Baylor Campus Kitchen Honored with National “Going Beyond the Meal” Award
- The Campus Kitchen at Baylor University was among the Campus Kitchens from around the country honored at the 2016 Food Waste & Hunger Summit with awards acknowledging their commitment to fighting hunger and dedication to the Campus Kitchen network.
- Student volunteers with the Campus Kitchen at Baylor recover food from university dining halls and use fresh produce from the Baylor Community Garden to prepare healthy, nutritious meals for nonprofits in Waco.
- Student volunteers and garden managers harvest fresh produce each week from the Baylor Community Garden at Ninth Street and James Avenue. Baylor Campus Kitchen uses the produce to prepare healthy, nutritious meals for local nonprofits.
Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, 254-710-6275
WACO, Texas (June 27, 2016) – The Campus Kitchen at Baylor University has been honored with a national award for demonstrating excellent “beyond the meal” initiatives as the student-led organization serves the Waco community.
The national Campus Kitchens Project (CKP) presented its “Going Beyond the Meal” Award to Baylor Campus Kitchen during the 2016 Food Waste and Hunger Summit in April at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
CKP noted Baylor’s Campus Kitchen as “exemplary” in using food as a tool to bring people together, specifically by expanding its “Beyond the Meal” impact on senior hunger and developing the capacity to operate year round. The Baylor Campus Kitchen is one of 53 schools – and the first in Texas – affiliated with the national project that empowers student volunteers to fight hunger in their community.
“What makes the Campus Kitchens Project so great is the fact that providing meals is not our chief end. Our goal is to use meals as a means through which we are able to holistically eradicate poverty,” said Eric Pritt, Baylor Campus Kitchens coordinator and an AmeriCorps VISTA in Baylor’s Office of Community Engagement and Service. “‘Going Beyond the Meal’ is all about using food as a way to connect people, foster relationships and develop community between students, our campus and the people we serve. The Campus Kitchen at Baylor is honored to have been recognized for our advancements in this area, and we look forward to continuing to grow in our fight to end hunger in Waco.”
In its award presentation, CKP focused on a Baylor Campus Kitchen event called Roots Day, which brought together senior adults for a day of cooking and garden demonstrations, senior adult aerobics and more. The event – funded by a grant to address food insecurity among Waco’s senior population – served as a community health fair, with different local organizations providing resources, information and encouragement for senior adults and helping them connect with additional services they may need. Seniors also were able to sign up for a free four-week gardening course provided by Baylor Campus Kitchen at the Baylor Community Garden at Ninth Street and James Avenue.
“They understand that the barriers their clients experience in facing food insecurity and poverty can’t be solved just by providing meals,” the CKP said. “This event truly embodies the principle of using food as a tool to build relationships and ultimately offer our clients programs that will address the underlying root causes of hunger.”
Founded in 2008, the Campus Kitchen at Baylor focuses on food waste and alleviation of hunger in Waco. Student teams recover food from university dining halls; prepare healthy, nutritious meals for nonprofits in Waco, including the Salvation Army, Mission Waco, Family Abuse Center and Shepherd’s Heart; and harvest fresh produce from Baylor Community Garden, which is used in the meals prepared by students each week. On average, the Baylor Campus Kitchen recovers more than 10,000 pounds of food per year from dining halls, and last year prepared and served more than 6,000 meals to local nonprofits.
The organization also remains operational during the summer. In addition to harvesting produce and preparing meals, Baylor Campus Kitchen volunteers are teaching health and nutrition classes in Waco at Restoration Haven and Calvary Baptist Church and working with Baylor’s Texas Hunger Initiative and La Vega and Waco ISDs to deliver meals as part of the mobile summer meals program.
“Campus Kitchens operates in the most sustainable ways possible: this is why we recover and distribute food to ensure that food isn’t wasted while there are people going hungry,” Pritt said. “But we know that feeding people won’t end hunger. The Campus Kitchen Project is about using food as a means to foster relationships and develop community between students and community members. Once those relationships are built and a sense of community is established, we can take on the root sources of poverty, which are much more numerous than just food insecurity.”
The 2016 Food Waste and Hunger Summit brought together leading national nonprofit organizations and engaged students, who are working to fight food waste and hunger and learn about advocacy, service and leadership. Students and staff from universities across the country shared best practices, ideas and resources to expand their impact on food insecurity.
by Jenna Press, student newswriter, Spring 2016, (254) 710-6805
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.