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SLU Campus Kitchen Celebrates Five YearsThe Campus Kitchen at Saint Louis University (CKSLU) served up its 125,000th meal Sept. 19 as the innovative outreach program celebrated its fifth anniversary. Home to the nation’s first Campus Kitchen, SLU students cook safe, unused food from campus dining facilities and deliver approximately 2,000 meals a month to low-income individuals and local community organizations.
Five Years and Counting
The celebration began Sept. 18 with an outdoor dinner with live music. “Kitchen Karma” followed, with volunteer training, preparation of 200 meals and food pick-ups from Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Market.
On Sept. 19, Karen Borchert, the director and founder of the Campus Kitchens Project and the Campus Kitchen at Saint Louis University, spoke about the Kitchen's success over the past five years and formally thanked the University, Chartwells, the students, and our clients for taking a chance on this innovative, unprecendented program that has given birth to nine other Campus Kitchens across the United States.
Borchert then introduced Megan Henney, the Campus Kitchens Project's national volunteer of the year. Henney discussed the Campus Kitchen and its impact on her life -- namely the "home" that it gave her here on SLU's campus as well as the opportunity that she had this summer to be the interim coordinator of the Kitchen. Henney then presented CKSLU's 125,000 meal to a special client.
Following Borchert’s remarks, guests broke into groups to tour the Campus Kitchen facilities. Guests learned about food recycling with CK partners, cooking nutritionally balanced meals, delivering meals and encouraging personal interaction between volunteers and clients, and job training.
Guests then enjoyed a lunch from Chartwells, the University’s dining service and a partner to Campus Kitchen; Whole Foods Market, partner to Campus Kitchen; and students from SLU’s department of nutrition and dietetics. Honored guests included University President Lawrence Biondi, S.J.; University Provost Joe Weixlmann, Ph.D., and vice presidents Thomas W. Keefe, Kent Porterfield, John Baworowsky, Ellen Watson and Kathy Hagedorn, among others.
SLU Success Leads to More Outreach
SLU’s success has paved the way for The Campus Kitchens Project (CKP) to open three new sites this fall: Wake Forest University, Washington and Lee University and the University of Nebraska at Kearney. These new locations bring the network to 10 Campus Kitchens nationwide.
The Campus Kitchens Project also has started a Culinary Job Training program for adults, who learn valuable skills while filling the need for volunteers during summer break.
To date, the Campus Kitchens have racked up some impressive numbers nationally.
For more information, call Jenna Grime, coordinator of the SLU Campus Kitchen, at (314) 977-3881.
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