Student-Powered Hunger Relief

Campus Kitchens News

Why You Should Get Involved with Food Waste

, December 22nd, 2015

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The Campus Kitchens Project (CKP) reached an impressive 5 million pounds of recovered food this month. This recovered food, which would have otherwise been wasted, was repurposed into over 2.7 million balanced and nutritious meals to feed people struggling with hunger.

CKP’s network is continuing to grow as our pounds of recovered food and delivered meals also rise. From September to October 2015, CKP launched four new Campus Kitchens across the nation. Just imagine how we could continue fighting food waste and hunger in the United States if our network grew from 50 to 100 schools. How many million pounds of food would be recovered and repurposed into balanced, nutritious meals then?

We need your support to grow our national network and increase our impact in communities across the country. Here’s why you should get involved in ending food waste:

  1. The stats. Americans waste 40% of food in the United States, enough to fill 730 football stadiums per year. On average, each of us wastes 15 to 20% of our own food each year. The average college student generates approximately 142 pounds of food waste a year. If this isn’t a good enough reason, we don’t know what is.
  1. John Oliver. Everyone remembers the poignant host of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” denouncing America’s relationship with food earlier this summer. It’s not just the fact that Oliver is behind the movement but that it’s gained so much national momentum and attention. Late night show hosts are making a point to discuss the impending food waste crisis and encouraging everyone to do what they can to end it. So why not hop on that bandwagon?
  1. Volunteering feels good. We all know that doing something nice for someone else just feels good. Our student volunteers recognize that the good work they do in a Campus Kitchen has a tremendous impact in their community. And as one volunteer noted, “I can’t be happy full when others are hungry.”
  1. Gain new skills. By taking the initiative to run a community kitchen, students develop entrepreneurial and leadership skills, along with a commitment to serve their community, that they will carry with them into future careers. Each Campus Kitchen goes beyond meals by using food as a tool to promote poverty solutions, implement garden initiatives, participate in nutrition education, and convene food policy events, essentially running a nonprofit while doing so.
  1. Be a part of something. In the last academic year, 45 Campus Kitchens across the country rescued more than 988,705 pounds of food and delivered 321,936 meals.  The Campus Kitchen at Gonzaga University just delivered their 240,000th meal, while the Campus Kitchen at the University of Houston has recovered over 3,000 pounds of food in just a few months of operating. Our student leaders have an enormous impact in their communities while also contributing to a global movement.

How can you get involved?

  • Learn more about bringing a Campus Kitchen to your school, and check out our Campus Kitchen Planner.
  • Donate – Your contribution will support our innovative hunger relief and leadership development.
  • Follow us on social media! Visit our Facebook page, and follow @campuskitchens on Twitter and Instagram to get an inside look at our Campus Kitchens across the US!
  • Refer a friend at another school to CKP!

What Makes Turkeypalooza a Success?

, December 11th, 2015

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Each year, The Campus Kitchens Project celebrates Thanksgiving by hosting a network-wide event that we call Turkeypalooza.

Turkeypalooza is a tradition where Campus Kitchens go above and beyond their normal operations to do a little something extra for their clients. Campus Kitchens do anything from preparing a traditional Thanksgiving meal to hosting a canned food drive, to running a cooking shift with their clients. Across our 49 Campus Kitchens, Turkeypalooza was a tremendous success. Thousands of meals were made to serve hundreds of people struggling with food insecurity.

Here are just a few highlights from how Campus Kitchens made this year’s Turkeypalooza great!

  1. Chicken: Making scratch-cooked turkeys on a large scale can be challenging, so this year, the Campus Kitchen at Northwestern University (CKNU) hosted a “ChickenPalooza” where student volunteers created a Thanksgiving meal, substituting chicken for turkey. The volunteers spent a full day cooking to create 300 meals to deliver to their clients in Evanston, Illinois. Read more about CKNU’s Chickenpalooza here.
  1. Student Athletes: More than 65 student-athletes and staff volunteered at the Campus Kitchen at Marquette University before Thanksgiving. Volunteers from the women’s soccer team, men and women’s track and field and cross country programs, and both men’s and women’s lacrosse teams helped make 698 Thanksgiving meals for food insecure individuals in the Milwaukee area. We couldn’t do this work without our volunteers, and in this instance, student athletes.
  1. Community: The Campus Kitchen at Wake Forest University scratch-cooked over 400 balanced, nutritious Thanksgiving meals for their community members.  A senior at Wake Forest, Brooke Lucas, keeps in mind this holiday season that students are still part of the Winston-Salem community. “Thanksgiving is a holiday for everyone to share, not just those who can afford it,” Lucas said. And we agree! Turkeypalooza is always a success when you keep your community in mind.
  1. Partnership: The Campus Kitchen at the College of William and Mary (CKWM) teamed up with the Black Law Students Association. Together, the two organizations collected 4,114 canned goods, like green beans, soup, mashed potatoes, and more! Students at CKWM also connected with local churches and newspapers to help spark interested in the event. After the can drive, about 60 students volunteered during the six hour Turkeypalooza event to create 132 Thanksgiving meals. Read more about CKWM here.
  1. Celebrities: Nothing makes an event successful like an appearance from a celebrity, or in this case, a very famous family. President Obama, the First Lady, and their two daughters joined the Campus Kitchen at Washington DC (CKWDC) to serve their Turkeypalooza meal. President Obama and his family served a meal prepared by CKWDC at their partner agency, Friendship Place’s event, Feast with Friends. Veteran families and formerly homeless participants in Friendship Place’s Veterans First Program gathered to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal. President Obama served the Turkey and gravy, naturally, while Michelle, Malia, and Sasha dished traditional Thanksgiving sides.

2.5 Million Meals

, November 11th, 2015

12031412_980776125318583_6243184488975690074_o - CopyThis year, The Campus Kitchens Project (CKP) hit an incredible milestone, delivering its 2.5 millionth meal from recovered food that would have otherwise been wasted. In the last academic year alone, 45 Campus Kitchens across the country rescued more than 987,221 pounds of food and delivered 319,104 meals.

Our inspiring student leaders are to thank for reaching these incredible landmarks. The Campus Kitchen at Gonzaga University (CKGU) in Spokane, WA, just delivered their 240,000th meal in Spokane’s famous “boat car”, pictures below. CKGU delivered this milestone meal to Cup of Cool Water, which is a youth drop-in shelter in downtown Spokane.  CKGU has been delivering meals to them since January of 2008. Since beginning operations in 2005, CKGU has recovered 216,376 pounds of food and repurposed this food into balanced and nutritious meals. They go beyond their meals by community gardening and by hosting communal meals that both foster a sense of community and combat isolation, a key factor that contributes to senior hunger.

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The Campus Kitchen at Gettysburg College (CKGC) will soon deliver their 50,000th meal. Since beginning operations in 2007, CKGC has recovered 88,795 pounds of food, which they have used to serve healthy meals to over 300 people each month. CKGC’s 50,000th meal will be served at the Adams County Office for Aging Senior Center as part of CKGC’s holiday community meal at the senior center.  This is a part of CKGC’s larger outreach in the community helping food insecure families to access farmers market produce through a voucher program, and bringing farm-fresh grocery bags to home-bound seniors.

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This is a huge milestone for all of our student leaders, who together have delivered two and a half million healthy meals to food insecure communities simply by using the resources already available on their campuses and in their communities. Rumor has it CKP is about to hit another huge milestone and we can’t wait to celebrate with our network! Keep an eye out for exciting news coming soon…

Help us serve 2.5 million more meals by donating $25 today!

Meet our Launch Grant Winners and Future Campus Kitchens

, November 9th, 2015

 

 

From November 2 to November 9, three schools rallied thousands of votes from their students, alumni, staff and supporters to win a grant and start their own Campus Kitchen. The votes are in, and we are excited to announce the three winners of our latest Launch Grant Video Competition:

  1. Arkansas Tech University – 2,763  votes
  2. Baldwin Wallace University – 2,183 votes
  3. Fayetteville State University – 947 votes

These three schools each won a $5,000 grant sponsored by CoBank to start their own Campus Kitchen by spring 2016. CoBank was so impressed by the quality of the videos that they are awarding grant funding to all three competitors, and decided to give Arkansas Tech University a bonus $1,000 for receiving the most votes.

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.

A big thanks to those who voted and congratulations to our winners! We are so looking forward to adding you to our growing network!

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.

#49 – The Campus Kitchens Project comes to University of Houston

, October 9th, 2015

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“We understand the importance of reducing food waste on campus, and promoting student leadership in community service,” said Brinda Penmetsa, a student leader at the University of Houston.  We’re thrilled to announce that University of Houston students have chosen to live up to the commitment to reduce food waste on campus and hunger in their community by launching a Campus Kitchen.

The University of Houston today joins The Campus Kitchens Project with the official launch of their own Campus Kitchen, becoming the 49th Campus Kitchen to join the national network. The Campus Kitchen at the University of Houston (CKUH) is the first public university and the second in Texas, joining the Campus Kitchen at Baylor University.

CKUH is sponsored by The Bonner Leaders Program, a four year service oriented leadership program hosted in The Honors College at the University of Houston. Student leaders at the Campus Kitchen at University of Houston will dedicate 5-10 hours of each week to conduct food recovery shifts at Fresh Foods at Moody Towers and Cougar Woods Dining Halls on campus, with support from Aramark.  Volunteers will begin meal deliveries with their community partners at New Hope for Housing. Student leaders are excited to be providing opportunities for their peers to grow, learn, and serve as hunger fighters.

The University of Houston is one of four schools that participated in the launch grant video competition sponsored by Sodexo Foundation in March 2015. A group of campus representatives created a video 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, University of Houston’s submission received almost 2,500 votes, winning them a $5,000 grant to bring our program to their campus.

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

The Campus Kitchens Project comes to Virginia Tech

, September 30th, 2015

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One in eight Virginians struggles with food insecurity, and there is a great demand for services targeted towards those in need. Today, Virginia Tech joins The Campus Kitchens Project as the 48th Campus Kitchen. The Campus Kitchen at Virginia Tech (CKVT) will work towards ending hunger in New River Valley by transforming unused food from dining halls, grocery stores, restaurants, and farmers markets into healthy meals that are delivered to local agencies serving the community.

CKVT is sponsored by VT Engage and is the fifth Campus Kitchen in Virginia, joining Campus Kitchens at Washington and Lee University, the College of William and Mary, George Mason University, and the University of Virginia. CKVT will conduct cooking shifts at Wallace Hall. Volunteers will deliver meals to New River Valley Agency on Aging each Friday so that clients will have access to supplemental food on the weekends.

The program is made possible through collaboration with Virginia Tech Dining Services, and is building upon food recovery efforts already being done in the dining halls. The Campus Kitchen is also working with faculty and students within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the College of Engineering, and the Pamplin College of Business.

Virginia Tech is one of four schools that participated in the launch grant video competition sponsored by Sodexo Foundation in March 2015. A group of campus representatives created a video 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, Virginia Tech’s submission received almost 9,500 votes, winning them a $5,000 grant to bring our program to their campus.

Members of the national team have been in Blacksburg this week sharing best practices with CKVT student leaders, and equipping them with the skills and knowledge they need to run an effective community-based organization. We’re thrilled to welcome the students at Virginia Tech 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.

47 Strong: The Campus Kitchens Project comes to George Mason University

, September 22nd, 2015

IMG_6014Today, George Mason University joined The Campus Kitchens Project, becoming the 47th Campus Kitchen to become part of the national network.

The Campus Kitchen at George Mason University, sponsored by Auxiliary Enterprises in partnership with Sodexo, is the fifth Campus Kitchen in Virginia, joining the Campus Kitchen at Washington and Lee University, the College of William and Mary, Virginia Tech, and the University of Virginia.

George Mason University is one of five schools that participated in a Campus Kitchen launch grant video competition sponsored by AARP Foundation in October 2014. A group of campus representatives created a video explaining why their community would benefit from a Campus Kitchen. George Mason University’s submission received more than 1,170 votes.

The Campus Kitchen at George Mason University will conduct cooking shifts at Southside Dining Hall, and will recover food from Southside, The Globe, and Mason Catering, with support from Sodexo. Volunteers with the Campus Kitchen at George Mason University will begin meal service at Cornerstones and the Katherine Hanley Shelter, with plans to add additional client agencies in the future as the organization expands on campus.

Matt Schnarr, our Expansion and Partnerships Manager, and Olivia Rogine, our Community Development Coordinator, are spending the next couple of days in Fairfax, sharing best practices with the student leaders who will be running the Campus Kitchen.

“On behalf of all the students involved with the Campus Kitchen at GMU, we are thrilled to officially launch,” said Kyle Brooks, President of the Campus Kitchen at George Mason University. “We are extremely grateful for the support from our sponsoring office, Auxiliary Enterprises, as well as Sodexo and Mason Dining. Though Fairfax is one of the wealthiest counties in America, there are many in our community who are food insecure. We look forward to a bright future for our Campus Kitchen and all of those who will benefit from our efforts.”

Students interested in volunteering with the Campus Kitchen at George Mason University should contact Kyle Brooks at kbrooks8@gmu.edu and like their Facebook page.

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

Click here to learn more about grant opportunities.

Who’s going to be number 50?

, September 18th, 2015

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From September to October, The Campus Kitchens Project will be launching four new Campus Kitchens across the nation. As CKP’s network continues to grow, we can’t help but wonder who will be our 50th Campus Kitchen. Will a Campus Kitchen surface in the mid-west? Or will our network continue expanding through the west coast? We can’t wait to see where our student leaders take us next. Stay tuned for more Campus Kitchen updates!

The 46th Campus Kitchen
The Campus Kitchen at Merrimack College (CKMC) is the 46th Campus Kitchen to bring our program to their campus. The student-led organization will provide free, healthy meals to North Andover residents by using recovered food that would otherwise go to waste.

The Campus Kitchen at Merrimack College, sponsored by the Center for Campus Ministry, is the second Campus Kitchen in Massachusetts, joining the Campus Kitchen at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Merrimack College is one of four schools that participated in our launch grant video competition sponsored by Sodexo Foundation in March 2015. A group of campus representatives created a video 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, Merrimack College’s submission received almost 9,500 votes, winning them a $5,000 grant to bring our program to their campus. Read more about CKMC here.

The 47th Campus Kitchen
Today, George Mason University joined The Campus Kitchens Project, becoming the 47th Campus Kitchen to become part of the national network.

The Campus Kitchen at George Mason University will conduct cooking shifts at Southside Dining Hall, and will recover food from Southside, The Globe, and Mason Catering, with support from Sodexo. Volunteers with the Campus Kitchen at George Mason University will begin meal service at Cornerstones and the Katherine Hanley Shelter, with plans to add additional client agencies in the future as the organization expands on campus. Read more about CKGMU here.

The 48th Campus Kitchen
Virginia Tech joins The Campus Kitchens Project as the 48th Campus Kitchen. The Campus Kitchen at Virginia Tech (CKVT) will work towards ending hunger in New River Valley by transforming unused food from dining halls, grocery stores, restaurants, and farmers markets into healthy meals that are delivered to local agencies serving the community.

Volunteers will deliver meals to New River Valley Agency on Aging each Friday so that clients will have access to supplemental food on the weekends. CKVT is sponsored by VT Engage and the program is made possible through collaboration with Virginia Tech Dining Services, and is building upon food recovery efforts already being done in the dining halls. Read more about CKVT here.

The 49th Campus Kitchens 
The University of Houston today joins The Campus Kitchens Project with the official launch of their own Campus Kitchen, becoming the 49th Campus Kitchen to join the national network. The Campus Kitchen at the University of Houston (CKUH) is sponsored by The Bonner Leaders Program, a four-year service oriented leadership program hosted in The Honors College at the University of Houston. Student leaders at the Campus Kitchen at University of Houston will dedicate 5-10 hours of each week to conduct food recovery shifts at Fresh Foods at Moody Towers and Cougar Woods Dining Halls on campus, with support from Aramark.  Volunteers will begin meal deliveries with their community partners at New Hope for Housing. Student leaders are excited to be providing opportunities for their peers to grow, learn, and serve as hunger fighters. Read more about CKUH here.

 

Click here to start a Campus Kitchen.

The Campus Kitchen Project comes to Merrimack College

, September 18th, 2015

Merrimack College today joined The Campus Kitchens Project with the official launch of their own Campus Kitchen. The student-led organization will provide free, healthy meals to North Andover residents by using recovered food that would otherwise go to waste. With the launch of the program, The Campus Kitchen at Merrimack College will become the 46th Campus Kitchen to join the national network.

The Campus Kitchen at Merrimack College, sponsored by Center for Campus Ministry, is the second Campus Kitchen in Massachusetts, joining the Campus Kitchen at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Merrimack College is one of four schools that participated in our launch grant video competition sponsored by Sodexo Foundation in March 2015. A group of campus representatives created a video 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, Merrimack College’s submission received almost 9,500 votes, winning them a $5,000 grant to bring our program to their campus.

The Campus Kitchen at Merrimack College will conduct cooking shifts at Sparky’s Dining Hall, the main dining hall on campus, and will recover food from Wholefoods Markets, a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) partnership with Farmer Dave’s, and Sparky’s Dining Hall with support from Sodexo. Volunteers with the Campus Kitchen at Merrimack College will serve the Lazarus House Homeless Shelter each Sunday evening.

“It’s been a lot of work getting to our official launch, but I couldn’t be more proud of everyone involved,” said Amy Byrne, a student volunteer with the Campus Kitchen at Merrimack College. “The Campus Kitchen system builds a healthier community from so many different angles, and we are so thrilled to get it up and running on our campus.”

Matt, our Expansion and Partnerships Manager, and Olivia, our Community Development Coordinator, are spending the next few days in North Andover sharing best practices with the student leaders who will be running the Campus Kitchen, equipping them with the skills and knowledge they need to run an effective community-based organization.

In the last academic year, Campus Kitchens across the country rescued more than 972,664 pounds of food and served 310,948 meals to 15,418 clients. We’re thrilled to welcome the students at Merrimack College 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.

The Campus Kitchen at Auburn University aids East Alabama

, September 14th, 2015

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The Campus Kitchen at Auburn University is a leader in fighting hunger and food waste in the Auburn community. Auburn University is also the headquarters for Universities Fighting World Hunger. Most recently, the Campus Kitchen at Auburn University (CKAU) sought out collaboration with another campus organization to raise funds for a local partner agency in need of better resources.

CKAU connected with Committee of 19, another hunger fighting organization on Auburn University’s campus that advocates for food security. Through this student collaboration, the two organizations began a client partnership with the Food Bank of East Alabama’s Community Market, which works to alleviate hunger in the community through a friendly grocery-store environment.

On a visit to the Community Market one day, student volunteers heard about the Market’s need for more cooler space to keep produce fresher, longer. The students reached out to CKAU student leaders to collaborate on fundraising and possibly start bringing meals to the clients of the Market.

Acting quickly and resourcefully, CKAU and Committee of 19 began a fundraising campaign, secured a large contribution from the Waters Foundation, and gathered funds from CKP’s annual fundraiser, Raise the Dough. CKAU and the Committee of 19 raised over $1,000 for the Community Market. With these funds, the Community Market was able to purchase and install a three-door cooler.

The new refrigerator allows the Community Market to properly store large amounts of produce so food stays fresh for longer periods of time. Elsie Lott, the Community Market Coordinator, says, “Because of them we are able to get a lot more food in here and store it in this cooler. That has been a blessing for us.” Thanks to the efforts of our student leaders, this new addition will better help serve hungry families in the area and provide quality access to healthy foods.

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