HEP Restaurant Success!

Check out some of the pictures on Facebook here. On the last day of school before Winter Break, we had lots of good reflections that we will use to write letters to the Food Bank when we return. The students will write what they have learned about food insecurity and working a restaurant, as well as how much we are going to donate because of our efforts.  It’s looking like a donation of close to $300 from this one event! Here’s the menu from the first Happy Eating Place Restaurant: HEP dinner program 20131219 FINAL_blog


Logistics for Happy Eating Place Restaurant

Hello Everyone,

 Thank you all for your support with our class project. Most of the food is prepared and I’m hoping for a smooth eveningtomorrow. I’m hoping that not everyone will arrive at the same time, so that we won’t be overwhelmed.
The students should be wearing white tops and black or dark pants. Any extra aprons will be helpful too.
The early shift (4-6) includes will be able to eat their dinners at 6. The 2nd shift is 5-7 will be able to eat their dinner during a lull (most likely before the earlier shift leaves).
We’ll stop serving food at 7, and then any who want to help with clean up are gratefully accepted!
All proceeds (net revenue) will go toward a donation to the Alameda County Community Food Bank, where we have volunteered.  The suggested donations of $20 per adult and $15 per child do not include your 4/5 student.  We ask that you make your payment after your meal. Dave Siopack will facilitate the register.  Cash is fine, or checks made out to mccs are fine as well.

What is a sustainable farm?

Tara Firma Farms is a local, organic farm. Here are some things that you should know about Tara Firma Farms. First, Tara Firma Farms raises animals sustainably. This means that the animals are raised with no drugs and no stress. We went there and we saw that the pigs have plenty of space.

Also, a sustainable farm takes care of the land. How, you ask? On the pasture land, they rotate the animals so that the soil doesn’t get depleted. First the cows, then the pigs, then the chickens to make very fresh and healthy soil for the coming years.

20130926 105837 MCCS 45 FT Tara Firma Farms 20130926 113055 MCCS 45 FT Tara Firma Farms

Bake Sale Updates

On November 22, we raised $68! The Pigs-In-a-Blanket were a real hit, especially the vegetarian option that included a carrot ball wrapped in a biscuit!  We sold 7 of the 8 batches that we made. Remember, all profits will go to the Alameda County Community Food Bank to help hungry people in our community! Hope you enjoyed it!

On December 6, we sold banana bread, from Azal’s recipe. We made  50$ net profit. That’s $50 for the Alameda Food Bank, which has the spending power of $200 for the food bank! 

The 2013 4/5 Legacy

Dear Fabulous 4/5s,

What a wonderful year it has been, thanks to your spirit of kindness, energy, and generosity. We really have much to celebrate. What I would like to share today is how proud I am of the work you did this year on behalf of others. Specifically, your work on helping hungry people in Alameda County.

There is something about giving to others, helping others, that brings out the best in ourselves. We started our catering business with the idea that we would be creating a legacy project. Something that would continue long after this group of 4/5’s has finished their education here at the Children’s School and moved on to other schools.  In part, there was the recognition that experiencing the outdoor classroom by way of field trips and service learning endeavors was a deeply meaningful way of learning. This group understood that these experiences are valuable and can be expensive. They chose to raise money so that future 4/5 classes could continue and expand the incredible learning opportunities that these opportunities offer.

But that was only part of the group’s effort. They also wanted to give something to help others outside of the school community. We researched different local organizations. Then we came across a documentary about hunger in America called A Place at the Table.  We learned a lot about food insecurity within our country and found out that it exists in almost every community, including Oakland.  The class decided to learn more.

We had already learned the importance of healthy eating earlier in the school year when we studied the human body, then had a unit on nutrition. During these units, we worked with a campus-based group of graduate students interested in teaching about growing food and healthy eating called Camp Kitchen Harvest. They helped us plant our garden and taught us about how to prepare healthy foods for low costs. They explained that a lot of the work they do with kids involves kids in low-income families.  Every class included making a healthy snack.

We also have enjoyed many cooking lessons this year with our Cultures teacher, Ms Mindy.  We love cooking!  Starting a business serving healthy snacks seemed natural for us. We had the great fortune of having Dave Siopack, an expert in finance, as our guide. He taught us about how to start a business, how to budget, and how to make a business plan. Later, he helped us make our own mission statement.

The Happy Eating Place has been a wonderful vehicle for learning. From math to ethical foods, we have come a long way in our understanding of the importance of eating healthy foods. We are proud of the volunteer work we did at the Alameda Community Food Bank. We are also proud to have raised over $300 to donate to the food bank. We are also proud of the garden we helped expand this year. Our gift to the school is the colorful hoop nets that will protect the plants from birds and other small creatures. These legacy projects will continue through future years as we hope to expand the work and learning with the Happy Eating Place.  Thank you Fabulous 4/5’s!


What will our $300 donation mean? Because the food bank can buy in bulk, each dollar has the buying power of nearly $4.00. So we went shopping on the Alameda County Community Food Bank’s Virtual Shopping Drive.  Here are some of the ways our money could be spent:

  • 1 case of 24 8 oz cartons of milk, 2 300 lb cases of produce, 90 loaves of bread, and 20 family meals
  • 1 case of 24 8 oz cartons of milk, 1 case of beans, 300 lb of produce, 90 loaves of bread, 1 case of corn, 1 case of soup
  • 3000 lbs of produce
  • 124 cans of tuna fish, 90 loaves of bread

–Anne Malamud, June 16, 2013

Welcome to the Happy Eating Place Restaurant Blog!


Thursday, December 19, 5-7 pm

On Dec.19, 2013, we will be opening the Happy Eating Place Restaurant! The hours will be 5-7 pm in the Elementary School hallway. We will be serving *Old World & **New World foods (there will be non-dairy foods available). 

What is it?

The 4/5 classroom’s Happy Eating Place is planning its first restaurant venture: a full four-course menu with two options per course. In Social Studies, we learned about the First People, Native Americans, and how they lived before the coming of the Europeans.  Our current unit of study focuses on the European explorers of North and South America, their impact on the people and our history. One outcome of the European encounters with the New World was an exchange of biological organisms from pigs to turkeys, viruses to tomatoes. We learned about how, inadvertently, Europeans bringing domestic animals to the new World caused epidemics of fatal diseases to devastate the native populations throughout the Americas. We also learned that corn, chocolate, tomatoes and many other important plants were originally cultivated by New World native peoples. While the Europeans gained important crops such as corn and potatoes, they also brought important food sources to the New World, including sheep, wheat, oats, honey bees, and even earth worms, which are not eaten but are important for healthy soils!

For our first HEP restaurant venture, we will highlight what is known as the Columbus Exchange: Old World/New World foods.  Each dish will feature ingredients traced to either the Americas or the Old World. Students will research each dish and write about the origins of the key ingredients. These mini reports will illustrate our menu. Collaborating with Ann Prentiss, master gardener at Mills, the class will make booklets about the Columbus Exchange that map the origins and travels of key foods. Each student will have a map that shows the history of many important foods from the Old and New World!