Student-Powered Hunger Relief

Campus Kitchen grows with support of local organic grocer

, May 9th, 2014

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In a small commercial kitchen in the Glover Park neighborhood of Washington, D.C., shelves are overflowing with hundreds of pounds of fresh organic produce. Nearly every day, volunteers cart in more fresh food, sorting and dating boxes to ensure nothing is forgotten and left to rot. It’s thanks to the generosity of MOM’s Organic Market that shelf space is a hot commodity in St. Luke’s Mission Center, home to the Campus Kitchen at Washington, D.C.

Five or six times each week, a dozen or so retiree volunteers with the Campus Kitchen at Washington, D.C. (CKWDC) visit five of MOM’s 11 area stores to recover food that would have otherwise been thrown away. The organic produce and meat they pick up may be approaching the end of its shelf life or may have slight imperfections that render it unable to be sold, but with a quick turnaround and a few strategic slices of the knife, the food is ready to be eaten.

These crucial donations could not have come at a better time: since last December, the fresh produce MOM’s Organic Market stores donate to CKWDC has filled in for the lack of local produce the Campus Kitchen was able to recover from area farmers markets during the winter. Already in 2014, CKWDC has recovered 9,880 pounds of fresh food from MOM’s, enough to serve more than 1,300 healthy, scratch-cooked meals to Washington, D.C. residents. And the produce that CKWDC couldn’t use in time? Before it was too late, those items were sent off to the Campus Kitchen at Gonzaga College High School, in turn improving the quality of their 120 weekly meals.

The generous, consistent donations from these MOM’s stores have enabled CKWDC to expand their capacity from cooking and delivering meals once a month to once a week. This time last year, CKWDC was serving around 200 clients on average each month. Now, they are serving about twice that many.

Learn more about how you can bring healthy produce to the hungry in your community by visiting our Campus Kitchen planner.

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