It all started about two years ago when freshman Naomi Maisel looked into one of the huge garbage cans at the DUC and saw all the food that was going to waste in the dining hall. Fast forward two years, Maisel is now a junior and the president and founder of the Campus Kitchen at Emory, the 42nd chapter of a growing project that fights against hunger in the United States.
The Campus Kitchens Project partners with high schools, colleges and universities around the country to combat hunger. Using on-campus kitchens, chapters recover food from cafeterias and dining halls and then prepare meals to serve to the community.
At Emory, Maisel and her dedicated team of student leaders have worked closely with the Emory administration to set up a system with Sodexo, the company that runs the university’s dining services. Sodexo donates all types of groceries, as well as food that was prepared but never served from the DUC and Cox Hall Market. The team collects food on Tuesdays and Fridays to save and freeze for Thursdays when they cook in the Few Hall Demonstration Kitchen.
The team plans meals based on what food has been donated, and they prepare delicious dishes to donate to local organizations such as Mercy Community Church, Intown Collaborative Ministries, Atlanta Day Shelter for Women and Children, The Open Door Community and Meals On Wheels Atlanta.
The Campus Kitchen at Emory works on both a student leader and sign-up volunteer basis. Student leaders must apply and volunteer for weekly shifts. They are ServSafe Certified for food handling and are trained in every step of the process. Other volunteers can sign up for shifts as they please.
With the Campus Kitchen at Emory’s arrival on campus, there is now a great opportunity to get involved and give back.