Notre Dame High School was a happening place Thursday as the Food Studies 30 class put together a Food Truck Wars competition to raise money to support this year’s Grad Service Project – the RCMP Victim Services Trauma Dog.
Food Teacher Jeff Lerouge developed this idea.
“A couple of years ago I went to PBL – Project Based Learning session and I kind of had this idea, and it was a three-day workshop and I walked out the door with this whole unit planned,” he said.
He tried out the first group in March of 2015 and looked to see if they could raise $500 for charity and it took off from there.
“We created Twitter and Instagram accounts, we were on the radio, we were on the news, people donated stuff and we raised over $5,000.”
He said every year they have a grad service project where the students raise money for a charity.
“To date I believe the money raised so far is about $30,000, and for our grad service project we’re almost at half a million dollars since 2008.”
In previous times the students raised money for Suicide Information and Education Services and the Food Bank.
This year marks the fourth time Lerouge has done the food project with the students.
In this year’s competition, the students developed seven different trucks and recruited some volunteers (students) to help out. They went head to head in a battle to see who could raise the most money for the important local charity and help to raise awareness for their cause.
“They had the task of creating a miniature business for the day, so they came up with an idea, they’ve planned the menu, they’ve tested product ideas, they’re doing marketing, they’re learning about pricing, covering their costs and they’ve got basically a production plan for the day,” said Lerouge.
The ‘trucks’ ranged from a burger bar to a healthy panini press to a stop with decadent desserts.
“We’re selling macarons and the purpose of Food Trucks Wars is we’re raising money for our grad service project and this year it is for RCMP Victim Services who are trying to make money for a service dog. I think that that’s important for us because there’s a lot of people with problems and it would just be beneficial to them,” said Grade 12 participant Kenzie Lasante.
Her partner in the food truck was Ben De Almeida.
“It’s fun to sell macarons to the whole school because you never really find these anywhere, they’re pretty hard to find so its cool to be able to make them,” he said.
Things were heating up in the kitchen that day, as students prepared their fresh food of homemade ingredients to serve the students at what was a very busy lunch hour.
One of those busy students preparing was Nika Paziuk who prepared a taco grilled cheese for her group’s Toasted Grilled Cheese ‘truck.’
“I really like how it changes the aspect of the classroom and makes everyone a community. I was in this class last semester and now I’m a volunteer this semester, which is really awesome,” said Paziuk.
The winner of the most money raised this year was a group called ASKIG, which made Philippine food for all to enjoy. They raised just over $1,500 on their truck.
The total amount raised from all the food trucks was $4,500.