For the past seven days, 24 Campus Kitchens across the country competed against one another to see who could raise the most money to support their hunger-fighting work. They galvanized hundreds of student, faculty and community supporters – 943, to be exact – with impressive results. Together, they raised $56,293 to support their innovative student-powered hunger relief efforts.
The Campus Kitchen at Washington, DC (CKWDC) raised $12,715, thereby winning an additional $1,000 prize for raising the most “dough” of any Campus Kitchen. CKWDC will use the funds they raised to support their food recovery and meal production efforts – they plan to create 15,000 healthy, balanced meals for Washington, DC residents this year alone. Further, the Campus Kitchen is aiming to expand their services to an under-served community east of the Anacostia River to provide fresh produce and healthful meals in an area considered a food desert.
The Campus Kitchen at Gettysburg College came in second place, raising $10,537 and winning an additional $500 grant. Students with the Campus Kitchen at Saint Peter’s University raised $6,000 to come in third, winning an additional $250. Finally, a $750 prize was also given to the Campus Kitchen at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore/Shady Grove (who raised $5,020) for engaging 159 donors – the most of any competitor.
A giant “thank you” goes out to all of our 943 donors and to all who shared our challenge with their own networks. Your support makes all the difference in powering our lean and sustainable solutions to hunger, which since 2001 has empowered student volunteers to recover more than 4,163,000 pounds of food and serve more than 2,334,000 meals. Thank you for investing in our work!
A new two-year, $150,000 investment from CoBank will support the development of innovative hunger solutions at seven Campus Kitchens in rural communities across the country.
Each of these Campus Kitchens will use existing college or university campus resources to develop innovative programs that address the root causes of hunger, and develop a replicable toolkit for other schools to implement. Students are encouraged to incorporate local food systems as part of their solutions.
The seven Campus Kitchens selected to focus specifically on issues surrounding rural hunger are:
- Elon University – Elon, NC
- Gettysburg College – Gettysburg, PA
- Minnesota State University, Mankato – Mankato, MN
- St. Lawrence University – Canton, NY
- Troy University – Troy, AL
- University of Georgia – Athens, GA
- Washington and Lee University – Lexington, VA
Student volunteers from the seven selected Campus Kitchens will identify new and innovative solutions to hunger in their communities that go beyond the traditional model of providing meals. From Elon University’s strong partnerships with neighboring farms, to Gettysburg’s innovative distribution of free CSA shares, these campuses serve as the ideal “test kitchen” for more sustainable solutions to hunger. Our national program team will work with student leaders to evaluate the most effective rural-focused programs and support each Campus Kitchen in developing toolkits and trainings that will allow other universities to replicate these promising solutions.
We’re looking forward to developing long-term solutions to rural hunger with these Campus Kitchens, where traditional approaches to fighting hunger are not working. Instead of pouring more money into these old solutions, the next generation of student leaders at our Campus Kitchen chapters are bringing the existing resources of their universities to solve this endemic problem.
That’s right: the Raise the Dough Challenge starts today!
From now through the end of Friday, February 27, 24 of our Campus Kitchens are going head to head to see who can raise the most money. The Campus Kitchen that raises the most by the end of the week will win a $1,000 prize. Which Campus Kitchen do you want to come out on top? Support them with a $10 donation today, share your support on social media using #raisedough and stay tuned throughout the next seven days to see how the competition shakes out!
Don’t see your Campus Kitchen on our team page? Contribute to The Campus Kitchens Project nationally instead, and your donation will help us open more Campus Kitchens, growing our network to 50 or more schools!
For the second year in a row, The Campus Kitchens Project and Food Recovery Network are co-hosting the Food Waste & Hunger Summit, a two-day event that convenes student leaders who are pioneering solutions to the interrelated problems of food insecurity and food waste. This year, the Summit will be held at the University of Georgia from April 18-19, and registration is now open.
The Summit gives students a forum to learn from – and present as – 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. Because we believe in “student-powered hunger relief,” we’re proud that about one third of our breakout sessions will be led by student leaders from The Campus Kitchens Project and Food Recovery Network chapters. These students, as well as nonprofit leaders and academics from across the country, will share best practices around a variety of hunger-related issues. We’ve added the schedule as it stands so far to our website, and we’ll continue to update it with more details as the Summit gets closer!
Today, we’re thrilled to announce that this year’s featured keynote speaker is Doug Rauch. Doug is the former president of Trader Joe’s Company and current founder and president of Daily Table, an innovative retail concept designed to bring affordable nutrition to the food insecure in our cities by recovering the unsold, wholesome food from grocers, food service, growers and manufacturers to provide both ready-to-eat meals and basic groceries at prices that are less than junk food. Doug was also a recent Senior Fellow at Harvard University in their Advance Leadership Initiative, where he focused on the challenges of hunger and obesity and the environmental impact of wasted food.
We’ve always said we can’t end hunger with food – and we’ve always known we can’t do it alone, either. That’s why we join forces with organizations like Food Day, Real Food Challenge and Swipes for the Homeless – all partners of this year’s Summit – and one of our favorite parts of the Summit is exploring new ways of collaborating with organizations dedicated to empowering people to solve hunger. Want to join us this year? We’re offering a limited number of travel scholarships for students to attend the Summit, and applications are due on February 28. Register for the Food Waste & Hunger Summit today and join the movement end hunger in our lifetime!
What do the Campus Kitchen at Northwestern University, the Village of Park Forest (Ill.) government and the Community Action Partnership of Orange County (Calif.) all have in common?
All of these organizations are currently hosting AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers who are working to increase community access to healthy food as part of a national project called the Anti-Hunger and Opportunity Corps (AHOC). The two VISTAs currently serving with The Campus Kitchens Project—Andrea, based in the DC office, and Kelly, at Northwestern University—joined more than 100 AHOC VISTAs serving in 32 states at a mid-year conference in Louisiana from January 22-25. The mid-year conference gave Andrea and Kelly an opportunity to hear how organizations around the country are developing long-term solutions to hunger and poverty, a goal shared by The Campus Kitchens Project and the AHOC sponsor, the New York City Coalition Against Hunger (NYCCAH).
Kelly shares her reflections on the experience: “After more than six months being immersed in our communities and assigned projects, the mid-year conference was a chance for us to share ideas and best practices and learn from each others’ experiences. My favorite part of the conference was connecting with other VISTAs with similar passions and goals and learning about the creative ways they are increasing access to healthy, local food and reducing hunger in their communities. During a best practice session about engaging farmers’ markets in Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) programs, I learned how one VISTA is encouraging members of her community to use their SNAP benefits at farmers’ markets by creating a cookbook filled with easy and affordable recipes from farmers at the local market. I am excited to apply the knowledge and ideas I gained at the conference to my work at the Campus Kitchen at Northwestern University. I plan on developing bimonthly community food access newsletters that will include information about applying for SNAP and using SNAP incentives at Evanston farmers’ markets, healthy recipes highlighting seasonal ingredients from our local farmers, and updated soup kitchen schedules. It is my hope that these newsletters will enhance our involvement in the Evanston community.”
Andrea adds: “Hearing from leaders in the field of community food security like NYCCAH’s Executive Director Joel Berg and USDA Food and Nutrition Service Administrator Audrey Lowe was an inspiring call to action—we have the power to truly end hunger in America. We got to see some great examples of local efforts in New Orleans such as the ReFresh Project, a ‘community health hub’ that hosts healthy cooking classes, community gardens and a social enterprise and youth employment program called Liberty’s Kitchen. As part of ‘Hunger Matters: A National Day of Service,’ Kelly and I also had the opportunity to participate in Cooking Matters at the Store tours with the Second Harvest Food Bank. I’m looking forward to using what I learned from that experience, as well as AARP Foundation’s presentation on their store tours with older adults, to add practical shopping tips to the nutrition education resources I’m developing for Campus Kitchens.”
Kelly and Andrea returned to their respective offices excited to use what they learned to continue strengthening nutrition education, community gardening and other beyond the meal programs throughout the national network, and are already looking forward to the next AHOC conference in May. Events like the AHOC conferences and the upcoming Food Waste & Hunger Summit provide crucial opportunities for collaboration between organizations around the country that are using service as a tool to end hunger and develop more equitable and sustainable communities.
Have you ever seen a Campus Kitchen in action? Just a few days ago, Troy University took an inside look at the new Campus Kitchen at Troy, which recovers food from their Sodexo-run Troy Dining and serves children in the Pike County Head Start program. Watch this great video to learn more about the children they serve – and the students who make the Campus Kitchen happen.