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Campus Kitchen

The Campus Kitchens Project is a nonprofit organization where students invent and develop community hunger programs that serve their communities.

The Campus Kitchens Project is an emerging leader in community service for students and resourceful anti-hunger programs for communities around the country.

What we do is kind of a no-brainer. We know there are people in each community who need nourishing meals. And, we know that every college campus has unserved food in its dining halls and brilliant students in its classrooms. So we put them all together. We empower thousands of students each year to recycle food from their cafeterias, turn these donations into nourishing meals, and deliver those meals (along with a friendly visit) to those who need it most in communities across the country. Then, we open up that on-campus kitchen space to teach culinary skills to unemployed men and women, who in turn teach the college students a thing or two about poverty, stereotypes, and what it takes to make it these days.

In our first four years out, we’re pretty successful. So far, we’re at eight schools around the country: big schools and small schools; rural and urban; colleges and high schools (well, one high school). We’ve recycled more than 336,000 pounds of food; delivered more than 300,000 meals; graduated 67 Culinary Job Training students, and engaged more than 2,000 students in 54,000 volunteer hours.

The best part is that students run the whole show. They plan the menus, get the food, run the cooking shifts, organize the drivers, and teach culinary skills to unemployed adults. Then, they keep track of all of the paperwork (so we know everything’s being done safely), organize fundraisers, develop curriculum, and recruit new students to get involved. They accomplish an incredible amount of work every day. And then, they take those skills into their jobs when they graduate from school.

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