The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

Eating Local

Local Kitchens aims to help MVHS students raise money
Eric Zhou
Local Kitchens is located less than a mile from MVHS, making it a popular choice among students. Photo | Eric Zhou

Local Kitchens, a Bay Area restaurant chain that serves food from a variety of restaurants, aims to hold 50 fundraisers across all locations every business quarter. Most recently, Local Kitchens has held fundraisers with both MVHS Girls Basketball and Orchestra to help meet the fundraising goals of both parties. 

“Our mission is to bring communities together,” Local Kitchens Community Development Lead Marggi De Lusignan said. “And that’s primarily my main responsibility: to see how we can give back to the local communities.”

Local Kitchens has held fundraisers with many FUHSD schools, such as MVHS, Cupertino High School and Homestead High School. She says it is especially important for the fundraisers to support groups that get less funding from school districts, such as art and music departments. Coupled with De Lusignan’s fond experience for art from her high school days, these factors were enough reason for her to reach out to Instrumental Music Director John Gilchrist. 

Junior William Dahm orders food at a kiosk in Local Kitchens. Photo | Eric Zhou (Eric Zhou)

Having previously considered partnering with Local Kitchens, Gilchrist believed this opportunity would be perfect as the restaurant is accessible for MVHS students because it is so close —  less than a mile away. Gilchrist says students and staff in the Music Department regularly frequent Local Kitchens, and to promote the fundraiser, he shared it on the MV Music Instagram page as well as to a few colleagues.

Gilchrist agrees with De Lusignan that the Music Department tends to receive less monetary funding directly from MVHS, with 95% of the funds for MVHS’s Music Department — $200,000 annually — coming from three main fundraisers and from a Music membership drive. The Music Department uses the collected funds to buy and repair instruments, hire coaches, buy sheet music and invest in various other expenses, such as this year’s $450,000 New York trip consisting of MVHS and Lynbrook High School. 

“We do fall short on some of our major fundraisers, like our membership drive,” Gilchrist said. “We were a few thousand dollars behind this year, but we have to collect the money somehow.  When we have a fundraising opportunity like Local Kitchens pop up, it’s a great opportunity to make up that difference so that we can support these aspects of the program.”

While the Music Department depends on funding, Gilchrist mentions that much of the effort to obtain funds for Music students goes unnoticed. According to Gilchrist, what makes the Music program special is the capacity to invite professional music coaches to work with students in workshops every few months.

“When a student has an instrument break and it gets fixed, they don’t really see where those funds are coming from,” Gilchrist said. “They might just assume that it’s the school paying for it but more often than not, it’s the boosters providing that support.”

Sophomore and junior varsity shooting guard Carolyne Chiang agrees with Gilchrist, saying that the money earned from the Local Kitchens fundraiser was really helpful because it covered costs of tournament fees, gear and other expenses.

Overall, Local Kitchens fundraiser with Orchestra and Girls Basketball raised over $2000 combined. After raising the money, Girls Basketball and Orchestra each receive roughly 20% of the revenue.

Chiang attributes the success of the Local Kitchen’s fundraiser to marketability and says that it was more successful than Girls Basketball’s previous cookie dough fundraiser, where the team sold frozen cookie dough.

“The cookie dough fundraiser was a little harder because we had to go around and ask people to buy pizza or cookies that we would deliver to them later,” Chiang said. “And that was really hard because there were a lot of people that were trying not to eat as many sweets, or they just didn’t have money. And it took a lot more effort to get interest and advertise. But the Local Kitchens fundraiser was a lot easier to market because it was all online.”

Customers stop by to pick up a quick lunch. Photo | Eric Zhou (Eric Zhou)

The success of these recent Local Kitchens fundraisers with Girls Basketball and Orchestra could lead to an increase in Local Kitchens fundraisers at MVHS in the future. De Lusignan even plans on holding a fundraiser with Girls Soccer in the near future. As for Girls Basketball and Orchestra, Chiang and Gilchrist intend on including Local Kitchens in their future fundraisers.

“I think next year we can do a combination of that depending on how much money we need,” Chiang said. “And if the other fundraisers don’t cover it, then we can do Local Kitchens again. But there

are also a lot of other restaurants. I’ll definitely see which ones will give us back more or which ones people might be interested in buying from.”

Although Chiang believes that Local Kitchens could be a part of Girls Basketball’s fundraising attempts in the future, Gilchrist believes that Local Kitchens could play an even bigger role in MVHS Orchestra.

“I think that maybe once or twice a year would be a great thing to do,” Gilchrist said. “But I’m also wondering if maybe this opens up the door for other ways that we can be supported by Local Kitchens, maybe in terms of getting a sponsorship where we get a discount on catering food for one of our events or maybe when we get a Marching Band trailer, we can have a Local Kitchens logo on the side of our trailer and they sponsor us through that. So I’m more excited about the potential avenues that it opens up for us in the future.”

El Estoque held a fundraiser with Local Kitchens on Feb. 15, 2024. Those who financially support us do not influence our news coverage.


About the Contributors
Ethan Eisler
Ethan Eisler, Staff Writer
Ethan is currently a junior and a staff writer for El Estoque. In his free time he enjoys programming, and watching basketball games.
Aidan Ruan
Aidan Ruan, Staff Writer
Aidan Ruan is a junior and staff writer for El Estoque. In his free time, he likes to bike and take naps.
Eric Zhou
Eric Zhou, News Editor
Eric is currently a junior and a news editor for El Estoque. He enjoys listening to music and is a huge Star Wars fan.
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