Campus Kitchens, a nonprofit, service-oriented student organization on campus, celebrated its one-year anniversary this past Thursday.
Sponsored by the Office of Civic Engagement in cooperation with Sodexo, Campus Kitchens takes untouched, leftover food from the Troy dining facilities and redistributes it as complete meals.
The meals are then distributed to local community service agencies like the Christian Love Center and Head Start Program.
Members of Campus Kitchens strive to prepare balanced meals by providing at least one meat, one starch and one vegetable dish.
Stephany Ruano, a junior elementary education major from Athens and publicity coordinator of Campus Kitchens, shared the mission of the organization.
“The mission of Campus Kitchens is to use service as a tool,” she said. “We strengthen bodies by using existing resources to meet hunger and nutritional needs in our community.”
According to Ruano, Campus Kitchens has gathered 3,962 pounds of food, which has made 5,163 meals since its launch on Oct. 31, 2014.
It has also assembled 379 volunteers over the course of the year, which has accumulated to a total of over 1,200 volunteer hours.
“Overall our greatest accomplishment has been the time we get to spend with the boys and girls we deliver to and seeing the huge smiles on their faces when they see us coming,” Ruano said.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Alabama poverty rate is at approximately 18.6 percent, while the poverty rate in Pike County stands at 27.6 percent.
With such a great deal of need in the community, Ruano stressed the importance of student involvement in not only Campus Kitchens, but other service organizations.
“You never know what someone may be going through, and being able to do a good deed can go a long way,” Ruano said.
There are several ways to get involved with Campus Kitchens, including volunteering to work a meal prep shift or a delivery shift.
The meal prep shift is held on Thursdays at 2:30 p.m., while the delivery shift is held on Fridays at 1 p.m.
Sign-up sheets for both shifts can be found in Eldridge Hall Room 122.
For more information, individuals can contact Jonathan Cellon at firstname.lastname@example.org.