25 Food Fundraising Ideas to Make Money for Your School

September 19, 2023

Food Fundraising Ideas

Do your students need to raise some money? Well, you’re in luck! We know from experience that the quickest way to someone’s wallet is through their stomach. Food-themed fundraisers are some of the most profitable ways to raise money quickly for your school.

If you don’t know where to start with food fundraising, that’s okay! MoneyDolly has had years of practice in the field of fundraising, and we want to help you. Our list of 25 food fundraising ideas can get those stomach juices flowing. These ideas are sure to be as profitable as they are delicious.

25 Food Fundraising Ideas for Schools

Anytime you need to raise money for your school, it’s important to start with a wide variety of ideas. Keep your supporters engaged and interested in your cause with unique events and products. 


Events are often some of the most efficient ways to raise a large chunk of money in a single day. 

1. Restaurant Partnership

Find a local restaurant willing to help out your cause. Sell tickets to attend. Students can act as waiters and all the tips count toward your fundraiser goal. People are usually more generous with their cash when they know it’s going to a good cause.

2. Bake Sale

Organize a bake sale where your students or other volunteers donate baked goods. Sell the goods and use the profits for the students (and make sure you grab some samples of those peanut butter fudge brownies—yum!).

3. Chili Cook-Off Competition

You’d be surprised how many people want to show off their culinary skills at a chili cook-off. Entrants bring the best dang big ol’ pot of chili they can conjure up. Charge an entry fee and let everyone vote to decide who is the chili champion. Remember: The trick is to undercook the onions.

4. Food Truck Event

Invite food trucks to come to your school parking lot one evening. You can charge people a small fee to enter the food truck extravaganza or talk to the truck owners about sharing some of the profit. Everyone wins: You get some cash, the food trucks get some good business, and the customers get a delicious meal.

5. Formal Dinner Party

Plan a night where paying customers come to a fancy dinner. Cater it or cook it (that’s up to you), but make sure students set up, serve, decorate, and clean up afterward. Remember, the fancier, the better—we’re talking candles, white tablecloths, and violin music.

6. Eating Contest

Everyone loves a good contest. Paying contestants can compete to eat the most food (pies, hot dogs, super spicy chicken wings, or even cupcakes), and the winner gets a small prize. It may be a good idea to keep some puke buckets around, just in case.

7. International Food Fair

Meet with students and parents to find out who can create meals from different countries and cultures. Then, host a food fair where people can come in and pay to try foods from around the world.

8. Taco Tuesday

Tacos are always a crowd-pleaser, so have a taco night. Serve tacos with all the fixings to paying customers. The students could even provide dinner entertainment with music or a talent show.

9. Tea Party

Host a tea party people can join for a nominal fee. Dress up and make it a special occasion; just make sure you decorate to the nines and use the best china sets available.

10. Guess the Jar Contest

This will take minimal effort from you (so if you’re lazy, listen up). Set up a table in a popular school hallway and charge people a dollar to guess how many jellybeans (or pom poms, dry pasta, or crayons) are in a big glass jar. After guesses are done, hand out prizes to the people who guessed the closest number.

11. Farmers Market Stall

Have your students prepare little treats, then set up a booth at a local farmers market. Make big signs explaining where the proceeds will go. You’ll get a lot of foot traffic and, hopefully, as much business.

12. Pancake Breakfast

Pancakes are cheap and so easy to make that you’re sure to only burn a few. Students will stay busy making food, serving, cleaning, and greeting paying customers.

13. Cooking Class

All you need is a local chef willing to teach a cooking class. Let people pay to come and learn how to make some delicious gourmet dishes. Don’t forget to sample everything! It’s only fair.

14. Ice Cream Social

Host an ice cream party where paying customers can get an ice cream bar or popsicle before socializing with their friends.

15. Gingerbread House Contest

Take advantage of the holiday season by organizing a gingerbread house decorating contest. Contestants can pay a small entry fee and bring their creations in for display. Let spectators pay for ballots and vote for who did the best job.

16. Valentine’s Candy Gram

On the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, let students pay for the delivery of a small treat to their “crush.” On Valentine’s Day, your group can distribute these amidst the “oohs” and “ahhs” of other students. You go, Glen Coco!

17. TV Show Food Competition

There are a ton of cooking competition shows: Think Chopped or Beat Bobbly Flay. Organize your own competition and charge people to come watch contestants battle to see who has the best culinary skills.

Sell Food Products

Planning events takes effort and coordination; if you don’t want the extra work, we get it! It’s often simpler to sell food products like school fundraiser cookie dough or popcorn. Here are some of our favorite food-related products you could try.

18. Pet Treats

Have your students create some mouth-watering dog treats and sell them around the community. 

19. School Store at Lunch

During lunch hour at your school, sell little snacks other students can buy. 

20. Cookbook

Have the students collect family recipes and put them together in a student cookbook for sale. Don’t forget Grandma Edna’s secret lemon bar recipe! Those are incredible.

21. Coffee Stand

Have your students sell coffee to teachers, parents, and other students before school starts. To make it even easier, buy premade or bottled iced coffees.

22. Game Concessions

Set up a stand at the football, volleyball, or soccer game and sell snacks like chips, sodas, and candy. You’ll raise some money and get to enjoy the game at the same time.

23. Holiday Treats

Sell treats to fit the season. For Halloween, you could sell cookies shaped like ghosts or cupcakes that look like little turkeys for Thanksgiving.

24. MoneyDolly Products

MoneyDolly makes it easy with our pre approved vendors. You simply choose the food products (popcorn, nuts, jerky, etc.) you want to sell and then send the link to your supporters. You won’t even have to worry about shipping the items to customers—we take care of that for you.

One of our customers said

“Loved the fact that I didn’t need to travel anywhere to receive the product. Very delicious food at a reasonable price. Thank you!”

Cold Hard Cash

25. Cash Donations

Odds are, your group of students has many friends and family members willing to support them and their cause. With the MoneyDolly app, your students can simply send a link to their supporters where they can donate cash directly. With a loyal support system, you’ll raise the money you need in no time.

FAQs About Food Fundraising

What’s the Easiest Food to Sell?

The best food sellers are items many people like, so think about what’s most popular. Sweet treats usually do very well. If you use MoneyDolly vendors, it’s even easier because you don’t need to worry about assembly and shipping. We take care of all of that for you.

What Is the Most Profitable Food Item to Sell?

The most profitable food items to sell are inexpensive to buy and prepare. For example, popcorn is cheap to buy and pop. You can make a large profit margin because you aren’t investing in expensive supplies. Other profitable food items include coffee, cookies, or pancakes.

What Are the Best Snacks to Sell for Fundraising?

The best snacks to sell for fundraising are ones that everyone craves! Sweet or salty treats are always a crowd-pleaser and sure to get you lots of sales. Try selling chocolates, nuts, chips, or baked goods.

How Many People Do I Need to Help Me with My Food Fundraiser?

You can carry out a successful food fundraiser with as little as a few members of your fundraising team. However, if you have a large group of students, you can raise a lot of money as the students reach out to their network of friends and family members.

How Can I Make the Most Money on a Food Fundraiser?

To make the most money with your fundraiser, you need to get the word out to as many people as possible. Send out texts, post flyers, and make announcements during school. This is one of the reasons peer-to-peer fundraising is so successful: As you reach out to people individually, you’re more likely to receive support.

Let MoneyDolly Help You Reach Your Goals

Raising money for your students is no walk in the park (unless you actually hold your fundraiser in a park). Luckily, there are so many food fundraiser ideas to get you started. 

MoneyDolly wants to make the process easy so you can meet your fundraising goals with every single fundraiser. We know you’re ready to raise money, so let us help you today!

Damion Smith-profile 2

Damion Smith

Founder and CEO

Prior to starting MoneyDolly, Damion spent the last 25 years helping teams, schools & organizations raise money while growing multiple companies across the country. He has served in many capacities including Sale Representative, Sales Manager, Senior VP of Sales & President.