As the Community Development Coordinator for The Campus Kitchens Project, I have the privilege of working each day with student leaders that want to start a Campus Kitchen at their school. Seeing the work of our current Campus Kitchens—last year recovering over 400,000 pounds of food that would otherwise have gone to waste and turning it into more than 250,000 meals—inspires us to grow our network and increase our impact in even more communities across the country.
From my vantage point it is easy to see that this movement is growing, and that students, staff and faculty are passionate about finding ways to reduce waste on campus and meet the food insecurity needs in their communities. These students are breaking down walls that so often surround the traditional college campus. On the one hand, they see hunger; and on the other, they see food going to waste on campus and dining halls with state of the art commercial kitchens sitting dark in the evenings. And they are ready to do something about it.
One school taking a stand against hunger in their community is Georgia Tech in Atlanta. The 6th largest city in America, Atlanta suffers from ever increasing rates of poverty and hunger. In this community, the overall food insecurity rate is 19.5%–and for children, an even more staggering rate of 23.4% food insecurity. With the need so evident, Georgia Tech found it impossible to ignore and committed to doing their part to make a change.
With our know-how and experience, and a little funding support from donors like you, they will soon be ready to launch the next Campus Kitchen.
One student leading the push, Sophia Rashid, commented, “Georgia Tech’s motto is ‘Progress and Service, defining a unique campus culture of dynamism, innovation, sustainability, and consciousness.’ In this way, the Campus Kitchens Project is the perfect framework, and the natural next step, to empower our local and broader community.” Collaborating with existing student groups, faculty and Sodexo staff on campus, this group of student leaders has realized that creating a Campus Kitchen on campus is the best possible way for Georgia Tech to use their assets to meet the needs of the Atlanta community. I am excited to see where they can take this program in the future and also excited to continue to work with other schools interested in joining our network!
To support the Campus Kitchens Project in our efforts to expand to more schools, please visit our fundraising page during the Raise the Dough Challenge, April 5-12.