Last week, we welcomed the Campus Kitchen at James Madison University (CKJMU) to our national network of over 60 schools. Located in Harrisonburg, Virginia, CKJMU won our launch grant video competition, sponsored by CoBank, earning over 3,200 votes from students, alumni, school staff and supporters in just one week. Leading up to the grant competition, the CKJMU leadership team established relationships with partners on and off campus including the office of Dietetics, the local Salvation Army and JMU’s dining services provider, Aramark.
CKJMU will recover unserved leftover food each week from the dining hall, transport the food in insulated bags to the freezer in the Dietetics kitchen lab and then plan and cook a meal to be served at the Salvation Army. CKJMU served their first meal in March, which included soup, pulled pork, pea hummus and salad, all made from recovered food. They have already recovered over 200 pounds of food and have served over 165 meals.
While they were preparing to launch, the leadership team visited the Campus Kitchen at Virginia Tech and the Campus Kitchen at Washington and Lee University for site visits and training. If that wasn’t keeping the leadership team busy enough, they also spent time volunteering with local organizations including “Our Community Place”, “Open Doors”, a traveling homeless shelter, and recovered food from local farmers markets for the Salvation Army.
For CKJMU’s official launch last week, they partnered with LovePacks, a program that sends home non-perishable food with local elementary school students, to hold a pop-up event on the JMU campus. Not only was this an opportunity for peers, faculty, staff and community partners to support LovePacks, but it was also a chance for them to learn about the new Campus Kitchen at James Madison University. Coordinated by CKJMU’s leadership team, this event brought together more than 100 volunteers and packed over 100 backpacks.
We are excited to have CKJMU join our network and look forward to seeing their program continue to grow. To learn more about bringing a Campus Kitchen to your school, check out our Campus Kitchen Planner.