At Santa Clara High School’s March 12 Culinary 2 class, the drilling sound of blenders echoed through the six student kitchens. The students were busy at work preparing an Oreo pudding, this month’s Sneaky Snack, which will go to lucky subscribers among the school’s staff. Kitchen tasks included using a KitchenAid stand mixer to prepare the creamy pudding and crushing Oreo cookies into crumbs.
“The original purpose of Sneaky Snacks was to give the Culinary 2 and FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) students the opportunity to run their own business on campus and in doing that, to earn money to go on field trips,” said Kathy Hopp, Culinary Arts Teacher and FCCLA Adviser at Santa Clara High School. “We financially benefited and students got the opportunity to create products, do a marketing campaign, service customers and learn how to do a production. This year, we decided to infuse community service within Sneaky Snacks and we charged 20 percent more. That additional 20 percent is given to a charitable organization. Now we charge $25 for a year’s subscription to a Sneaky Snack. Only adult staff members at the school can subscribe. Each subscriber gets at least eight snacks over the course of a year. It’s a pretty good deal.”
Hopp instructed each group in the class to choose a charitable organization that the Sneaky Snacks program can benefit. She suggested that students choose organizations that have touched them in some way or one that they have a personal connection with.
“Each group in my class is responsible for one month,” Hopp said. “They are responsible for testing out lots of recipes and choosing one they’d like for their group to produce. They have to design packaging that represents and promotes their charitable organization. They create content for our class web site that promotes their organization.”
“The students have to come up with some kind of outreach activity,” Hopp continued. “For example, in December, they chose to include a note in their Sneaky Snack encouraging customers to drop a coin in the kettle this season to further support The Salvation Army. In October, when we did a breast cancer awareness themed snack, we chose to do the American Cancer Society’s ‘Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K Walk.’ We raised over $2,000 in donations.”
This month’s Oreo pudding, layered with crushed Oreo cookies and pudding, went into clear cups. A small stick attached to a paper star promoting the Make-A-Wish Foundation “packaged” each cup of pudding.
Addy Zeitler, 18, was one in a group of students who worked on the packaging for the Sneaky Snacks.
“When I was in elementary school at St. Christopher School in San Jose, we raised money for the Make-A-Wish organization by making cards. This was the first charity I was involved in,” Zeitler said. “It’s nice that at the end of high school, I get to donate to the first charity I’ve fundraised for. If you go on the Make-A-Wish website, you can see the kids who have been helped by this program. For example, you can see a girl who went to Disneyland through this program.”
Visit www.schsculinaryarts.com/sneaky-snacks.html for the Oreo pudding’s recipe.