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Kitchen Aid: Students pack boxed lunches

Jan. 20, 2010

By Tori Liggett
Reporter

Individual students and student organizations helped Campus Kitchen by packing boxed lunches this past weekend and delivering them to nine different locations in Waco.

Baylor's Campus Kitchen partnered with Community Health Corps, an AmeriCorps health program, to make lunches to feed volunteers.

Heart of Texas Urban Gardening Coalition sponsored a day for the Waco community to gather and work in local gardens. The event provided a time and place where volunteers could come and get their hands dirty.

The objective was to give these gardens beauty, even in the winter, and give the community an active part in coloring their world. The Waco Arts Initiative provided opportunities for participants to create a 3 feet by 8 feet mural at each site to be set in each garden. The murals were paintings about Martin Luther King Jr. Day and reflected upon the day's activities.

"The MLK Day of Service (Monday) went very smoothly. We had an excess of volunteers, which both helped things move quickly and efficiently but was also very encouraging to us as an organization," Crandall junior Drew Stevens said. "This encouragement was very important to us as we are continuing to try to grow Campus Kitchens to help serve more people the food that they need. The serving of the box lunches in conjunction with MLK Day was a great way to do that and to kick off another great year of Campus Kitchens as well."

Campus Kitchen was excited to see the volunteers' eager participation and the good reaction the students received from the community.

"We had great feedback from all site managers in regards to the volunteers. All activities were very time efficient. I was very excited because many of the volunteers showed interest in volunteering for Campus Kitchen in the future," Amanda Allen, the Learning Service Liaison, said.

The box lunches were prepared on Saturday and Sunday in the Family and Consumer Science kitchen. They were delivered Monday morning to different sites throughout Waco.

Students not only got to serve the community but also become more involved in a growing service on campus.

"I think one of the hallmarks of the Baylor experience is the opportunity to learn and serve," Rosemary Townsend, director of business affairs and community partnerships, said "Campus Kitchen is a wonderful service learning project. It provides a solution to help feed those in need in a positive proactive manner."

Last year alone, Campus Kitchen rescued 3,030 pounds of food, supplied 4,000 meals and provided 2,382 hours of volunteer service.

Campus Kitchen is excited that this year, not only are they going to be continuing to deliver food to the Salvation Army Monday through Friday but will also be broadening their service by taking food to the Family Abuse Center on Thursdays starting the this week.

"What's different about Campus Kitchens is that it's a tangible solution. If we have enough food in Waco to feed everyone, people shouldn't go to bed hungry. End of story," Allen said. "The McLennan County Hunger Coalition is essentially doing the same thing with restaurants in the area. They just need bodies to help pick up and deliver the food so if we push awareness for what we're trying to do, I really think we could change the face of hunger in Waco and other cities trying to do this all over Texas."