Last Thursday, Campus Kitchens across the country held a variety of events in honor of Food Day, a nationwide celebration of healthy, affordable, and sustainably produced food and a grassroots campaign for better food policies. The events looked different, but their purpose was the same: to educate students on food issues and to tell them how Campus Kitchens are addressing them.
In North Carolina, the Campus Kitchen at East Carolina University set up a table on campus and encouraged students to stop by to try their original salsa dip and to learn more about their work in Pitt County.
Further west in Minnesota, the Campus Kitchen at Augsburg College set up in the student center to pass out kale chips, talk food justice and encourage others to sign up for volunteer shifts.
Not too far away at the Campus Kitchen at Northwestern University (CKNU), students partnered with a variety of other campus organizations to hold multiple Food Day events. Across campus, students had opportunities to celebrate the impact food makes and discuss issues with food such as diets, food stamps, sustainability and food deserts. CKNU hosted a table where others could make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and learn more about the Campus Kitchen and Food Day. The next day, students hosted a food access panel, which involved speakers from experimental farmers markets in Chicago, the USDA and the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
Just a bit south of there, the Campus Kitchen at Saint Louis University participated in the Saint Louis University Food Day festival put on by the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics. They handed out information about their food recovery efforts and gave out piping hot cider on a freezing cold day.
Last but not least, the Campus Kitchen at the University of Massachusetts Boston (CKUMB) held an entirely different event in honor of Food Day. In partnership with the Office of Urban and Off-Campus Student Services –which runs a food pantry for UMB students and is one of CKUMB’s client agencies – CKUMB hosted a screening of the documentary “A Place at the Table.” The film addresses the root causes of food insecurity in the US and discusses solutions for the issue.
At the end of the day, advocating for sustainable food systems and raising awareness for the work they do is just one way our Campus Kitchens are going beyond the meal to make an impact in their communities.
During the 2012-2013 school year, the Campus Kitchen at Gettysburg College (CKGC) fed 6,651 meals to 968 clients. This fall, the student volunteers with CKGC are going beyond the meal to address the root causes of hunger by hosting new educational workshops.
In September, CKGC’s student volunteers partnered with South Central Community Action Programs, an organization dedicated to empowering families and engaging the community to pursue innovative and effective solutions to break the cycle of poverty. They joined mothers enrolled in a work-ready program to discuss and practice incorporating seasonal fresh vegetables into their cooking. Each participant made a personal sized frittata in a muffin tin with zucchini, a nutrient-filled vegetable that is plentiful this time of year.
But the CKGC students weren’t the only teachers – the mothers brought their own cooking backgrounds and shared their own experiences of how to best make frittatas and other dishes with seasonal vegetables.
Next, the student leaders of CKGC plan to visit a local daycare and show preschoolers the importance of eating a variety of colors with paper plates and colorful foods. They’ll likely read The Very Hungry Caterpillar before snacking themselves.
In the future, the students will look to continue these monthly workshops with different partner agencies in an effort to reach the diverse groups that they feed. Not only will these workshops work to increase the health of their clients, CKGC will also get word out in community about their programs. They may even gain new meal delivery clients!
We know we can’t end hunger with food. CKGC’s new monthly workshops are just one way our Campus Kitchens go beyond the meal to address the root causes of hunger in their communities.
The students participated in a chili cook off sponsored by Hilton Worldwide‘s Global Week of Service, and were joined by teams from Hospitality High School and Global Kids. Each team had 90 minutes to create a pot of chicken, beef or vegetarian chili using nearly any ingredients they wanted.
To prepare for the cook off, all of the students witnessed demonstrations earlier in the week by three professional chefs, where they learned about basic chili components, how different flavors interact and, by the end of the demonstrations, how to make a chicken, beef and vegetarian chili.
During Thursday’s cook off, each team used those recipes to varying degrees. The students from the Campus Kitchen at Gonzaga College High School took what they learned from the vegetarian and beef chili demonstrations and created a beef bacon chili (which included a variety of vegetables). The Global Kids team cooked up a beef chili based on the recipe they learned earlier in the week as well, while the Hospitality High School team created their own mambo chicken chili recipe.
When the chili was cooked, the teams were judged by four local Hilton executive chefs, who also watched the students cook and were on hand to answer any culinary questions the students had. (For example: how many fresh tomatoes equals a can of diced tomatoes?)
In the end, the judges deemed the contest too close to call, and each student received a brand new kitchen utensil from Hilton. Fittingly, the leftover chili was saved to be used in DC Central Kitchen’s meals the next day.
Congratulations to the boys from CKGCHS on a job well done!