Student-Powered Hunger Relief

Campus Kitchens News

Reflecting on our 3 Millionth Meal

, December 2nd, 2016

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This Thanksgiving, we are feeling especially grateful to be part of a movement– a growing network of hunger fighters, who not only care about bringing healthy meals to our neighbors who need them the most, but about building a more sustainable food system that values the food we produce and does not waste our precious resources.

Today, we reached a milestone: together, we have served over 3 million healthy, balanced meals. Together, we have ensured that hard-working families don’t need to worry about where their next meal will come from. That low-income seniors don’t need to choose between paying their heating bill and buying groceries. That children can focus on learning and not on an empty stomach.

And right now, at a time of year associated with eating a meal with family, Campus Kitchens are making sure that no one is left behind. In our “TurkeyPalooza” celebration, Campus Kitchens went above and beyond to provide a special meal for their clients, to make sure that Thanksgiving is a time when they know how much our students appreciate them.

Whether it’s the Campus Kitchen at Kent State University making 250 homemade pies to add to their 1,500+ meals, or the Campus Kitchen at UMass Boston enlisting the help of student athletes and academic departments across their campus to make an extra 250 take-home grocery bags, or the Campus Kitchen at Elon University partnering with their dining service to double their meal production from 800 to over 1600 meals, Campus Kitchens are always looking for ways to do more for their communities.

As we celebrate these achievements, large and small, we know that we still have an uphill journey ahead of us, and a commitment to fight hunger not only with meals, but also with effective programs that will break the cycle of hunger and poverty for good. But we can feel hope in knowing that we have paved a new way forward, and the road keeps getting wider as more and more people join the movement.

Welcoming Augustana College as the 58th Campus Kitchen!

, November 22nd, 2016

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Last spring, Augustana College participated in a national launch grant video competition to start their own Campus Kitchen. After rallying thousands of votes from their supporters and winning a $5,000 grant from ELCA Word Hunger, the students and faculty at Augustana College have finalized their planning.

Today, Augustana College joined The Campus Kitchens Project with the official launch of their own Campus Kitchen. The Campus Kitchen at Augustana College is the 58th Campus Kitchen to join the national network. The Campus Kitchen at Augustana College is sponsored by the school’s CORE (Careers, Opportunities, Research and Exploration) office and is partnering with other on-campus organizations, such as Greek life, clubs and academic departments for volunteer recruitment.

With support from Augustana dining services, they will recover food from Gerber dining hall and also local grocery stores and food banks. They will prepare and serve 50 meals for students on campus, and eventually also provide meals to their on-campus pantry.

ELCA World Hunger is excited to support the work of the Campus Kitchen at Augustana College. For over 25 years, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has brought Lutherans and other people of goodwill together to fight hunger and poverty through ELCA World Hunger. ELCA World Hunger mobilizes nearly $20 million each year to support work of relief, education, advocacy, and sustainable development in over 50 countries, including supporting ELCA institutions like Augustana College.

Olivia Rogine, CKP’s Community Development Coordinator is spending the next couple of days in Rock Island, Illinois sharing best practices and equipping them with the skills and knowledge they need to run an effective community-based organization. We’re thrilled to welcome the Campus Kitchen at Augustana College to our growing network, as they help us prevent even more food from going to waste this year! To learn more about bringing a Campus Kitchen to your school, check out our Campus Kitchen Planner.

Meet Our Future Campus Kitchens

, November 14th, 2016

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The votes are in, and we are thrilled to welcome our future Campus Kitchens! From November 7-14, Austin Peay University, James Madison University, Northwest Arkansas Community College, University of Central Missouri and Williams College competed to see who could rally the most votes to win a grant sponsored by Cobank to start their own Campus Kitchen.

Thousands of votes were cast from students, alumni, school staff and supporters. The top three schools ultimately won grants to start their own Campus Kitchen. Check out the winners below to see their total votes and why these schools are starting a Campus Kitchen!

 

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James Madison University, the school with the most votes, is excited to launch a Campus Kitchen so they can bridge the gap between campus and community and address hunger in the Harrisonburg, VA area. They are partnering with their Dietetics program to ensure that healthy meals will be created and distributed to those in need in their community. At the same time, the Campus Kitchen will give students a hands on experience to enhance what they are learning in the classroom.

Williams College students are hoping to have their Campus Kitchen become an umbrella organization for all the food insecurity work happening on their campus and in their community. They are excited to have the Campus Kitchen unite two campus-wide goals: experiential learning and sustainability. By bringing together students from multiple groups on campus, Williams is excited to combine their skills and passion to reduce food insecurity in North Berkshire County, MA.

Austin Peay State University is excited to continue to grow their service opportunities for their student body. The Campus Kitchen will be addressing hunger and food insecurity in their community and even on their own campus. They hope to improve the lifes of those in the Clarksville, TN community through strong community partnerships, strong support from many academic departments, political and community leaders, and dedicated students.

These schools are all committed to ending hunger and food waste. Congratulations to our winners! We are so looking forward to adding new communities of hunger fighters to our growing network.

These schools qualified for this competition through our online Campus Kitchen Planner, which provides step-by-step guidance to any group interested in bringing our program to their campus. After completing several steps in the Planner, each competing school submitted a video explaining why their community would benefit from a Campus Kitchen. Then, over the past 7 days, the competitors mobilized their supporters to vote for their videos once per day.

Want to join our hunger-fighting movement? Check out our upcoming grant opportunities to learn how you can secure funding to bring this program to your campus.

Welcoming the first Community College to the Network

, November 10th, 2016

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In Casper, Wyoming, there are about 9,000 people that live with food insecurity every single day. At Casper College in Wyoming, the school’s dining facility produces more than enough food to feed their students. Seeing the need in the community for more food options, the students at Casper College today launched a Campus Kitchen to connect the excess food on campus to community members in need.

The student-led organization will turn wasted food into healthy, balanced meals for their community. With the launch of the program, the Campus Kitchen at Casper College will become the 57th Campus Kitchen and both the first community college to join the national network, and the first in Wyoming.

The Campus Kitchen at Casper College is sponsored by the school’s Nutrition Program. With support from Sodexo, the Campus Kitchen at Casper College will conduct food recovery shifts from the Sodexo Dining Hall three days a week. In the spring of 2017, the Campus Kitchen will expand to new donation partners on campus and in the community. Student volunteers will deliver all recovered food to the Casper Vet Center and the Casper YMCA.

“The issues of food waste and food insecurity touch all members of our community, and I’m excited to see Casper College students working to provide practical solutions to both problems,” said Dr. Kelsey Phillips, Project Director for the Campus Kitchen. “I am excited to blend the curriculum of the nutrition and environmental science programs with the service of the Campus Kitchen at Casper College, and believe that the CKCC will provide our students with valuable leadership opportunities that will prepare them for any career path.”

Olivia Rogine, CKP’s Community Development Coordinator is spending the next couple of days in Casper, Wyoming, sharing best practices and equipping them with the skills and knowledge they need to run an effective community-based organization. We’re thrilled to welcome Casper College to our growing network, as they help us prevent even more food from going to waste this year!

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

Welcoming Campbell University as the 56th Campus Kitchen!

, November 3rd, 2016

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Last spring, Campbell University participated in a national launch grant video competition to start their own Campus Kitchen. After rallying thousands of votes from their supporters and winning a $5,000 grant from Sodexo, the students and faculty at Campbell University have finalized their planning.

Today, Campbell University joined The Campus Kitchens Project with the official launch of their own Campus Kitchen. The Campus Kitchen at Campbell University (CKCU) is the 56th Campus Kitchen to join the national network. CKCU is sponsored by the school’s Office of Community Engagement and is partnering with other on-campus organizations, such as Greek life, clubs, ministry groups, and academic departments for volunteer recruitment.

With support from their dining service provider, Aramark, CKCU will recover food from dining halls, their local Food Lion, and a local food pantry. Student volunteers will prepare 50-75 meals a week and will deliver these meals to students at Highland Middle School.

Matt Schnarr, CKP’s Expansion and Partnerships Manager is spending the next couple of days in Buies Creek, North Carolina sharing best practices and equipping them with the skills and knowledge they need to run an effective community-based organization. We’re thrilled to welcome CKCU to our growing network, as they help us prevent even more food from going to waste this year!

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

Welcoming University of Nebraska Omaha to the Network!

, October 27th, 2016

Welcoming University of Nebraska Omaha to the Network

Food waste is the number one contributor to landfill waste in Omaha, Nebraska, yet one in five children in Omaha don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Recognizing this huge disparity in where food ends up, the students at University of Nebraska Omaha started planning for a Campus Kitchen to serve the food insecure members of their community. Last spring, the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO) participated in a national launch grant video competition to start their own Campus Kitchen. After rallying thousands of votes from their supporters and winning a $5,000 grant sponsored by Sodexo, the students and faculty at UNO have finalized their planning.

Today, University of Nebraska Omaha joined The Campus Kitchens Project with the official launch of their own Campus Kitchen. The Campus Kitchen at the University of Nebraska Omaha (CKUNO) is the 55th Campus Kitchen to join the national network. CKUNO is sponsored by the school’s Office of Sustainability and is partnering with the Office of Civic and Social Responsibility for volunteer recruitment.

With support from their in-house dining service provider, UNO Food Service, CKUNO will conduct food recovery shifts at catering events held in the Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center, Monday through Friday. In the future, CKUNO will expand to include all events catered by UNO Food Service. Student volunteers will deliver all recovered food to Youth Emergency Services twice a week and expand to more days if it is warranted.

Olivia Rogine, CKP’s Community Development Coordinator is spending the next couple of days in Omaha, Nebraska sharing best practices and equipping them with the skills and knowledge they need to run an effective community-based organization. We’re thrilled to welcome CKUNO to our growing network, as they help us prevent even more food from going to waste this year!

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

15 years developing student leaders to fight food waste & hunger

, October 3rd, 2016

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The Campus Kitchens Project (CKP) is now on 54 high school and college campuses across the country. Just last year, student volunteers recovered over 1.3 million pounds of food. And, since 2001, student volunteers have prevented the waste of more than 6.1 million pounds of food to create 2.9 million meals. CKP teaches students to see wasted resources as a sustainable solution to community issues.

The first Campus Kitchen launched in 2001 at Saint Louis University. Since then, more than 50 schools have joined the growing national network, and more than 54,000 volunteers have passed through the program.

As an empowerment nonprofit that seeks to end hunger and food waste, 15 years of service alone is not a reason to celebrate. However, while the meals prepared by Campus Kitchen volunteers fight hunger today, the programs they create and the skills they develop address the underlying root causes of hunger in a way that fights hunger tomorrow. Through programming such as nutrition education classes, senior hunger outreach and community gardens, Campus Kitchens go beyond the meal to address access, isolation, and knowledge; key factors that perpetuate food insecurity. Fifteen years equipping student leaders with the tools and support to make a difference in their communities creates a lasting impact not just on the students, but on the future of food waste and food insecurity.

By learning how to recover food, plan meals, and run a community kitchen, student volunteers develop entrepreneurial and leadership skills that they will use long beyond their days in school. In a recent survey of committed student leaders, 95.8% agreed that the leadership skills they have acquired through the Campus Kitchens will make them more likely to find a job, and an equal number believe that volunteering with the Campus Kitchen will benefit their search for employment. What’s more, 100% of Campus Kitchen alumni and 97.2% of current students feel that they have contributed in a valuable way to their community.

This year, CKP seeks to engage even more students to cultivate the next generation of leaders. Join us in celebrating our 15 years of developing young leaders and raising individuals out of poverty by starting your own Campus Kitchen. To learn more about bringing our work to your school, visit www.campuskitchens.org/start-a-kitchen.

Feeding Our Future in 2016

, September 21st, 2016

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As schools across the country start this fall, many children are reluctant to return to early morning classes and homework, but for others it means the months-awaited return of consistent, nutritious school meals. With classrooms and cafeterias closed for the summer, some children who had been getting two meals a day at school suddenly had very little on their plates. Over 22 million children receive free or reduced-price meals during the school year, but only 4 million children continue to receive meals during the summer.

In 1997, Sodexo launched Feeding Our Future to help close this gap and ensure children receive the nutritious meals they need. The program began in three cities (Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.) and served 25,000 meals in its first year. Feeding our Future has continued to expand, and this summer the program served 400,000 free summer meals in 23 cities across America. Since the inception of Feeding Our Future in 1997, Sodexo has provided over 5 million summer meals. Feeding Our Future is such a success due to the partnerships between Sodexo and local hunger relief organizations such as the Campus Kitchen at Northwestern University (CKNU).

CKNU is one of the largest Campus Kitchens in the national network. Each summer, CKNU partners with Sodexo as part of the Feeding Our Future program in order to fill the summer nutrition gap in the greater Chicago area. This year, student and community volunteers dedicated over 600 hours to prepare 21,847 meals for 720 youth – a 21% increase from last summer. CKNU also provided breakfast to certain partner agencies for the first time this year. CKNU is excited to be a part of Feeding Our Future and to continue growing the summer meals program!

To learn how your organization can be involved, contact CKNU Coordinator, Samantha Warren at swarren@campuskitchens.org.

To learn more about Sodexo and the Feeding Our Future program, visit www.sodexofoundation.org.

 

-  Sarah Benedict, Americorps VISTA, HFA Anti-Hunger and Opportunity Corps, the Campus Kitchen at Northwestern University

Launching the 54th Campus Kitchen

, September 19th, 2016

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Over 16% of Kentuckians are food insecure, which is over two percent higher than the national average. In Adair County, Kentucky, over 20% of children will face food insecurity. Seeing a large need for affordable food options, the students at Lindsey Wilson College started planning for a Campus Kitchen to serve the food insecure members of the community.

On Saturday, Lindsey Wilson joined The Campus Kitchens Project with the official launch of their own Campus Kitchen. The Campus Kitchen at Lindsey Wilson College (CKLWC) is the 54th Campus Kitchen to join the national network.

CKLWC is sponsored by the school’s Bonner Program, which provides scholarships to students in exchange for weekly commitment to intensive and meaningful service with a local community organization. With support from its self-operated dining services, CKLWC will begin by conducting daily food recovery shifts at the school cafeteria. Student leaders will also recover food from the community garden, a local pizzeria, and a local Mexican restaurant. CKWLC will deliver 20 to 40 meals to individuals referred by the Family Resource Center and elderly day care programs, with hopes of expanding their community reach soon.

During CKLWC’s launch, student volunteers recovered 70 pounds of prepared food from dining and 30 pounds of fresh produce from the campus garden and made 23 meals to deliver to individual clients in the community.

Lindsey Wilson participated in a national launch grant video competition to start their own Campus Kitchen in March 2016. After rallying thousands of votes from their supporters and winning a $5,000 grant sponsored by AARP Foundation, we’re thrilled to welcome the Campus Kitchen at Lindsey Wilson to our growing network!

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

Good Culture Partnership

, September 9th, 2016

The Campus Kitchens Project and good culture® partnership will help us all eat good things

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Campus Kitchens has partnered up with good culture for the new school year to continue creating even more meals and fighting hunger. Each time you purchase a cup of good culture, 1% of that sale goes to help The Campus Kitchens Project.

The Campus Kitchens Project empowers students to fight hunger and food waste in their communities by recovering food from dining halls and creating balanced and nutritious meals. In this past school year at 53 Campus Kitchens, student volunteers recovered over 1.3 million pounds of food and created nearly 350,000 meals.

During the semester, a steady stream of student volunteers contribute to these efforts; however, during the summer break it becomes more challenging for student-led programs to sustain their critical work. In fact, summer is a time when the need is highest, as students who typically receive free or reduced price lunch in school are at risk of not receiving these meals while they’re out of the classroom.

Our Campus Kitchens have built relationships with their community volunteers to help fill this gap and remain open during the summer. Across the country, volunteers from 32 Campus Kitchens stayed at their school, making sure their Campus Kitchens were still recovering food, cooking healthy meals and delivering to their clients. And they have had an astounding impact throughout the summer months.

In June and July, over 2,200 volunteers served more than 9,700 hours with their local Campus Kitchen. During this time, volunteers recovered 151,570 pounds of food, and transformed it into 65,780 nutritious meals. These meals were then served to more than 1,500 clients in the surrounding communities at almost 300 partner agencies. Of these meals served, over 24,000 meals were distributed to youth clients.

Not only did our Campus Kitchens work hard to provide the meals their clients need, but they also went beyond the meal to address the root causes of hunger in their communities. Student leaders at the Campus Kitchen at Troy University hosted a backpack program, which provides weekend meals to children to address food insecurity at home. And student leaders from the Campus Kitchen at the University of Georgia hosted a Food Waste Fiasco event, in which local organizations gathered to discuss solutions to food waste in the community.

Thanks to our new partners at good culture, we’ll be sharing best practices, resources and trainings to help ensure all of our Campus Kitchens are able to keep running year-round. good culture is the maker of Organic Cottage Cheese made with real ingredients, no additives, promotes good health and tastes great. We love good culture’s philosophy: if you eat good things, and surround yourself with good, you’ll feel good. We’re proud of our students for their commitment to fighting hunger in their communities no matter what the season, and we’re thankful to have good culture to help make this happen.

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