The Campus Kitchen at Wake Forest is a Food Recycling program that uses cooked but never served food from the campus dining hall to make healthy and nutritious meals for the needy of our community. Our Campus Kitchen has quite a history. It grew out of a student run program called Homerun started by two Wake Forest Juniors in 1999. Karen Borchert and Jessica Jackson went on to start the national program called “The Campus Kitchens Project.”
Our Campus Kitchen officially opened in 2006 and has grown quickly since then. That one weekly delivery that Karen and Jessica began in 1999 is now 16 weekly shifts where students cook and deliver hot meals and sort and redistribute produce across Winston-Salem. The hope of every Campus Kitchen is to find a way to fit into a community and meet needs using existing resources. Through a great partnership with ARAMARK, we are able to reuse an average of 600 pounds of food every month; food that is prepared but never served for students on campus and would otherwise go to waste. We also partner with The Fresh Market to redistribute produce that is bruised, damaged, or otherwise excess in low-income food desserts in our community.
Our other key resources are Wake Forest students, faculty, and staff. These tireless volunteers truly embody the university motto of Pro Humanitate, giving of their time and talents to prepare and serve meals for Winston-Salem community members in need. Our food is used by local social service agencies who are already doing incredible work in Winston-Salem. These agencies use our food as a resource so that they can allocate existing but limited resources to increase their services to the communities they serve.
So who is behind all of this? The awesome part of the Campus Kitchen is that it is a student driven organization. Our Leadership Team holds weekly meetings, plans the meals, runs the shifts, trains new volunteers, advertises, plans events, and raises funds. And during the semester the majority of our volunteers are students, too. During the summer the Campus Kitchen is staffed by student interns who manage the operations, recruit volunteers, interact with community partners, and conduct research projects to advance the mission of Campus Kitchen. To help tie it all together, each Campus Kitchen has one dedicated staff member. That would be the Campus Kitchen Coordinator. The Coordinator leads with students, planning the direction of CKWFU and solving problems as a team. The Campus Kitchens Project is a national program, but without the tireless support of Wake Forest University, CKWFU would not be able to exist. WFU shows its commitment to Pro Humanitate in its investment of money, resources, and support of the program. We flourish because Wake believes in the ability of its students to make a positive difference in the world and invests in them accordingly. The Campus Kitchen is one of WFU’s premier sustainability initiatives; rescuing food that would otherwise be wasted and using it to fight hunger and poverty in the greater Winston-Salem area. To learn more about increased efforts towards sustainability, please visit: WFU sustainibility.
For more information on The Campus Kitchen Project or to learn how to start a Campus Kitchen at your school, please visit the National Campus Kitchens Project website: www.campuskitchens.org. If you have specific questions about our Campus Kitchen or would like to partner with us, please contact one of our Student Coordinators: David Hale () or Oriana Wright (). You can also contact Shelley Sizemore () , Assistant Director of the Pro Humanitate Institute who serves as Campus Kitchen Staff Coordinator.