Thursday Lunch Fundraiser is about more than just food

One of many lunches the ASD program has sold to raise funds.

One of many lunches the ASD program has sold to raise funds.

Ruhi Syeda, Staff Writer

The ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorders) Program hosts weekly lunch fundraisers to teach students valuable life skills whilst simultaneously funding their numerous activities and end of the year trip. 


Every Thursday, the ASD teachers cook a variety of different meals, oftentimes including a dessert, that are hot and ready to be delivered to Stamford High teachers. Each lunch costs $7, attracting about 10-20 teachers per week depending on the menu. 


The idea was first introduced after the program’s teachers were no longer allowed to host bake sales where they sold empanadas, cookies, cupcakes, and more. Since this sudden cut in their budget, their weekly lunch fundraiser have provided them the money necessary to fund their activities and trips. 


Every year, the ASD program goes on a trip to Holiday Hill that is greatly anticipated and allows the students to enjoy themselves with their friends. While this alone can be costly, this is one of many expenses the teachers must worry about. The teachers work to create numerous activities in the classroom and out into the community as well. These activities, as explained by ASD teacher Erica Grant, are utilized to teach students daily living skills that they can make use of outside of the classroom environment. Students learn simple yet impactful skills such as going to the grocery store, shopping, eating at different restaurants, and more. These skills are ones that others already have and take for grantedones ASD teachers wish to instill in their students.


The students are integrated into this fundraiser by delivering the lunches, getting the utensils and other materials ready, helping out with the desserts, grocery shopping for the ingredients, and collecting the money. By giving the students different responsibilities, the teachers wish to teach them additional skills such as greeting people, public speaking, and money management. Through this, the kids are able to become more involved in their Stamford High community and feel a sense of accomplishment. 


In order to truly understand the impact of this fundraiser, we interviewed a couple of students to hear their perspectives. One of the students, Cristian, explained that he enjoys helping out and has even learned to cook a few things. A popular skill that the majority of the students interviewed reported liking was the delivery of the food. Another student, Caesar, said that in the past, he needed assistance from the staff. However, he is now able to independently make his way around the school in order to deliver the lunches to their destinations, which he enjoys. A third student, Camilla, wholeheartedly admitted that while she likes helping out, she loves the food (specifically cheeseburgers) the most.

While answers varied, most students reported enjoying the fundraiser and learning some skills that the teachers had wished for them to. By allowing the students to become more integrated into their community and feel a sense of responsibility and accomplishment, the ASD teachers work to create a lasting impact on their students.