On Monday, November 6, 2017, two students at Georgia College and State University were ecstatic to hear the news that they received a $5,000 launch grant to start a Campus Kitchen at their school. The students were Julia Steele and Cameron Skinner- juniors studying environmental science at Georgia College. They initially heard about The Campus Kitchens Project through a student from Emory University whom they met at a Climate Summit in Atlanta, Georgia. Their interest was immediately sparked, and they continued to research more about food waste and its impact on the environment. Along with members of the school’s faculty, staff, and dining services, they filmed a video to enter into the Campus Kitchen launch grant competition. The day they won the grant, they met with the President of Georgia College, the grant money giving their school’s administration another reason to support the group.
Fast forward to Friday, September 14, 2018. The day had come for the Campus Kitchen at Georgia College to launch. Both Cameron and Julia agreed that the day of their launch was one of their best days with Campus Kitchens. The process of planning a kitchen took them over a year, and both of them had to learn to balance their academics, work schedules, and leisure time with the responsibility of being a founding member of a student organization. The process of starting a Campus Kitchen would not be possible without support from other students and staff members. Kendyl Lewis, a current sophomore double majoring in psychology and economics at Georgia College, has been involved with the Campus Kitchen at Georgia College and State University (CKGCSU) since the planning process. Kendyl is also working to start a chapter of Swipe Out Hunger, an organization that allows students to donate their dining dollars to their peers who identify as food insecure. The work of students like Cameron, Julia, and Kendyl, and the passion behind it, is crucial to implementing service programs like Campus Kitchens.
Currently, CKGCSU is continuing to recover food from their campus dining provider, Sodexo. In fact, they recovered over 300 pounds during their operations in the fall of 2018. They prepare meals three times a month, delivering the meals to the Life Enrichment Center in Milledgeville. The Life Enrichment Center is a program for adults living with intellectual disabilities. CKGCSU looks forward to continuing to expand their impact in their community of Milledgeville and hopes to partner with grocery stores and restaurants in order to recover more food. The spark that began with Cameron and Julia has transformed into an active pursuit to end hunger and eliminate food waste in their community.
If you’re interested in impacting your community through Campus Kitchens, then join one of our information sessions by registering here.