The Campus Kitchen at UGA (CKUGA) is so grateful for our incredible volunteers. This month, we want to highlight one of our regular volunteers – Tobi Idowu. Tobi is from Nigeria and is a sophomore at UGA. She is currently seeking a degree in public relations. You can usually find her in the cooler during our food collection shift.
I sat down with Tobi to ask her about her volunteer experience thus far and what it has meant to her. Her answers show why she is such an amazing volunteer who perseveres to accomplish her tasks.
When did you first begin volunteering with Campus Kitchen?
I first volunteered with Campus Kitchen during Maymester after learning about it through my Geography 1101 professor.
What shifts have you volunteered during and which is your favorite? Why?
I have only volunteered during the food collection shift on Sundays so I guess that’s my favorite one! Sadly, I am way too busy during the week to experience the other shifts.
What made you want to get involved with Campus Kitchen?
I liked that it was very hands on. A lot of the volunteer organizations on campus mainly deal with fundraising, which is important, but I wanted to feel like I was actively involved in helping the community.
How has your volunteer experience impacted you?
Campus Kitchen collects food every week that would otherwise be thrown away. My volunteer experience has made me examine our nation’s food system and realize that 1 in 6 Americans go hungry, yet 40% of food is thrown away. It has also made me realize that a lot of people in Athens-Clarke county would go hungry without our food rescue and redistribution efforts.
What is your best asset as a volunteer?
Perseverance. I work in the cooler for most of the shift and it’s cold! I have to wrap myself up in sweaters and wear gloves. Also, it’s not easy waking up early on a Sunday morning.
What keeps you coming back each week?
I think food collection is the most important shift. Without it, no meals would be cooked to give to the senior citizens and children that count on these meals. I feel like I am making a difference in my own small way.
Why would you recommend volunteering for Campus Kitchen to other students?
It’s a great way to be actively involved in the Athens-Clarke community. There are many shifts available during the week – not just food collection but cooking, meal delivery, and harvesting and gardening, so there is something for everyone.
Fun fact about yourself:
I love powdered donuts.