Last year, Admissions Ambassador Jeff Mogavero ’16 wrote a fantastic post about the Campus Kitchen at St. Lawrence University. For me, a senior at St. Lawrence, I am enjoying my fourth year with Campus Kitchens and am currently the president or our chapter! Every day I am impressed with the incredible work that St. Lawrence students are doing with this organization. It seems like only yesterday I attended my first serving shift as a first-year student working to complete my community-based learning requirement in the First-Year Program, yet here I am, four years later, wishing I had more time with the Campus Kitchen at St. Lawrence.
The Campus Kitchens Project is a national organization dedicated to combating food insecurity in the United States. At St. Lawrence, our well-balanced meals are prepared every Sunday and served every Monday and the food is from local farm produce, donations from food pantries and leftover food from Dana Dining Hall that was not served to students, but is still fresh and delicious.
We recently received statistics about the impact we had last year. In 2013-14, students at St. Lawrence dedicated 2,167 hours to procuring, preparing and serving food. By serving 1,836 meals, the volunteers of Campus Kitchens were able to recover 2,371 pounds of food that would normally have been wasted. This year, we are serving an average of 50 community members a week. The volunteers, new and old, are full of energy, passion and yummy meal ideas. We have been able to enjoy the beautiful North Country during blueberry-picking expeditions and trips to the Sustainability Semester campus. As a completely student-run organization, we are ecstatic about our success and motivated to continue our efforts.
Our work is also motivating others to get involved. Recently, I was asked to attend a discussion at Clarkson University because the success of the St. Lawrence inspired Clarkson faculty and students to begin combating food insecurity in the North Country. We viewed a documentary about this issue on a national scale and then had an interactive discussion about how we can continue to combat food insecurity. With 1 in 6 Americans not knowing where their next meal is coming from, I am encouraged and hopeful that more universities want to help ameliorate this problem and become involved with their local community.
Looking back at my St. Lawrence career, I cannot imagine not being involved with Campus Kitchens. Not only have I met some of my closest friends, I have also formed relationships with community members, ranging from 4 year old children, to senior citizens. If you enjoy community service, want to try something new or are a chef extraordinaire, come spend some times with Campus Kitchens!
If you want to get involved, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! We are always excited to have new volunteers or just to talk about all the work we are doing in the area.