Four of our Campus Kitchens just learned they will be joining the Campus Kitchen at the University of Massachusetts Boston in expanding their senior citizen outreach programs this fall with a brand new grant from The Campus Kitchens Project.
On Friday afternoon, the Campus Kitchens at Kent State University, the University of Georgia, Saint Louis University, the University of Massachusetts Boston and Gonzaga University were awarded $1,000 each to enhance or develop their programming to assist seniors with applying for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. The grants stem from a larger grant from the AARP Foundation, which allowed 10 Campus Kitchens to increase their meal production and design new programmatic initiatives engaging senior clients, ranging from nutrition education classes to hands-on cooking demonstrations.
While each Campus Kitchen has the same goal of assisting a growing number of older adults in applying for SNAP benefits, they will each go about it in different ways that work best within their own communities. The Campus Kitchen at Kent State University plans to reach a larger number of seniors at area farmers markets, venues where they already have a consistent presence. The Campus Kitchen at the University of Georgia will expand its partnership with Georgia CAFE (Community Advocacy to Access Food Stamps for the Elderly and Disabled) so that they are able to work with a larger number of seniors on an ongoing basis. The Campus Kitchen at St. Louis University will expand the capacity of social workers at area partner agencies who already work with clients on SNAP applications by providing student volunteer support for SNAP outreach efforts. The Campus Kitchen at the University of Massachusetts Boston plans to work with seniors that already attend weekly lunches at area housing developments. Finally, the Campus Kitchen at Gonzaga University will build on the success of an existing community meal to add another meal on a new night that will focus solely on older adult clients.
Over the next four months, these Campus Kitchens will aim to reach 200 senior clients through efforts funded by this grant and enroll 40 of them in SNAP benefits.
We know that ending hunger will not come just by feeding people. We are proud that these five schools are taking the fight to end hunger one step further by assisting seniors with securing long term food benefits.