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UW-Green Bay students to launch Campus Kitchen to address hunger, food waste

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On Saturday, May 3, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will join The Campus Kitchens Project network and launch the Campus Kitchen at UW-Green Bay, a student-run organization that will provide free, healthy meals to Green Bay residents by using donated food that would otherwise go to waste. With the program’s official status, UW-Green Bay will be one of 36 schools — and only the third in Wisconsin — that are part of the national network.

“The student leadership team has been working hard over the school year planning for this moment,” said UW-Green Bay student Kate Bodart. “We are so excited to see our planning come to life. We are very grateful for the support of the College of Professional Studies, the Social Work Professional Program, A’viands Dining Services and the community who voted for us in the grant competition. This support has made the Campus Kitchen at UWGB a reality.”

At each Campus Kitchen nationwide, students lead efforts to combat food waste and hunger by collecting surplus food from dining halls, community gardens, restaurants and grocery stores and transforming it into healthy meals. The Campus Kitchen at UW-Green Bay, sponsored by the office of Social Work Professional Programs, is the third Campus Kitchen in Wisconsin and the second in the University of Wisconsin System, joining the Campus Kitchen at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Volunteers with the Campus Kitchen at UW-Green Bay will initially serve the nearby Fort Howard Apartments, 141 N. Chestnut Ave., Green Bay, and plan on adding additional client agencies during the fall semester. Its Saturday, May 3 launch will serve residents lunch at 11:30 a.m.

“We are delighted to welcome the Campus Kitchen at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay into our growing national network,” said Laura Toscano, director of The Campus Kitchens Project. “The students and staff at UWGB have done an incredible job of working together to get ready for their launch. It’s truly exciting to see their vision become a reality with the help of our online planning tools, dedicated support staff, and a $5,000 grant from Sodexo Foundation.”

UW-Green Bay is one of seven universities that participated in the first-ever Campus Kitchen launch grant video competition sponsored by Sodexo Foundation in late January. A diverse group of campus representatives created a video explaining why their community would benefit from a Campus Kitchen and rallied thousands of supporters to vote for their video. By the end of the competition, UW-Green Bay received more than 4,800 votes and won a $5,000 grant to bring The Campus Kitchens Project to campus.

The Campus Kitchen at UW-Green Bay will conduct cooking shifts in UW-Green Bay’s dining services kitchen and will initially recover food from A’viands campus dining service. It will work in conjunction with NEW Community Shelter.

In the last academic year, 33 Campus Kitchens across the country rescued more than 404,000 pounds of food and served 279,680 meals to 9,365 clients. The media contact for The Campus Kitchens Project is Linda Kurtz, (202) 847-0225 or lkurtz@campuskitchens.org.

About The Campus Kitchens Project

The Campus Kitchen Project
Founded in 2001, The Campus Kitchens Project is a national organization that empowers student volunteers to fight hunger in their community. On 36 university and high school campuses across the country, students transform unused food from dining halls, grocery stores, restaurants, and farmers’ markets into meals that are delivered to local agencies serving those in need. By taking the initiative to run a community kitchen, students develop entrepreneurial and leadership skills, along with a commitment to serve their community, that they will carry with them into future careers. Each Campus Kitchen goes beyond meals by using food as a tool to promote poverty solutions, implement garden initiatives, participate in nutrition education, and convene food policy events. To learn more about our work or bring The Campus Kitchens Project to your school, visit www.campuskitchens.org.

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