Campbell launches Campus Kitchen to address hunger, food waste

BUIES CREEK, North Carolina – Campbell University joins The Campus Kitchens Project, the leading national nonprofit empowering students to fight hunger and food waste, with the official launch of its own Campus Kitchen on Wednesday, Nov. 3. The student-led organization will turn wasted food into healthy, balanced meals for the local community.

With the launch of the program, the Campus Kitchen at Campbell University will become the 56th Campus Kitchen to join the national network.

At Campus Kitchens across the country, students lead efforts to combat food waste and hunger by transforming surplus food from dining halls, community gardens, restaurants, and grocery stores into healthy meals for their community.

“We are honored to become the 56th Campus Kitchen in the national network,” said Faithe Beam, dean for spiritual life and campus minister. “Over the past year, our student leadership team has worked diligently in the process to educate and prepare our campus to serve the community in this way. We look forward to the ways in which Campus Kitchen will allow us to participate in the Harnett County community through meaningful and sustainable engagement.”

Campbell University first became acquainted with The Campus Kitchens Project during a mission trip to Washington, D.C., in 2015. While serving at the DC Kitchen, students discussed the food insecurity needs of Harnett County and how Campbell could meet those needs. Over the course of a year and half, student leaders and the Office of Spiritual Life completed the necessary steps to become an official Campus Kitchen, received the proper food safety certifications to supervise cooking and serving teams, and secured a $5,000 grant to fund their efforts.

Campus Kitchen at Campbell University operates out of a commercial kitchen connected to the Five N Two Food Pantry in western Harnett County. Student teams manage regular food reclamation, menu selection, volunteer schedules, and budgets. Meals are prepared the afternoon of a Campus Kitchen event then delivered to and served at Highland Middle School. Beginning in Jan. 2016, the kitchen will serve meals every other Thursday night.

In the last academic year, Campus Kitchens across the country recovered more than 1.3 million pounds of wasted food and served nearly 350,000 meals. Student volunteers with the national organization also work to promote sustainable solutions to address hunger and food insecurity in their communities.