Student-Powered Hunger Relief

Monthly Archives: April 2016

7 things you missed at the 2016 Food Waste & Hunger Summit

, April 28th, 2016


From April 16-17, more than 250 hunger-fighters from around the country gathered at the University of Arkansas for the 2016 Food Waste & Hunger Summit. Attendees enjoyed a two-day conference filled with students and leaders from nonprofits, business, government & more discussing innovative solutions to food waste and hunger. Summit was jam packed with presentations, speakers, networking, and volunteering. In case you missed any of it, check out our 7 must knows from Summit!

  1. Secretary Vilsack. The Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, was the second keynote speaker at the Food Waste & Hunger Summit. Secretary Vilsack first discussed food waste and hunger policies in America and then spent most of the time conducting an informative Q&A with attendees. When asked how young people can engage with public figures, Sec. Vilsack encouraged the audience to never be intimidated to talk about the things they know just because they’re young and that #hungerfighters are the real experts, and government officials need to listen.
  2. Robert Egger’s f-bombs. We’re not joking. The Summit was kicked off by CKP’s very own founder, Robert Egger, with a few f-bombs and some incredibly inspiring notes on what it means to be a leader in the food waste and hunger movement. Robert energized the room and reminded the attendees of why they were there and why it’s so important to keep fighting food waste and hunger.
  3. Rebecca Vallas’ Reading List. Some of us might be out of the homework phase in our lives but that didn’t stop Center for American Progress’ Rebecca Vallas from dishing it out. Rebecca, the Managing Director for the Poverty to Prosperity Program at The Center for American Progress, kicked off Sunday morning with a captivating discussion on poverty, what inequality means in America, and how we can overcome it. Rebecca turned to numerous articles and books supporting her arguments for what it will take to reduce poverty in America. We’re working on getting the full reading list from Rebecca so make sure to check back soon!
  4. The Breakout Sessions. The 2016 Food Waste & Hunger Summit had 25 breakout sessions, across five breakout themes. Summit participants had the opportunity to join a variety of sessions about community gardening, farmers markets, program evaluation, and gleaning, some led by our own students. We can’t thank our speakers enough for their captivating presentations. You can view the presentation from each breakout session here.
  5. Campus Kitchen Award Winners. Every year, we honor the outstanding Campus Kitchens and stand-out student leaders in our network for their hard work and dedication to their community. This year, we celebrated eight Campus Kitchens for their achievements. Read the full list of award winners here and what makes them exemplary.
  6. The Feedback. We asked of all of our attendees to complete our post Summit survey so we can keep working to make this event better every year. We won’t give away too much of our future scheming but we got some great feedback! Our favorite quotes (among many) are below:

“Post-summit, I’m definitely feeling more inspired to work with the community around me more, possibly collaborating with local farms and other student orgs!”

“Conferences like this remind me that there are other people also working towards the goal of reducing food waste and hunger in our world; hearing other people’s stories, journeys, successes and failures was all very valuable.”

“Instead of pushing for change, I will Lead the change. I will no longer beg or plead for people to help and care … I will do it because I FIGHT Hunger because No One should go Hungry.”

  1. #FWHS2016. Man, oh man, did our attendees deliver on social media. What else can you expect when you gather over two hundred and fifty #hungerfighters in one place. In case you missed the Summit, get a glimpse of what went on by following #FWHS2016 on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Check out photos from the Food Waste & Hunger Summit here!


2016 Campus Kitchen Award Winners

, April 27th, 2016


At the 2016 Food Waste & Hunger Summit, Campus Kitchens from around the country gathered to celebrate their accomplishments over the past year. Below are eight individuals and Campus Kitchens with awards acknowledging their commitment to fighting hunger and dedication to the Campus Kitchen network.

Nopalitos Award – goes to the Campus Kitchen leader who never faltered in the face of adversity and instead rose to every challenge and took every difficulty in stride.
The Campus Kitchen at Kent State University
We can’t imagine a more unusual donation than the one this Campus Kitchen had to handle this year, and they took it in stride and transformed it into an opportunity which yielded unprecedented impact for their clients and local community. When a local Trader Joe’s was closing a store to open a new one down the street, the company was going to have to dispose of hundreds of thousands of pounds of food. This Campus Kitchen, which has had a long standing relationship with this store, was able to marshal nearly 60 volunteers to recover and distribute nearly 5 truckloads of food over the course of one weekend. It enabled community partners to serve additional meals, more substantial meals, and wider variety of food for the clients.  The result was $300,000 worth of food saved and a community fed.

Growing the Movement – this award recognizes the Campus Kitchen that has looked beyond the change that they can achieve in their own community and has given back to the entire Campus Kitchens network.
The Campus Kitchen at Virginia Tech University
Even though this school launched less than a year ago, they have been stand out leaders in the network and some of the best advocates for our program. This program is unique in that it was the first Campus Kitchen to be started by an AmeriCorps VISTA. Their food recovery and meal preparation efforts are impressive, having already recovered nearly 10,000 pounds of food since their launch. But what makes this Campus Kitchen truly amazing is their ability to spread the message of their program to others.  This Campus Kitchen has hosted open houses for other schools in their area, set up meetings with other staff and students, and used their program as an outreach tool to help spread the word about CKP. In just a short time, they have been able to share their model throughout their region and spark interest at countless nearby institutions.

Harvester – awarded to a student who has brought cross-disciplinary knowledge and skills to their Campus Kitchen.
Colleen Semmler at the Campus Kitchen at Saint Louis University
This volunteer exemplifies the true spirit of this award. She has always drawn on her real life experience to improve the quality of her Campus Kitchen. Whether she is bringing what she has learned in her time working in an on campus cafe, her knowledge gained as an Occupational Therapy student, or her side hobby (her quest to cook every single recipe in a huge anthology cookbook) she brings these gifts to contribute to her Campus Kitchen. She has spent her own off time prototyping recipes for our fundraisers, trying out recipes to cook on her shifts and baking treats for every single Campus Kitchen meeting for the last 3 years. She’s a gem who has made her kitchen shine.

Going Beyond the Meal recognizes the Campus Kitchen that demonstrates excellent “beyond the meal” initiatives in service to their community.
The Campus Kitchen at Baylor University
This Campus Kitchen is exemplary in using food as a tool to bring people together. Over the past couple years, they have grown their impact on senior hunger, and begun to operate year-round for the first time. They understand that the barriers their clients experience in facing food insecurity and poverty can’t be solved just by providing meals. So last year, they hosted an incredible event, called Roots Day, that brings together their senior clients for a fun day of cooking demonstrations, garden demonstrations, and even senior adult aerobics. Most importantly, it served a community health fair for senior adults in the Waco community, where different local organizations provided resources, information, and encouragement for the senior adults who attended the event, helping them get in touch with additional services they may need. 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.

Ingrid Easton Student Visionary – celebrates the entrepreneurial drive in our student leaders, who dream big and make it happen. The award is named in honor of Ingrid Easton, Washington and Lee University graduate who achieved her goal of opening a Campus Kitchen at Washington and Lee University in 2006.
Brinda Penmetsa at the Campus Kitchen at the University of Houston
This student was nominated by two different people, one who serves at her Campus Kitchen and one person in our national office. Her fellow student writes, “I was with her from the start of planning to launch our Campus Kitchen, and without her passionate drive to make it happen, our Campus Kitchen wouldn’t have existed. Her perseverance helped us all push through. She definitely dreamed big and made it happen.” Our Community Development team in the national office could see this potential clearly as well. Their nomination read, “From the moment I met her, I knew she was a rock star. As a Bonner scholar, she not only has excelled academically but also goes above and beyond in her service to her community. She was the driving force behind bringing a Campus Kitchen to the University of Houston, and continues to seek opportunities to grow the movement within the Bonner network. She spoke at the annual Bonner Conference, BonCon, about CKP and has even recruited other new schools to join.

Community Impact Award – honors a Campus Kitchen that has made a measurable impact on food insecurity in their community, and has put in the effort to track their outcomes.
The Campus Kitchen at Troy University
This Campus Kitchen has made a profound impact on their community through not only their meals but the numerous other programs they provide to their clients. They have made it a goal to increase their capacity to provide supplemental nutrition and beyond the meal programming to their community over the past year. They have started and sustained three community gardens in their city and even in nearby cities.  They were able to plant both Fall and Summer gardens, which allowed them to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables to their clients, and gave their volunteers further opportunities to interact with the surrounding community. They have conducted nutrition education for youth, garden education for older adults all while providing nearly 7,000 meals to those in need. It is clear to see how this Campus Kitchen is impacting their community in so many ways!

Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes a student who has gone above and beyond in service to his or her Campus Kitchen.
Gracelyn Jones at the Campus Kitchen at UGA
This volunteer has served with their Campus Kitchen since the fall of 2014 as both a shift leader and as Co-President. Every Sunday morning, beginning at 9am for the past two school years (and one summer), she has served as a shift leader of our grocery store food recovery shift. Despite the shift’s early hour and necessary attention to food safety controls, Gracelyn consistently brings a positive attitude and a clear sense of purpose. She has served as a mentor for other students that lead this shift alongside her, and is widely regarded as our expert sources of knowledge when it comes to cataloging, sorting and organizing up to 1,200 pounds of food in a two-hour time frame. Throughout her volunteer work, she balances a “get-it-done” attitude with thoughtfulness and a consideration for our volunteers, student leaders, and clients. With an eye towards the future, she has devoted countless hours to compiling a database of contacts for on campus organizations and departments, as well as local community services groups, for the purpose of establishing new long-standing groups interested in partnering with the Campus Kitchen in the fight against hunger and food waste. These efforts behind the scenes have paid huge dividends, as she was the sole organizer of her Campus Kitchen’s Turkeypalooza efforts, which brought together 26 organizations to donate nearly 1,800 pounds of goods and distribute 1,370 meals to over 300 senior clients. In this semester alone, she has gracefully orchestrated 12 different volunteer groups, and has laid the groundwork for continued partnerships into the summer and next year. She always brings a quick smile and compassion to her tasks, and her wisdom has been invaluable to our Campus Kitchen.

Kitchen of the Year Award – honors the Campus Kitchen that excels not only in safe and efficient operations, but in the many components that support operations, including community partnerships, participation in the CKP network, volunteer engagement and more.
The Campus Kitchen at the University of Kentucky
This Campus Kitchen embodies all the characteristics of a strong Campus Kitchen. They have been able to deeply engrain their program into the curriculum of their department, allowing for all students to find ways to apply their service to their academic work. They are able to serve a diverse set of clients, from older adults, to youth; from high school students, to even their own students on their campus. With each of these groups they have established strong beyond the meal programming to truly use their food as a tool. With their older adult clients, they drop off grocery bags and engage them with community meals and nutrition education. With their high school students, they cook the meal with them and teach them valuable life skills. With their youth, they utilize their garden partnerships to teach garden education and glean produce for healthy snacks. Their commitment to serving their community is clear but they are also committed to always improving what they can do. This Campus Kitchen excels in rigorous evaluation of each of their programs to ensure they are providing the best possible services to their clients, all while teaching their student leaders how to create innovative and sustainable solutions to hunger.

Campbell University

, April 20th, 2016

Augustana College

, April 20th, 2016

Casper College

, April 20th, 2016

University of Nebraska Omaha

, April 20th, 2016

CKP Summer Internship – Apply Today!

, April 19th, 2016

UofHouston launch picture

Are you passionate about ending food waste & hunger across the United States? Are you familiar with using social media to spark social change? The Campus Kitchens Project is seeking a summer intern with a passion for food/hunger-related issues, social media, and event planning!

What you will learn:

We will ensure the intern has not just daily tasks, but can take ownership over engaging projects as well. Interns at CKP can stand to learn a great deal about food waste and what it means to go “beyond the meal”; gain a deeper understanding of nonprofit communications and event planning; a passionate and hardworking team who is eager to teach and learn; responsibility to and autonomy in completing tasks and projects; and hands on experience working with students to transform recovered food into meals for those in need and delivering those meals.

Intern Responsibilities:

  • Find powerful stories from within the Campus Kitchens network, interview student leaders and write web stories for
  • Craft engaging social media posts
  • Design infographics or images to be shared on social media that highlight food waste and hunger statistics in America
  • Research new social media platforms and how they could be used by The Campus Kitchens Project
  • Research and implement best practices for tracking and managing media mentions
  • Research and develop a cohort of members of the national media covering issues around food waste, hunger, student service, etc.
  • Research and develop the best methods for maintaining communication with Campus Kitchen alumni
  • Assist with planning and logistics for annual Boot Camp training for student leaders, held in Washington, DC
  • Assist with researching and designing materials for the annual Back to School Box campaign
  • Provide ongoing operations and reporting support for the Campus Kitchen at Gonzaga College High School

What We Require:

  • Ability to research topics ranging from food waste to food insecurity
  • Experience using social media platforms and ability to provide insight into what messaging, materials, and social media platforms will resonate with a college-aged audience
  • Some experience with event logistics and planning
  • Excellent writing skills appropriate for web copy, social media and printed communications
  • Interest in issues surrounding poverty, food systems and hunger in America (experience a plus)
  • Ability to use Microsoft Outlook, and PC familiarity


We would like the intern to begin June 6th and end August 12th but these dates are flexible.  Minimum 20 hours/week required.

To apply please submit your resume and cover letter to Tyler Tripp at


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