Meal Plan: Campus kitchen will help feed the hungry
Published 3:00 am Friday, October 31, 2014
By Ngoc Vo
Students at Troy University are reaching out to help fight hunger in the community.
On Thursday, Troy University launched its Campus Kitchen Project in partnership with the Office of Service Learning and Civic Engagement, Head Start program and Troy University Dining Services.
This student-run project is designed to tackle hunger problems within our local community, said project representative Ryan Cole.
Surplus food, which will otherwise go to waste, will be recovered from Troy University’s main dining hall on campus to be distributed to children at the Pike County Head Start Program. The program serves children ages 3 to 5.
“We introduce this program to make a difference in our community and actually see the impacts of our efforts,” Cole said.
According to Cole, one in four people in the local areas live below the poverty level, and one in three are children.
Cole said Campus Kitchen will start its operation next Monday. Plans are to collect surplus food on Monday through Wednesday and distribute on Thursday and Friday. Volunteer students will store the food in available freezer space, then repackage it to give to children to take home.
“The Campus Kitchen project will initially serve the Head Start program … but we plan to expand to partner with other agencies in the future,” Cole said.
Matt Schnarr, partnership director of the Campus Kitchen Project, said Troy University’s Campus Kitchen is among 39 other contributing network of schools nationwide. During the last academic year, there were around 20,000 student volunteers for the project, rescuing more than 900,000 pounds of food and serving more than 270,000 meals.
The project impacts communities and breaks down barriers and walls, Schnarr said. Food is the commonality that people gather around and is the basic of his program.
Johnathan Cellon, Coordinator of Service Learning and Civic Engagement, said the project would not only provide food to people in need in the community but also have positive impacts on other matters.
“We will use food to address issues like education, nutrition and health,” Cellon said.
According to Cellon, approximately 60 meals a week will be delivered to families in the community though Campus Kitchen Project.