About Campus Kitchen
The Campus Kitchen at UGA is a student-powered initiative focused on reducing food insecurity among older adults and reducing food waste in the Athens area. With the help of students in service-learning courses and student volunteers, Campus Kitchen runs a weekly food recovery and redistribution enterprise. Student leaders and volunteers together transform unused food from grocery stores and farms into meals and groceries that are delivered to older adults and human service agencies in Athens, Georgia.
Over 700 meals each month are typically provided to older adults and their families through programs such as Meals on Wheels and Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, as well as through aging service providers such as the Athens Community Council on Aging, community dinners and senior community gardens. Since 2010, Campus Kitchen has served over 100,000 meals, primarily to families with grandparents raising grandchildren. The Campus Kitchen at UGA goes beyond providing just meal service by using food as a tool to combat senior isolation, foster community connections, and engage UGA students and faculty in developing sustainable solutions to food waste and hunger.
COVID-19 Emergency Operations
Over 400 students a year volunteer with Campus Kitchen during normal operations serving nearly 200 meals each week. With students no longer on campus due to COVID-19, the food security of the families we serve was threatened. Faced with this challenge, Campus Kitchen began mobilizing UGA staff well as AmeriCorps VISTAs to harvest produce at the campus farm, cook, and deliver meals to this important effort in this extraordinary time. Fewer than 10 UGA employees now run the program, following protocols for food safety and social distancing.
With support from UGA campus partners UGArden, University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education & Hotel, and State Botanical Garden of Georgia, client families receive weekly prepared meals as well as fresh produce, and groceries from Trader Joe's and Piggly Wiggly. In addition, staff have recently started a soup and baking shift at the UGA Catholic Center, a long-time partner in combatting area food insecurity. This collective effort even allowed Campus Kitchen to serve Athens's area healthcare workers during the first weeks of the pandemic, and add families experiencing homelessness in partnership with the Athens Area Homeless Shelter. Surplus produce and food collected also goes to other area organizations and non-profits like the Clarke County School District for food distribution efforts.
For additional information about our emergency response see:
Support Campus Kitchen's Emergency Relief Efforts
If you would like to support Campus Kitchen's emergency relief efforts, please consider a donation to our Georgia Funder campaign here! A gift of any size will have an impact and be gratefully received. With these funds we will continue emergency operations as long as needed this summer and potentially into fall, and purchase a large capacity freezer which will allow us to increase our operations by 30%. Together, we’re strengthening our Athens area community, even through these difficult times.
In addition, if you our your organization would like to become a food donor, please contact Andie Bisceglia, Campus Kitchen Coordinator at email@example.com. Due to safety concerns, we are currently not accepting outside volunteers at this time.
Campus Kitchen works through a partnership with the Athens Community Council on Aging and other area agencies to identify clients in need. Questions and requests can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can contact Andie Bisceglia, Campus Kitchen Coordinator at email@example.com.