Student-Powered Hunger Relief

Campus Kitchen at ECU develops nutrition education program

, May 28th, 2014


The Campus Kitchen at East Carolina University has a reputation for making a positive impact in their campus community. In the 2013-2014 school year alone, they served more than 1,800 meals to 4 different client agencies. But serving meals is not the only thing at which the student leaders with the Campus Kitchen at ECU (CKECU) excel. Earlier this spring, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Pitt County approached CKECU with a need: volunteers who would go beyond the meal and educate students on nutrition and healthy habits.

To meet this need, CKECU developed a custom six week program for the children, combining highlights from our Building Blocks for Healthy Kids curriculum and the Boys and Girls Clubs’ Healthy Habits curriculum. In all, 120 children at two Boys and Girls Club locations experienced the entire customized curriculum and were able to successfully recall what they had learned at the end of the program.

As they started developing their nutrition program, CKECU recruited and trained eight nutrition outreach coordinators, engaging six nutrition majors and four students who were new to the Campus Kitchen. These leaders were responsible not only for teaching twice a week, but also for developing lesson plans using the two curricula.

The program concluded during the week of May 5 with healthy banana splits and a game of “Food Group Jeopardy” – which can both be found in Lesson 4 of Building Blocks for Healthy Kids – for review.

But CKECU’s beyond the meal programming won’t stop there: this summer, they plan to teach their clients about healthy drink choices by using some of the 1,800 bottles of Dasani water donated through a Coca-Cola campaign on the ECU campus. Not only will students emphasize the importance of staying hydrated throughout the hot North Carolina summers, they will demonstrate just how much sugar and calories can be found in drinks other than water.

The Campus Kitchen at ECU will continue to operate throughout the summer thanks to support from Ameriprise Financial. You can get involved with their efforts to create 1,000 healthy meals in the next three months by volunteering while many of their students are away.

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