Student-Powered Hunger Relief

Monthly Archives: August 2012

Say Cheese! Irish Dairy Board Makes a Donation of Cheese to The Campus Kitchen at Northwestern University

, August 24th, 2012

Photo by Chris West

The Campus Kitchen at Northwestern University (CKNU) has been working hard to make and deliver 22,000 meals to kids across Evanston as a part of this summer’s Feeding Our Future program in addition to our regular operations. Yes, this is a daunting number, but we are well on our way to reaching our goal and we could not have done it without the support of our generous donors.

Last month, we received a donation from The Irish Dairy Board – 800 pounds of individually wrapped Kerrygold Mini Dubliner Cheeses (that’s 22,000 slices of cheese!).   Thanks to Kerrygold, we are able to provide an awesome, calcium-rich snack for homeless individuals and for hungry kids!

Not only has the Kerrygold Cheese been the perfect snack for the Feeding Our Future program, it has become a favorite amongst our regular clients. This delicious cheese has been an exciting addition to our clients’ regular meals.

We could not be more thankful to Kerrygold / The Irish Dairy Board for their incredibly generous donation!Welcome1

While cheese makes an excellent snack and is a great addition to a turkey sandwich, we also are ready to get creative!  Any cheese enthusiasts out there have recipe ideas? We would love to hear them!  I am thinking some mac and cheese, maybe….

About The Irish Dairy Board/Kerrygold USA

The Irish Dairy Board is the marketing and selling cooperative created by Ireland’s small dairy farmer co-ops and co-op creameries to export butter and cheeses all over the world. “Kerrygold” is the international brand of the Irish Dairy Board. Kerrygold butter and cheeses are widely sold in the United States in supermarkets and specialty food stores. For a store finder, visit For more information on this cheese from Ireland, made from grass-fed milk, visit or


Erin Berger is a summer intern at The Campus Kitchen at Northwestern University.  She is a rising senior at Northwestern University and she enjoys reading and spending time outside.


New Campus Kitchen Coordinator at East Carolina University

, August 22nd, 2012

My name is Elizabeth Corney and I am the new Campus Kitchen Coordinator at Eastern Carolina University (CKECU). I will be with CKECU for one year as an AmeriCorps Campus Compact VISTA (Volunteer In Service To America). Basically, that means that I am volunteering for one year. I decided to become a VISTA because it offers an opportunity to serve communities and people. It also provides me with an opportunity to grow personally and professionally. As a VISTA, I do indirect service which means that I work to make service possible by expanding opportunities for CKECU. However, I’m still close enough to the front lines to see the impact of what I do.

I’m excited and eager to work with CKECU this year. I first heard about Campus Kitchens while interviewing for VISTA positions. It really struck me as something worth doing. I just graduated from college and saw firsthand the need for projects like this. There were so many times, when my friends and I noticed the abundance of food on campus and contrasted that with the reality of many who do not have such easy access to nutrition. I think the concept of Campus Kitchens is amazing and I’m really glad I can be a part of it.

CKECU is seeking to become a sustainable, student led program. My hope for this year is that the students realize their potential for leadership at CKECU and develop skills that will serve them in their post college lives.

Fighting Hunger in Chicagoland

, August 8th, 2012

This article originally appeared on the Sodexo Stops Hunger blog on August 8, 2012.

Sodexo, Northwestern & Campus Kitchens “Feeding our Future.” Click on the photograph for more images from the event.

Based out of a small, first-floor kitchen on the corner of Northwestern’s sprawling campus, the staff and volunteers of The Campus Kitchen at Northwestern University (CKNU) are working to make and deliver meals to close to 22,000 individuals in Evanston as part of this summer’s Feeding Our Future® program.  From busy summer camps with underprivileged children to packed homeless shelters with hungry residents, CKNU works hard to provide food to those who need it the most.

As a volunteer for CKNU this summer, I had a chance to gain an in depth look into the needs of the community and how CKNU was helping to fill it.  In addition to providing meals to children, the Campus Kitchen at Northwestern University and its volunteers are able to form a special connection to the people we serve and provide more than any meal could: companionship and compassion.  In this sense, our efforts are not just about making meals, but creating a hopeful future for our clients.  In recent weeks we have been lucky to be able to participate in a Feeding Our Future nutritional education event, with the Sodexo team at Northwestern University and Unilever, in helping to cultivate healthy choices in our youngest generation.

On July 24th at Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center, amongst 125 eager children and volunteers, we played nutrition-focused games – taste-testing whole grains and exotic fruits, and becoming “food scientists”, the children participating were able to gain an understanding of what essential nutrients will sustain their minds and bodies for healthy lives.

Sodexo, Northwestern & Campus Kitchens “Feeding our Future.” Click on the photograph for more images from the event.

By providing meals and being proactive in the community, CKNU hopes to establish a foundation for each child to create a rich and meaningful life.  However, without the ever-present support and contributions from Sodexo Foundation, Unilever, and the Sodexo team at NU, none of our efforts would be possible.  Their enthusiasm for their hunger-fighting efforts and dedication to nutritional education not only help us to continue to provide meals, but give the children we serve an excitement and energy for healthy living.

Much like Sodexo Foundation’s summer feeding program name, we are eager in not only “Feeding Our Future” in a physical sense, but in an emotional and cognitive manner, giving kids the tools they need for a wholesome childhood.


Emily Scammell is a rising senior and president of the Campus Kitchen at Auburn University. Emily is serving as an Americorps VISTA  for the Campus Kitchen at Northwestern University during the Feeding Our Future summer program. 

ECU students fight summer hunger

, August 1st, 2012

It almost seems unreal that the summer is more than half way through. All of the anxiety about starting summer operations has dissipated. CKECU has provided almost 200 meals to needy children since starting summer operations at the end of June, and expects to provide about 150 more before the summer is over.

Entering into this summer none of us quite knew what to expect, especially in terms of working with the Summer Food Service Program. “Things won’t be drastically different from our normal operations,” reassured Chelsey Bennett (AmeriCorps VISTA and CKECU Coordinator) during a shift leader meeting in mid-June, “There will only be some minor differences.” These differences include: additional paperwork, providing milk with every lunch, a change in the meal prep schedule, and a switch from congregate to individual meals.

Zach Baker demonstrates how to fold, roll, and seal wraps.

“My impression has changed immensely,” exclaims Zach Baker, CKECU shift leader and student worker, “I thought it was going to be really busy and hectic due to the fact that we were approximating 75 kids being served per shift. [During the academic year CKECU feeds between 20-50 children each meal.] Even though are numbers are not as high, due to enrollment, I still think we would have been able to handle it; we could even handle 100 lunches per shift if we had to.”

“I expected our summer operations to be more of just doing things behind the scenes. It has been rewarding, encouraging, and inspiring to me,” stated new shift leader, Blair Sauls. Blair has helped out with the majority of the delivery shifts thus far this summer. After passing out all of the bagged lunches and milk cartons, Blair cherishes seeing all of the girls at Operation Sunshine enjoy their healthy lunches. (She also looks forward to be complimented on her outfit every week by the same little girl).

Finding volunteers in the summer is a rarity in itself. We’ve had the same group of 2-3 volunteers for most of the summer. “They made a really great assembly line,” remarked Lauren Banks, a senior shift leader, “It was a lot less stressful than regular shifts.” During the academic year shift leaders don’t always know what they will be preparing until the day of. Working with the Summer Food Service Program, a detailed menu for the entire summer has been created in advance.

We couldn’t do all that we do without our volunteers.

The favorite meal so far has been the Chicken Caesar Salad wraps. We’ve used precooked chicken strips that we warm up when making the lunches. They lie atop a bed of lettuce and a helping of Parmesan cheese, and then are all rolled up in a wheat tortilla. We keep the Caesar dressing on the side so the wraps don’t get soggy over night. The girls also receive a cup of fruit on the side for dessert. A close second favorite is the Southwestern Turkey style wrap with homemade salsa on the side.

“Besides providing meals, I think this has done a lot for the students helping out. They are more aware of the constant hunger problems we have right down the street, literally,” said Blair when asked about our biggest impact so far this summer. Zach adds, “We have shown volunteers that volunteering can be fun and rewarding at the same time. Hopefully, this encourages them to continue volunteering and making a difference in their community.”

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