This past Sunday, amid a torrential downpour and high winds, the 11th grade (along with some magical helpers) fed 50 people a seven-course dinner and raised some serious funds for the Food Justice Initiative. What started as a dream and seed project in their tenth grade Research Methods Class is slowly but surely becoming a reality. Food Truck here we come!
The 11th grade had been preparing for this event throughout their Cooking Arts class for six weeks. From ingredient sourcing and menu design to the art of serving and working under pressure, the process of designing and executing the event provided countless learning opportunities for all involved.
On Sunday morning, three students joined me at the Mountain View Farmers Market to pick up all the vegetables (they also enjoyed some warming beverages and pastries at Red Rock Café, a treat to make up for the early wake-up hour.)
The students were joined by the rest of the class at noon to prepare all the food for the meal. They worked hard to get everything prepped (in our VERY makeshift kitchen) and finished everything in under three hours. By 4:20, all the guests were seated and jamming along to the sounds of faculty member Rich Armstrong and his collaborator Kimberlye Gold with special guest (and faculty member) Christopher Otte. They were joined by members of WSP’s own Soul Providers, a parent/faculty/alumni band reunited for the first time since the pandemic.
Overall, the dinner was a success. Students cooked food, plated food, served food and explained the story behind each dish. Many of the ingredients were from Live Earth Farms (the very same farm at which this class worked and stayed in third Grade with Mrs. Budrys Senior!) The hard work, collaboration, and dedication that the students showed the community inspired many attendees to generously support the Food Justice Initiative. A soon-to-exist Chicken Coop and Coffee Trike were fully funded.
Ever wondered what it’s like to run a food truck? Ask our high school students next year! We are delighted to announce that The Waldorf Education Foundation (WEF) has granted our high school $7,000 as part of their Myrin Entrepreneurship Award, which gives funding to Waldorf high schools for socially responsible business and financial entrepreneurship programs. As you may have heard from an excited staff member or student around campus, our (now funded) program is called The Food Justice Initiative (FJI) and is focusing on providing healthy food to local community members experiencing food insecurity.
WEF’s investment will go towards Phase 1 of FJI, building infrastructure, partnerships, and knowledge to design, iterate, and scale the program. Our high school students will partner with our neighboring church, St. Athanasius, to boost and participate at every level of their food pantry program, while meeting with local leaders and non-profit professionals to create a larger business plan. In the current vision for Phase 2, students aim to expand the program’s reach to serve more people via a food truck.
FJI will be supported by HS faculty across all grades and programs. The Spanish language students, for instance, will translate menus, the music ensembles will perform on some service days, and the biodynamic garden will provide food, grown and prepared by the students. The program will be the primary case study for the senior economics main lesson, and a regular focal point for the humanities, math, and practical arts departments.
Bonnee Mazjun, our HS pedagogical director, shared her excitement for the program. “We are always looking for ways to integrate what the students learn with real, meaningful experiences that allow the students to develop relationships to the mission of WSP and the Waldorf movement. What’s most exciting to me is that this concept sprung out of the students’ interests and that creatively it connects service, sustainability, and inequity to a variety of topics the students study in high school. I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.”
We are excited to support our faculty and students as they not only deepen our experiential curriculum but make a real difference in our greater community. And, of course, we hope they’ll let us buy and try some of their delicious food, too.