BU Campus Kitchen Taking Part in MLK Day of Service

Jan. 15, 2009

Media contact: Lori Fogleman, director of media communications, (254) 710-6275

President-elect Barack Obama has called on Americans across the nation to volunteer in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service and to join him in ongoing active citizenship. Only one day before his historic inauguration, the President-elect will celebrate MLK Day along with Vice President-elect Joe Biden and their families by volunteering in a service project in Washington, D.C.

Baylor students, faculty and staff who are looking for an opportunity to honor King's legacy by serving others can join the HOT Urban Gardening Coalition, as well as Baylor University Campus Kitchen (BUCK), on Monday, Jan. 19, at one of the many community gardens around Waco.

Volunteers are needed from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Monday to perform a variety of gardening tasks, including planting, harvesting, weeding, mulching, landscaping and cleanup. To find a local garden location and register as a volunteer, visit the "Find an Opportunity to Serve" search page at mlkday.gov.

The HOT Urban Gardening Coalition is a group of individuals and community organizations that promote growing, distributing and selling food grown in community gardens. The group's mission is to encourage cooperation between different groups interested in gardening, encourage sustainable community development through gardening, encourage production and consumption of healthy vegetables and develop financial literacy through gardening.

In addition, Baylor University Campus Kitchen (BUCK) will be preparing and delivering lunch to all garden volunteers on Monday. Volunteers will meet at the Campus Kitchen at The Center at Columbus Avenue Baptist Church, 1115 Columbus Ave., on Sunday afternoon and Monday morning. To sign up as a BUCK volunteer, contact Sheena Smith at Sheena_Smith@baylor.edu.

The Campus Kitchens Project is an emerging leader in community service for students and resourceful anti-hunger programs for communities around the country. The nation's 13th Campus Kitchen and the first university program in Texas, BUCK received a $2,000 grant from the national organization, as well as partnership support from Baylor Dining Services and other community organizations, to feed up to 1,000 people on MLK Day.

"The national Campus Kitchens Project received a major grant for MLK Day, and they chose to make grant opportunities available to the different schools, like Baylor, that were part of Campus Kitchens system," said Rosemary Townsend, project coordinator of the Baylor Interdisciplinary Poverty Initiative. "Our proposal said that we would use the $2,000 for two main things - to kick off the grand opening of Baylor's Campus Kitchen and to feed 100 people. Through the community partnerships we have developed, we are delighted that we will be able to have the $2,000 feed 1,000 people. So actually, we've had a 10-fold increase in what we're able to do with the grant."

During the 1950s and 60s, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. recognized the power of service to strengthen communities and achieve common goals. Initiated by Congress in 1994, King Day of Service builds on that legacy by transforming the federal holiday honoring Dr. King into a national day of community service grounded in his teachings of nonviolence and social justice.

The aim is to make the holiday a day ON, where people of all ages and backgrounds come together to improve lives, bridge social barriers and move our nation closer to the "Beloved Community" that Dr. King envisioned.

For additional information about the MLK Day of Service, contact Melyssa Cunningham at World Hunger Relief (254) 799-5611 or melyssa@worldhungerrelief.org or Shamira Jones with Upward Bound at McLennan Community College at (254) 299-8773.

Monday Garden/Serving Sites

    The Elm Avenue Garden: Grand Opening
    Carver Park Baptist Church
    Doris Miller Elementary
    West Avenue Elementary
    Sul Ross Elementary
    Rapoport Academy
    Provident Heights
    Hillcrest PDS Elementary
    CampFire USA - Tejas Council at St. Albans
    Brazos Middle School

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