Student-Powered Hunger Relief

Campus Kitchens News

Feeding Our Future

, August 13th, 2015

garden scavenger hunt (2)The Campus Kitchen at Northwestern University (CKNU) is one of the largest Campus Kitchens in the national network. Each summer, CKNU partners with Sodexo as part of their Feeding Our Future program. Through this partnership, CKNU increases their meal service in the summer months to provide meals to students who typically receive free and reduced-price meals at school and are now at risk for hunger.

In 1997, Sodexo launched Feeding Our Future in three cities (Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, DC) and served 25,000 meals in its first year.

CKNU fills the summer nutrition gap by working with the Feeding Our Future program to assist the local, food-insecure youth in the greater Chicago area.  Student volunteers at CKNU prepare meals for those in need during the summer months. This summer, volunteers served 17,996 meals, reaching about 740 youth. Some of the partner agencies that receive meals from CKNU include the Salvation Army, Asian Youth Services, Family Focus, Youth Opportunities Umbrella (Y.O.U.), Fleetwood Jourdain, La Casa Norte, Stand Up for Kids, Broadway Youth Center, and YWCA.

In addition to the Feeding Our Future program, CKNU also engages youth in nutrition education classes. CKNU goes beyond the meal by highlighting healthy eating and sustainable food systems through “Sowing Seeds for Healthy Kids,” a garden-based nutrition education curriculum and “Building Blocks for Healthy Kids,” a classroom-based nutrition education curriculum.

To learn how your organization can be involved, contact CKNU Coordinator, Samantha Warren at

To learn more about Sodexo and the Feeding our Future program, visit

Ride for Food

, July 29th, 2015

The Campus Kitchen at University of Massachusetts Boston (CKUMB) is going beyond the meal on September 20th in the Ride for Food.  Hosted by Three Squares New England (TSNE), the bike ride raises money and awareness for organizations around the Greater Boston area that actively work to provide food to families so they can lead healthier lives. The Ride for Food is CKUMB’s largest fundraiser of the year. Every dollar donated will allow CKUMB to provide more fresh food and produce to their existing clients, build upon their current structure to engage more volunteers, build a brand new community garden, and expand food aid and programming to additional client agencies around Boston.

Recognizing that hunger is widespread throughout the New England community, TSNE organized its first Ride for Food in 2012. Since the first Ride for Food, TSNE has worked to eliminate food insecurity in New England. On average, TSNE returns 116% of every dollar raised to their partner nonprofits through the event.

The 5th annual Ride for Food has three ride options: 10, 25, or 50 mile routes.  Two CKUMB staff members will be participating in the Ride, with a collective goal of $5,000. CKUMB has planned events all summer long to aid in the fundraising process. Events include a Not-Your-Average-Yard Sale, a benefit night at The Lower Depths at Fenway, and a Dodgeball Tournament.

Join the fight against local hunger by making a donation to the CKUMB team!

Learn more about Ride for Food here.

Gleaning Highlights from Campus Kitchens

, July 15th, 2015

From corn to kale, Campus Kitchens aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty this summer at local farms!

CKUK gleaning 2

Many of our Campus Kitchens stay active gleaning over the summer. Gleaning involves collecting excess crops that were not usable in a commercial market, usually due to blemishes or odd shaping of the food. After gathering, these crops are distributed to local communities and those in need. Through gleaning, Campus Kitchens are expanding access to fresh and local produce for communities that might not otherwise have it. We pulled together some great gleaning highlights so far this summer. Take a look at the Campus Kitchens across the nation that are participating in gleaning all summer long!

The Campus Kitchen at the University of Kentucky

CKUK gleaningThe Campus Kitchen at the University of Kentucky (CKUK) works closely with GleanKY, an organization that gathers and redistributes excess fruits and vegetables to nourish Kentucky’s hungry. GleanKY donates their gleaned produce to local feeding programs in Central Kentucky. CKUK volunteers glean produce at University of Kentucky South Farm once a week, which is harvested by CKUK and GleanKY volunteers.

The Campus Kitchen at Augsburg College

CKAU gleaning 2The Campus Kitchen at Augsburg College (CKAC) gleaned 108 pounds of produce at the Mill City Farmers Market on their first Saturday of summer gleaning. CKAC volunteers distributed the freshly gleaned kale, lettuce, radishes, swiss chard, and herbs to Cedar-Riverside residents.




The Campus Kitchen at Johns Hopkins University

CKJHU produce 7.2.15 (2)The Campus Kitchen at Johns Hopkins University (CKJHU) gleaned baskets and baskets of fresh produce from One Acre Farm, a Community Supported Agriculture effort in Boyds, Maryland, where community members can buy seasonal food directly from the farm.


The Campus Kitchens Project

In partnership with DC Central Kitchen, the staff at The Campus Kitchens Project  gleaned corn at Parker Farms in Virginia, which went directly into the 5,000 meals that DC Central Kitchen makes every day for partner agencies across D.C.!


Student Leadership across the Nation

, June 30th, 2015

Campus Kitchen student leaders provide incredible services to their communities. In doing so, these students develop leadership skills that will give them the tools and experiences to become the next generation of effective leaders. The Campus Kitchens Project conducted our annual student leadership survey to gain a deeper understanding of the impact that holding a leadership role in a Campus Kitchen has on the personal and professional growth of student leaders.

Below is a brief summary of what students are saying about working in their Campus Kitchens!

leadership quote 2015 2

  • 100% of students say they have contributed in a valuable way to their community.
  • 67% of students agree participating in their Campus Kitchen has influenced their career path.
  • 94% of students have learned how to manage a group of people.
  • 97% of students feel more confident in their leadership abilities.
  • 91% of students say the leadership skills they have acquired will make them more likely to find a job.

Students join Campus Kitchens for a wide variety of reasons. One student began volunteering because, “I can’t be happy full when others are hungry.” Another student started a Master in Nutrition Program and chose to get involved because, “I was interested in providing opportunities for kids to have healthy meals in food insecure areas.”

Through their work in Campus Kitchens, many students developed leadership experience and concrete skills, including community partnerships, volunteer management, and fundraising.  One Campus Kitchen alum noted, “I apply the skills I have developed while volunteering with the Campus Kitchen every day as I interact with people in my community – both educating others and serving others.” Another student defined their experience as gaining skills and learning lessons “that I couldn’t in a classroom.”

Many agreed their skills and leadership development with Campus Kitchens roused a desire to bring a community focus to their careers, from law to medicine to agriculture. Before starting with Campus Kitchen, one student leader wanted to be a doctor but explains that afterwards, “I still realized that that’s what I wanted to do, but it made me realize the importance of good food for good health. Now I know that, to become a great physician, I need to address hunger as a medical issue.”

As for what keeps students coming back to volunteer with the Campus Kitchen? Many love the feeling of making a difference in their communities and having “the most empowering volunteer experience of my life.” One student continues volunteering with the Campus Kitchen because of “The opportunity to build relationships with those in my community and the transformation that I have the opportunity to witness in people’s lives.”

Stay tuned for more insights from students in the 2015 Annual Report!

Campus Kitchens AmeriCorps VISTAs present at national conference

, May 29th, 2015


The two AmeriCorps VISTAS on the national Campus Kitchens Project team — Andrea, based in the DC office, and Kelly, at Northwestern University — spent Memorial Day weekend in the nation’s capital for the New York Coalition Against Hunger Anti-Hunger and Opportunity Corps end-of-year conference. The conference brought together 88 AmeriCorps VISTAs working to combat food insecurity in 33 states to meet with national leaders and learn from each other’s experiences. Andrea and Kelly had the opportunity to present their work in nutrition education during the “Sharing Our Best Practices Symposium” that kicked off the weekend.

The Symposium gave VISTA members the opportunity to share their work with each other and with conference guests, including VISTA director Paul Monteiro. The VISTAs shared best practices for implementing SNAP Employment & Training programs, providing nutrition education, working with markets and gardens and developing benefits access plans. Kelly and Andrea worked with VISTAs from Inter-faith Food Shuttle in North Carolina and 18 Reasons in California to present best practices in nutrition education. They provided an overview of curriculum development; planning, implementing and evaluating nutrition education programs; working with peer educators; and making nutrition education programs accessible to SNAP participants at farmers markets.

Andrea opened the presentation with four key aspects of curriculum development based on her experience creating Sowing Seeds for Healthy Kids and a forthcoming nutrition education program for older adults: researching topics and approaches as well as content, identifying key strategies, designing for adaptability and revising materials based on pilot programs.  Based on her experience planning, implementing, and evaluating both Campus Kitchens-developed curricula at Northwestern University, Kelly then highlighted the importance of collaborating with student volunteers, community partners, food service staff, dietitians and others.

As Kelly and Andrea finish their years of service in June, they will leave behind new and improved nutrition education materials that can enable Campus Kitchens to increase their impact beyond the meal. A revised version of Building Blocks for Healthy Kids, now accompanied by a teaching guide, as well as the garden-based Sowing Seeds for Healthy Kids curriculum, are available at

Campus Kitchens hiring AmeriCorps members

, May 28th, 2015


Looking for that first job after graduating from college? We firmly believe that a year of service is a great first step in starting a career in any field! Check out these AmeriCorps member listings at two Campus Kitchens:

AmeriCorps VISTA – Campus Kitchen at Washington and LeeThe Campus Kitchen at Washington and Lee (CKWL) is seeking candidates for an AmeriCorps*VISTA position, beginning mid-August. The VISTA will serve as the Rural Outreach Coordinator and will be responsible for mobilizing student and community volunteers in various CKWL initiatives. Responsibilities will include assessment of current rural outreach programs, expansion of programming with the Mobile Food Pantry, and development and facilitation of trainings and discussions around rural hunger for the student Leadership Team. The ideal applicant has good communication skills, ability to serve alongside college students, familiarity with the Rockbridge area, a working knowledge of Microsoft office, a driver’s license, and the ability to lift at least 25 pounds. Applicants should email a cover letter and resume to by Friday, June 19th.

AmeriCorps State/National Member – Campus Kitchen at Gonzaga University: This AmeriCorps position will recruit and train student and community volunteers and leaders to provide individual and congregate meals to seniors, adults with disabilities, veterans, low income individuals and at-risk youth with the Campus Kitchen at Gonzaga University. Additionally, the AmeriCorps will use these meal times to provide educational and social supports in the area of nutrition for seniors and at-risk youth. The AmeriCorps member will recruit volunteers to provide a weekly meal service and will provide frequent nutrition and health education, as well as support a local gardening project that will allow seniors to have their own gardens. The term of service is 09/01/2015 – 07/15/2016. Learn more and apply online at

The 2015 Food Waste & Hunger Summit

, April 27th, 2015


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


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.

CKP Twitter CKP Facebook Donate Now