On April 6th student leaders and staff from the Campus Kitchens at Kent State University, Baldwin Wallace University and the University of Detroit Mercy gathered at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio for a day of collaborative learning. We started the morning with a short presentation about The Campus Kitchens Project and exciting opportunities for student leaders including our Student Advisory Council and Alumni Advisor positions. Student leaders from each Campus Kitchen gave a deep dive presentation about the work they do in their communities. We learned about innovative fundraising opportunities, new ways to fight food waste, and the impacts of new Beyond the Meal programs on the clients they serve.
After lunch we had the pleasure of hearing from two staff and one community member from the Kentway Apartments. They told us about the impact of the CKKent’s Kentway Café, a weekly meal cooked by CKKent students, from the perspective of the clients they serve. Students prepare the meal from rescued food and then join the residents to enjoy the meal, community, and friendship. This event not only provides a nutritious meal for the residents but enjoying the meal together has made the residents feel like part of a community and the students look forward to chatting and building relationships with the residents every week.
Student leaders spent the afternoon in a facilitated discussion learning from each other about new programs and techniques to combat food insecurity and fight food injustice in their communities. We talked about connecting schools in the CKP network to be able to continue this collaborative learning and how CKP can help facilitate these conversations to strengthen our network. After these discussions student leaders left for the day, taking what they learned to head back to their communities with new friends, new ideas, and a renewed passion to continue fighting food waste and food insecurity.