Student-Powered Hunger Relief

Campus Kitchens News

Welcoming James Madison University!

, May 2nd, 2017

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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.

Welcoming Austin Peay State University!

, April 14th, 2017

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The Campus Kitchens Project is excited to welcome Austin Peay State University to our national network of over 60 schools. The Campus Kitchen at Austin Peay State University (CKAPSU) is focused on fighting food insecurity within their community both on and off campus in Clarksville, Tennessee.

The Campus Kitchen at Austin Peay State University was one of three schools to win our fall launch grant video competition, sponsored by CoBank, a national cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America. In one week, Austin Peay received over 2600 votes from students, alumni, faculty, staff and school supporters to help them finish in third place.

With support from the school’s dining services provider, Chartwells, the Campus Kitchen at Austin Peay State University will recover food from “The Tree of Life Center”, an organic market and wellness center in Clarksville, every other month and from Loaves and Fishes on an as-needed basis. The Campus Kitchen will then cook and serve weekly meals at the local Salvation Army for the Youth Character Building program. CKAPSU also has plans to use a small garden space on campus to grow fresh produce and herbs to add to their meals.

“Creating a Campus Kitchen has provided a great opportunity to not only reach those in need, but also teach others about the right to healthy living” said Crystal Brinkley, an AmeriCorps VISTA and the CKAPSU coordinator.

Our own Jenny Bird was at Austin Peay State University for their launch event which included a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement and a food prep and delivery to the local Salvation Army.

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

Highlights from the 2017 Food Waste & Hunger Summit

, March 29th, 2017

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From March 24-25, over 300 hunger fighters gathered at Walsh University for Summit Squared. Summit Squared combined The Campus Kitchens Project’s annual Food Waste & Hunger Summit with the Universities Fighting World Hunger Annual Summit.  Attendees enjoyed two days packed with learning about advocacy, service and leadership. If you missed it, check out #summitsquared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get a glimpse of the excitement and energy building in this movement.  You can also see photos from Summit Squared here!

Partners, Co-Conveners and Host

Summit Squared was an incredible success, but wouldn’t have been possible without our co-conveners, Universities Fighting World Hunger, our partners, including The Rockefeller Foundation, The J.M Smucker Company, Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation, AARP Foundation and CoBank, or our fantastic host, Walsh University. We absolutely met our 2017 #ckpresolution to make this year’s Summit bigger and better than ever!

Trash Hunger, Not Food Toolkit

We were excited to unveil the Trash Hunger, Not Food Toolkit at Summit Squared! With support from The Rockefeller Foundation, The Campus Kitchens Project and Universities Fighting World Hunger created this toolkit to not only better equip you as a food waste champion, but also to help you mobilize your school to become a hunger-free campus. You can download your own copy of the toolkit at www.campusfoodwaste.org. Plus, don’t miss the video, media kit, and a sample workshop that you can bring back to your campus!

Featured Speakers

We had an incredible line-up of featured speakers including Joel Berg, Ambassador Tony Hall, Lisa Marsh Ryerson, Roger Thurow and Alexander Moore. Each one brought their own unique message, by focusing on how we can go even further in our work to end hunger. Lisa Marsh Ryerson also shared the news of AARP Foundation’s renewed and expanded support for the work of The Campus Kitchens Project. Recordings of all the featured speakers will be posted shortly, so check back soon!

Advocacy table

One new way for attendees to take action during Summit Squared was at our Paper Plate Advocacy Table. Attendees composed short messages to their elected officials on a paper plate sharing why hunger matters to them. It was great to see everyone being so creative with their plates and we’re sure that they will make an impact on all the elected officials they get sent to.

Awards

One of our favorite aspects of the Food Waste & Summit is the Awards dinner, where we present the CKP Awards! This year was no exception and you can read all about the winners here. We had the chance to recognize many of our fantastic students, and several Campus Kitchens that have achieved incredible impact over the past year.

Breakout Sessions

We couldn’t have asked for a better line-up of breakout sessions this year! We had over 25 different sessions focused on several themes including Advocacy & Storytelling, Deepening Your Knowledge, Expanding Access-On Campus & Beyond, Global Perspectives, Maximizing Your Impact, Resources for Food Recovery and Understanding Stakeholders. There were also some familiar faces leading breakout sessions including Alex Moore, one of our former VISTAs, Andrea Lindsay!

Summit Squared App

This year, attendees were able to connect online using our Summit Squared App. Everyone was able to engage in conversations with fellow attendees, share what they were most looking forward to, and post photos of breakout sessions and featured speakers. We loved seeing all the great discussions about bringing ideas from Summit Squared back to their communities.

2017 Campus Kitchen Awards Winners

, March 29th, 2017

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At the 2017 Food Waste & Hunger Summit, Campus Kitchens from around the country gathered to celebrate their accomplishments over the past year. Below are eight individuals and Campus Kitchens with awards acknowledging their commitment to fighting hunger and dedication to the Campus Kitchen network.

Community Impact Awardhonors a Campus Kitchen that has made a measurable impact on food insecurity in their community, and has put in the effort to track their outcomes.

The Campus Kitchen at the University of Georgia

CKUGA leads the way in program evaluation, measuring the impact of their work. Last fall, they realized many of their older adult clients struggled with issues beyond hunger, including lack of mobility. They decided to develop a survey to evaluate the prevalence of these issues, distributing the surveys at a community meal. They asked questions about food insecurity, the ability to perform housework, and social isolation over the holidays. The surveys they received back allowed them to understand their clients’ needs in a new way, and come up with a plan to address them. They also do a fantastic job of evaluating the results of their Lunch Buddy Program, which has demonstrated that 90% of their clients feel less isolated as a result of the program.

In addition, this Campus Kitchen has recently been selected to receive a $50,000 subgrant, sponsored by AARP Foundation, to develop evaluation resources and help all of our Campus Kitchens effectively measure the impact that their work has on senior hunger.

This Campus Kitchen takes the work they do seriously. They are not content to simply run a program for its own sake, but endeavor to understand the results they are having, with the aim of delivering the maximum impact for their clients.

Harvester awarded to a student who has brought cross-disciplinary knowledge and skills to their Campus Kitchen.

Carson Bell, The Campus Kitchen at the University of Florida

Carson Bell is a Sustainability Studies Major who has brought her program new life.  When she joined the Leadership Team in 2015 the program was struggling with a small LT and a lack of strong leadership.  She realized the potential the program had to address hunger in their community.  Under her leadership, she was able to bring energy and purpose to the Leadership Team meetings and recruit new volunteers.

Strong leadership was not the only issue this program was facing.  They desperately needed to develop new partnerships to obtain food donations.  She was able to secure regular donations from Greek organizations, restaurants, and on-campus dining services.  Her organizational skills, her ability to rally the student volunteers around the purpose the Campus Kitchen, and the ability to face challenges with perseverance have been impressive.

Nopalitos Awardgoes to the Campus Kitchen who never faltered in the face of adversity and instead rose to every challenge and took every difficulty in stride.

The Campus Kitchen at Augsburg

We never cease to be amazed by the hard work and creativity that Campus Kitchen leaders invest in their work. Last month at CKAC, the University’s main dining hall kitchen–where the students prepare meals–had a small fire. As a result, they did not receive food donations, nor did they have space on campus to cook. They called on their connections in the neighborhood and reached out to other campuses, and were able to get food donated once per week from a neighboring university, and use the kitchen at one of their client agencies. The shift leaders and volunteers did an incredible job getting food safely to the new cooking space, and turning it into delicious meals so that their service to their clients could go on. Through the process, they even made new partnerships for food sourcing that they plan to continue after they return to their regular routine. At a time when it would have been easy to give up, they overcame an unexpected difficulty with grace and a focus on providing uninterrupted service to those who depend on them.

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Join the CKP team!

, March 14th, 2017

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CKP is hiring! If you’re passionate about ending hunger and food waste, eliminating food deserts, or any other food/hunger-related issue, we’ve got jobs for you! In partnership with Hunger Free America’s Anti-Hunger and Opportunity Corps, we are recruiting several year-long AmeriCorps VISTA positions at different Campus Kitchen locations and two summer associates. We are also looking for a summer intern in our DC office.

The Campus Kitchen at Northwestern University VISTA (rolling)

The Campus Kitchen at Marquette University VISTA (rolling)

The Campus Kitchen at UMass Boston Summer Associate (rolling)

The Campus Kitchen at Northwestern University Summer Associate (rolling)

The Campus Kitchen at UMass Boston VISTA (due April 17)

The Campus Kitchens Project National Office VISTA (due April 17)

Communications and Events Intern (due April 21) 

Anti-Hunger & Opportunity Corps VISTA Member – the Campus Kitchen at Northwestern University

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Raise the Dough 2017

, March 1st, 2017

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From February 17-24, 26 Campus Kitchens across the country competed against one another to see who could raise the most money to support their Campus Kitchen. Our student volunteers reached out to hundreds of their peers, faculty members and community supporters with impressive results. Together, they raised $50,904 to support their innovative student-powered hunger relief efforts.

For the first time in Raise the Dough history, we had a tie for first place between the Campus Kitchen at Gettysburg College (CKGC) and the Campus Kitchen at Washington, DC (CKWDC) each raising $8,000 when the competition closed at midnight on Friday! Both teams will win an additional $750 from us for raising the most “dough”. CKWDC will use these funds to support their food recovery and meal production efforts in the DC area. In 2016, CKWDC served nearly 40,000 meals and recovered more than 53,000 pounds of food and they hope to increase those numbers this year. CKGC will use the funds raised to support their Healthy Options program, which provides families experiencing food insecurity, yet not eligible for federal food assistance programs, with the increased ability to purchase healthy, fresh foods.

Students with the Campus Kitchen at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (CKUMES) raised $4,463, coming in third and winning an additional $250.

The Campus Kitchen at Gonzaga College High School (CKGCHS) leveraged the support of 122 donors, earning the $750 award money for most donors for the second year in a row. In addition, CKGCHS raised $6,092 dollars during the competition.

A giant “thank you” goes out to all of our 889 donors and to all who shared our challenge with their own networks. Your support makes all the difference in aiding our solutions to hunger and food waste, which since 2001 has empowered student volunteers to recover more than 6 million pounds of food and serve over 3 million meals. Thank you for investing in our work!

Welcoming Williams College as the 60th Campus Kitchen

, February 24th, 2017

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The Campus Kitchens Project is excited to welcome our 60th Campus Kitchen, Williams College, to our national network. The Campus Kitchen at Williams College (CKWC) unites two student groups, Williams Recovery of All Perishable Surplus (WRAPS) and Moo-Mami, who will work together to address food insecurity in northern Berkshire County.

The Campus Kitchen at Williams College was one of three schools to win our fall launch grant video competition, sponsored by CoBank, a national cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America. In one week, Williams received over 2700 votes from students, alumni, faculty, staff and school supporters to help them finish in second place.

WRAPS and Moo-Mami, a student cooking group, will work collaboratively under the CKWC umbrella to gather, prepare and distribute free, healthy meals to local  housing communities and organizations including the Mohawk Forest Apartments and Louison House. With support from their dining service provider, they will have three food recovery shifts, three meal prep shifts and one bi-weekly cooking class. CKWC is sponsored by the school’s Center for Learning in Action and will continue to expand their partnerships with other student groups on campus including The Garden: Williams Sustainable Growers.

“The Campus Kitchen team at Williams College is extremely excited to join a national network of people seeking to serve each other by alleviating hunger”, said CKWC Coordinator, Megan Maher ’17. “The Campus Kitchens Project provides a unique opportunity for us to collaborate with a variety of student and community groups who have already begun this work in our area. Not only will the Campus Kitchen help us coordinate and strengthen existing efforts, but it will also allow us to brainstorm new ways to expand our work, build relationships with new people, and connect more deeply with our local communities.”

Matt Schnarr, CKP’s Expansion and Partnership Manager, AmeriCorps VISTA, Eirann Cohen, Williams College Class of 2015 and DC Central Kitchen CEO, Mike Curtin, Williams College Class of 1986, spent two days in Williamstown, Massachusetts for the CKWC official launch, which included meetings with community members and student leaders as well as a meal prep and delivery shift. We are excited to add Williams College as our 60th Campus Kitchen as they help us to reduce food insecurity and prevent food waste!

Listen to Mike Curtin discuss the Campus Kitchen at Williams College launch on WAMC Northeast Public Radio!

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

Welcoming Shenandoah University as the 59th Campus Kitchen!

, February 10th, 2017

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The Campus Kitchens Project is excited to welcome Shenandoah University to our national network. The Campus Kitchen at Shenandoah University (CKSU) will work towards ending hunger in the Winchester community 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.

With the launch of the program, the Campus Kitchen at Shenandoah will become the 59th Campus Kitchen to join the national network and the 14th school to focus its efforts on fighting rural hunger. The Campus Kitchen at Shenandoah is supported by a grant from CoBank, a national cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America.

CKSU is sponsored by the school’s Center for Public Service and Scholarship, and is partnering with other on-campus organizations, including the Culinary Council, for volunteer recruitment.

With support from their dining service provider, Sodexo, CKSU will recover food from dining halls twice a week. Student volunteers will prepare 150-200 meals weekly and will deliver these meals to the Congregational Community Action Project.

“I cannot contain my enthusiasm to finally start the Campus Kitchen at SU!” said Shelby Ellis, student leader, class of 2018. “This project has been in the making since the Spring of 2015 and all of us here at Shenandoah are looking forward to identifying solutions for food insecurity in our community.”

Olivia Rogine, CKP’s Community Development Coordinator, spent the day in Winchester, Virginia 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 CKSU 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.

New Year’s Resolutions

, January 3rd, 2017

It’s a great time to reflect on the past year and think about goals for the upcoming year. We’d like to share some of our goals for 2017, but we need your help to get there!

1)    Grow Our Community! 
We were excited to welcome nine new schools to our network of hunger fighters in 2016, including our first community college, Casper College. Students at Casper College are addressing hunger on campus and serving the community where ~ 9,000 people face daily food insecurity. In 2017, our goal is to expand to more schools, especially community colleges, across the nation. Have any friends to refer?

2)    Fight On-Campus Hunger
2016 called attention to the growing issue of hunger on college campuses and highlighted schools that are already doing great work through on campus food pantries. In 2017, we want to continue to focus on combating food insecurity on college campuses by providing you with additional resources. Start by visiting The Campus Kitchen Pantry‘s Hunger on Campus section and stay tuned for more resources coming soon!

3)    Make the 2017 Food Waste & Hunger Summit Our Biggest and Best Yet!
This spring, the annual Food Waste & Hunger Summit will be bigger and better than ever! We are joining forces with Universities Fighting World Hunger to present Summit Squared at Walsh University in Canton, Ohio on March 24-25. Learn more about the Summit here! We want you to be part of this year’s Summit!  Apply to speak by January 20th, and pre-register for the Summit today and be the first to know when registration opens!

4)    Recover Our 7 Millionth Pound of Food
In 2016, our team of hunger fighters recovered our 6 millionth pound of food! The Campus Kitchen community has recovered food and created meals where there is need across the nation. Had it not been for the hard work and dedication of all our student volunteers, that food would have gone to waste. We are so proud of this amazing achievement, but the work doesn’t end there, let’s recover our next million pounds in 2017!

5)    Build and Grow our Community through the Campus Kitchen Center 
Many of you have done a great job getting involved on the Campus Kitchen Center this year (shout out to the Campus Kitchen at Baylor University for being the leader in total points!). If you haven’t gotten started, 2017 is a perfect time to start! The Center is a good way to connect with other Campus Kitchens within our network, including planning schools. As a current Campus Kitchen, this is a great opportunity for you to help new schools as they are shaping their own programs. You can also earn prizes and supplies, and may pick up a new idea or two that you can bring back to your own team! If you want to learn more about The Campus Kitchen Center, this webinar is a great resource!

We want to hear about your goals for 2017! Use #ckpresolutions to share your Campus Kitchen New Year’s Resolutions with us! We hope you are just as excited as we are about 2017!

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.

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