At the end of my freshman year at Northwestern, I knew there were many ways I could spend my upcoming summer vacation. I could relax and unwind, get a job, or even volunteer. But then, I received an email that Campus Kitchens at Northwestern University (CKNU) was looking for interns. My friend and I had volunteered at CKNU for two weeks during of our senior year of high school when all the students in my grade completed different service projects. Now, through the internship, it was my chance to devote more time to the organization and become a part of CKNU again.
Overall, it was a great summer, and I am really glad that I was selected to be an intern at CKNU. I was able to be a part of all the operations of the organization- rescuing food, preparing meals, delivering the food, and cleaning the clamshells. Our team, consisting of four interns and our coordinator, Katie, worked to provide over 22,009 meals!
Also, because of the nature of the internship, I was able to plan and attend events such as Peanut Butter and Jelly making competitions and Nutrition Education seminars. As an intern, I completed tasks for the organization with the goal of operating more smoothly. I wrote pieces for blogs and newsletters and was able to work a lot with different aspects of the organization that needed help in order to maximize efforts.
This year, I am even staying on as a Leadership Team member for the academic year. Transitioning from summer to fall will be seamless for CKNU. We have new systems in place after a successful and busy summer that will help CKNU tremendously.
During my break between my internship and the start of classes, I know my mind will wander to the details of the organization such as do we have enough food? Or what about that client with the specific dietary restriction? Anyone who works at CKNU becomes attached to the organization because of your fellow volunteers but also the clients and other people you meet along the way. But, CKNU is ready for a new chapter with the Leadership Team, new volunteers, and a chance to further expand the organization on campus. Although I will be in charge of a meal shift next quarter, I hope to get out on a delivery once and a while to visit some clients that I got to know well over the busy, but great, summer!
Leigh Kukanza is a summer intern at Campus Kitchens at Northwestern University. She is a rising sophomore at Northwestern and she enjoys watching sports and reading.