St. Lawrence University was one of five colleges in the national Campus Kitchens network that will receive $3,000 to address rural hunger in their community. The sub-grants totaling $15,000 are sponsored by Denver, Colorado-based CoBank.
The Campus Kitchens Project is a leading national nonprofit that empowers students to fight hunger and food waste in their communities. The Campus Kitchen at St. Lawrence University launched in 2010 and was the 20th Campus Kitchen to join the national network. At Campus Kitchens across the country, students lead efforts to combat food waste and hunger by collecting surplus food from on-campus dining halls, community gardens, restaurants, and grocery stores and transforming it into healthy meals.
The $3,000 sub-grant from CoBank will support student volunteers with The Campus Kitchen at St. Lawrence University to continue addressing rural hunger in the North Country and to provide a warm healthy meal each week to those in need. This grant will enable them to collaborate with the local school system and other volunteer groups on campus to address healthy eating, food waste and food insecurity.
Allison Pilcher ’19 of Colchester, Vermont, is treasurer of The Campus Kitchen at St. Lawrence. She said the organization feeds about 30 senior citizens in Canton a hot meal and provides snacks for 85 food-insecure children in the Canton Central School District.
“St. Lawrence County is one of the poorest counties in New York State,” said Allison, who is majoring in environmental studies-sociology and minoring in government. “Rural hunger provides additional challenges as it is difficult for us to reach everyone in need. Knowing that we can accomplish that through donated food and volunteered time is incredible. In the winter, we get fewer food donations, and in the summer, we have fewer volunteers. This grant is important for our chapter because it enables us to continue providing this community resource year-round.”
The 2017 cohort of five Campus Kitchens who will be part of the CoBank Rural Hunger Outreach Network, in addition to St. Lawrence, are:
- Elon University in Elon, North Carolina
- Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, Kentucky
- Troy University in Troy, Alabama
- Washington and Lee in Lexington, Virginia
Every Campus Kitchen in the CoBank Rural Hunger Outreach Network will utilize innovative strategies to address rural hunger in their community.
In the last academic year, student volunteers with The Campus Kitchens Project recovered more than 1.3 million pounds of wasted food and served nearly 350,000 meals to those in need.