. Retailers like Kroger, Safeway, and Albertsons donate a portion of proceeds when buyers connect their rewards card to a school of their choice.


Fundraising ideas with food can be nutritious, tasty, and profitable. Offer a variety of food options to encourage healthy eating and show that it’s okay to indulge in a special treat occasionally.

Most importantly, maximize your profits by growing your knowledge of food fundraisers for schools with resources like a fundraising goal setting guide, fundraising expense worksheet, how to track student sales, and a group fundraiser checklist.

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