Troy University is the 40th campus nationwide to partner with Campus Kitchens in an attempt to fight hunger in the local community.
“It’s a tremendous example of people working together to accomplish something important,” said Jonathon Cellon, coordinator of learning initiatives, at the Launch Ceremony Oct. 30.
During the establishment of the program, Troy took tips from Auburn University, the only other college in Alabama that is involved with the program.
“While we are celebrating what is happening at Troy,” said Matt Schnarr, partnership director of the Campus Kitchens Projects, “we have been celebrating since our inception in 2001.”
Through transforming food waste on other campuses, Campus Kitchens has provided over 200 million meals, or 300 million pounds of food, since its launch.
Troy’s initial goal for the program, which began this week, is to provide 60 families with meals weekly.
The meals will be composed of unused food from the dining hall. This does not include uneaten food off plates, only what is left over in the back of the house.
Ibrahim Yildirim, general manager of Sodexo at Troy, cites this as a reason to begin reducing food waste.
“Less waste on your plate means more in the back,” said Yildirim. This will leave more food to go to those in need.
The meals will be prepared and delivered by students to the local Head Start to go to low-income families.
“I feel extremely confident that this program is in good hands and will continue to grow,” Schnarr said.
“This was not by their choice, and we have the ability to help them,” said Olivia Melton of the families in need. Melton is a sophomore math and economics major from Orange Beach and a Campus Kitchens representative.
“There’s people in our own community that are struggling like this,” said Ryan Cole, junior political science major from Athens and Campus Kitchens representative. “If you have a passion, go after it — you can make a difference.”
Hoping to expand the program as time goes on, the Troy leadership team for Campus Kitchens encourages more students to get involved.
“Help us to help this community,” Cole said.