Student-Powered Hunger Relief

Monthly Archives: April 2015

The 2015 Food Waste & Hunger Summit

, April 27th, 2015

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Earlier this month, from April 18 to 19, more than 300 student hunger-fighters from around the country gathered at the University of Georgia for the 2015 Food Waste & Hunger Summit, a two day conference co-hosted by The Campus Kitchens Project and Food Recovery Network. The event convened student leaders who are pioneering solutions to the interrelated problems of food insecurity and food waste and gave participants a forum to learn from experts in the fields of social justice, social enterprise, public health, non-profit management and related fields in addition to the opportunity to share best practices.

The Summit began in earnest on Saturday morning with introductions to the host and partner organizations and an inspiring keynote by Doug Rauch, founder of Daily Table, a new retail market that will sell expired food and pre-made meals at discounted prices, increasing access to healthy food in under-served areas of Boston. Summit participants then had the opportunity to participate in a variety of breakout sessions led by students and professionals alike centered around hunger issues, initiatives beyond meal delivery, funding and more. Representatives from Sodexo, Bon Appetit and UGA Food Services were also on hand to discuss best practices around food recovery and relationship-building with dining service providers.

On Sunday, Dr. Caree Cotwright, an assistant professor in the UGA Department of Foods and Nutrition, kicked off the morning with an engaging plenary session on the importance of confidently following your dreams, even to the extent of building a career around them. Dr. Cotwright spoke of her experiences developing First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign, and how she uses her interest in theater to educate children on health and nutrition.

Later that day, attendees were able to attend a variety of breakout sessions on building sustainable solutions to hunger and advocacy/policy issues. Throughout the weekend, participants had opportunities to network with other Summit attendees from their region and who share topical interests.

Thank you to everyone who attended and contributed to the Food Waste & Hunger Summit – the event was a huge success thanks to your support and enthusiasm! This is what two of our participating students had to say:

Seeing [that] I am part…of a national movement was invaluable.

It’s hard to say what the best part was, because it was all so good. The sessions I attended were all excellent, inspiring and thought provoking. I also had the opportunity to talk to several of the attendees and presenters and hope to meet with them in the future to discuss new ideas.

Thanks also to our funders who made this unique event possible: AARP Foundation, CoBank, Sodexo Foundation, ELCA World Hunger Program and Ameriprise Financial. We were thrilled to re-connect with a variety of our friends and partners in the fight against food waste and hunger, including Food Recovery Network, Food Day, Real Food Challenge, Swipes for the Homeless, Society of St. Andrew, HungerU and No More Empty Pots, and we look forward to collaborating in the future!

See more pictures from the event on our Flickr page.

45 strong: The Campus Kitchens Project comes to University of Wisconsin-Madison

, April 23rd, 2015

Back in the fall, the University of Wisconsin-Madison participated in our launch grant video competition and won $5,000 to start a Campus Kitchen that will serve older adults in their community. Since then, a core group of student leaders has been working with dining services, community organizations and other students to finalize their efforts. Today, all of that planning has come to a finish with the launch of the Campus Kitchen at the University of Wisconsin-Madison!

The Campus Kitchen at UW-Madison (CKUWM) is our 45th Campus Kitchen, third  in the University of Wisconsin system and fourth in the state. CKUWM will recover food from on-campus dining halls with support from the university’s self-run dining services. Students with the Campus Kitchen will prepare meals in the St. Francis House Episcopal Church kitchen for three different local agencies. The Campus Kitchen at UW-Madison will serve a Thursday evening meal for The Goodman Community Center in Madison, a local food pantry that serves a daily meal to those who shop. Thursday was the one day the Center was unable to serve food before its partnership with the Campus Kitchen at UW-Madison. In addition, the Campus Kitchen will partner with the Catholic Charities Adult Day Center in the fall, where they will likely provide a breakfast to area older adults who spend the day at the center.

Finally, the Campus Kitchen has already begun supporting an on-campus meal for the FASTrack program. The program assists economically disadvantaged Wisconsin undergraduates in paying for college through a combination of grants, work and small loans, and ensures that a student’s financial need will be met each year for four years. The students in this program meet once a month, and CKUWM will provide dinner for that meeting.

University of Wisconsin-Madison is one of five schools that participated in the older adult-focused Campus Kitchen launch grant video competition sponsored by AARP Foundation in mid-October. A group of campus representatives created a video (watch it at the top of this post) explaining why their community would benefit from a Campus Kitchen and rallied thousands of supporters to vote for their entry. By the end of the competition, UW-Madison’s submission received more than 2,400 votes, winning them a $5,000 grant to bring our program to their campus.

To learn more about our upcoming $5,000 launch grant opportunities, please visit our “grant opportunities” page.

2015 Campus Kitchen award winners

, April 21st, 2015

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When the academic year comes to a close, we enjoy taking an opportunity to recognize outstanding Campus Kitchens and their leaders for their work to end hunger in their communities. During the 2015 Food Waste & Hunger Summit this past weekend, Campus Kitchens from around the country gathered to celebrate their accomplishments over the past year. On Saturday evening, we gathered the network to present eight individuals and Campus Kitchens with awards acknowledging their commitment to fighting hunger and dedication to the Campus Kitchen network.

Nopalitos Award – Patty Tobin, the Campus Kitchen at Gonzaga College High School
Growing the Movement Award – the Campus Kitchen at Auburn University
Harvester Award – Brad LaChapell and Christina Sarmiento, the Campus Kitchen at Lee University
Going Beyond the Meal Award – the Campus Kitchen at Augsburg College
Ingrid Easton Student Visionary Award – Leebo Tyler, the Campus Kitchen at Troy University
Community Impact Award – the Campus Kitchen at Washington and Lee University
Volunteer of the Year Award – Paige Ottmar, the Campus Kitchen at Northwestern University
Kitchen of the Year Award – the Campus Kitchen at Gettysburg College (more…)

The Campus Kitchens Project comes to Walsh University

, April 15th, 2015


In fall 2014, Walsh University president Richard Jusseaume signed the Presidents United to Solve Hunger (PUSH) agreement, which commits the university to contribute to building food security networks by developing academic engagement and empowering students to advocate and strategically act to end hunger. Today, we’re thrilled to announce one way Walsh University is living up to that commitment: by launching a Campus Kitchen.

The Campus Kitchen at Walsh University is our 44th Campus Kitchen and the second in the state of Ohio. Student volunteers will recover food that would otherwise go to waste from Sodexo-run Walsh Dining Services, and will use that food to create healthy, balanced meals for a local community partner, Refuge of Hope. In fact, the Campus Kitchen will provide a minimum of 25 pounds of food per week to Refuge of Hope which provides meals, emergency shelter and transition to independence for homeless men.

Walsh University is one of five schools that participated in our older adult-focused Campus Kitchen launch grant video competition sponsored by AARP Foundation back in October 2014. A group of campus representatives created a video (watch it at the top of this post) explaining why their community would benefit from a Campus Kitchen and rallied thousands of supporters to vote for their entry. By the end of the competition, Walsh University’s submission received more than 1,900 votes, winning them a $5,000 grant to bring our program to their campus.

CKWU will serve older adults ages 50-59, many of whom are ineligible for other senior-focused services because they do not meet those age requirements. Nearly 9 million older Americans are at risk of hunger, a staggering 79 percent increase over the last 10 years. In Ohio, more than 8 percent of seniors do not know from where their next meal will come.

In the last academic year, Campus Kitchens across the country rescued more than 823,549 pounds of food and served 293,963 meals to 12,006 clients. We’re thrilled to welcome the students at Walsh University into our growing network, as they’ll help us prevent even more food from going to waste this year.

To learn more about bringing a Campus Kitchen to your school, visit our Campus Kitchen Planner.

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