Student-Powered Hunger Relief

Kearney residents “Give Where You Live” to support CKUNK

, December 13th, 2013

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The Campus Kitchen at the University of Nebraska Kearney (CKUNK) raised $2,195 last week through a city-wide “Give Where You Live – Kearney Area” fundraising event that directed community donors to fund any one of Kearney’s 99 participating nonprofit organizations. The funds CKUNK raised will support their operations and allow them to grow as they work to serve healthy meals to food insecure individuals in their community.

Give Where You Live – Kearney Area was a one-day fundraising event that encouraged donors in the Kearney area to support local nonprofits, which in turn allowed area nonprofits to build their capacity and find new donors. In just one day, Kearney residents contributed about $450,000 – about $15 for every citizen in the community.

CKUNK received a variety of donations from more than a dozen supporters, including friends of the kitchen, a local construction company and a university chancellor. The funds raised will primarily be used to address their two largest roadblocks in meal operations: obtaining fresh fruit and supporting student volunteers who make their meal deliveries.

Because the local public school system and an area hospital are CKUNK’s primary food donors, the Campus Kitchen does not often receive donations of fruit. Therefore, they often must purchase fruit to round out the healthy meals they serve clients – and this becomes one of their largest expenses. In addition, CKUNK relies on a small group of student volunteers who donate their time and vehicles to deliver meals to clients. As each student typically makes 25-30 deliveries per route, the gas expenses add up. To offset these costs, CKUNK will implement a punch card system funded by these contributions that will supply students with $25 each time they complete five deliveries.

Not only did Give Where You Live – Kearney Area help CKUNK raise much-needed funds to sustain successful operations, the event also raised awareness of the organization in the Kearney community. Time will only tell what new partnerships may come of this single day of community giving.

Photo by Sara Giboney/UNK News

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