Student-Powered Hunger Relief

Dining Services Pitch



Having a solid partnership with your school’s dining services is the best way to get to use that space to recover, cook and deliver food to those in need in your community.

Where should I start? First, do a little homework about your on-campus dining facilities. How many dining halls are there on your campus? When are they open? More importantly, when are they closed? Most Campus Kitchens hold cooking shifts after regular dining hall hours and work with dining services providers to create a schedule for recovery and delivery shifts.

Who do I talk to first? Start conversations with your dining services provider (Sodexo, Aramark, etc.). If you can, talk with a general manager or dining services director. Explain why you are interested in working with them on a Campus Kitchen and, if possible, bring along someone from your sponsoring office. It will also be important to talk to the other dining hall staff who will be working in and managing the space you will actually be using for your Campus Kitchen. However, you first need the approval of your campus dining director. If you are having trouble getting in touch with you dining director, try having your sponsoring office or other faculty/staff/administration reach out with you. CKP National office also has some strong connections with most national dining service providers that can be helpful if you are not moving forward easily with your contacts on campus.

How do I convince dining services to get on board? The first thing you should tell dining services is that The Campus Kitchens Project is a nationally recognized non-profit organization that has been working on campuses just like theirs across the country for over a decade. Letting them know that this program is already happening on campuses across the country and that you have a clear, time tested plan (with CKP National support) to make this happen on your campus can oftentimes give them more peace of mind.

What if dining services is concerned about risk management and liability? Let them know that:

  • Since 2001, we have recovered more than 5 million pounds of food and served more than 2.5 million meals without incident. Each of our Campus Kitchens is held to the same standards as a profession food service operation. To ensure food safety, client health, and volunteer safety, we have set up a system of recommended, industry standard checks for liability purposes.
  •  We have created and recommend all Campus Kitchens use our comprehensive food safety and tracking paperwork system to record the food temperatures and other HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) procedures. This paperwork system goes beyond industry standards and was developed based on best practices for Campus Kitchens.
  •  We also require that all shift leaders who will be directly responsible for working with the food are ServSafe certified, which is the same certification used in restaurants and dining service providers.
  • Lastly, programs like the Campus Kitchens Project are protected under the Good Samaritan Food Donations Act.

What are the benefits of working with a Campus Kitchen?

  • No food goes to waste, saving dining halls thousands of dollars each year.
  • Write off donations as in-kind contributions. There is even an enhanced tax deduction for food donations up to 1.5 times the cost of the food.
  • Volunteer opportunities for employees, which has been proven to increase employee retention.
  • On-campus and national recognition and publicity.
  • Connect with students, university and the community—not just a vendor but more ingrained into the fabric of campus and community life.

What will dining services provide the Campus Kitchen?

  • Provide sufficient storage for Campus Kitchen food/supplies (cooler, freezer and dry).
  • Agree to donate unused food to Campus Kitchen whenever available.
  • Allow Campus Kitchen staff access to kitchen space after hours and on weekends.
  • Train Campus Kitchen staff to use designated cooking equipment.
  • Use of dining services’ health department certification.
  • ServSafe training and annual kitchen safety audit.

Printable dining services support pitch:


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