Sometimes it can be hard to realize how much different life outside your immediate interactions can be. At Wake Forest, we live in a "bubble" as students have been known to call it. We have everything we need right here on campus — whether it be a place to sleep, a gym, meals, friends, you name it.

Despite all of this luxury on campus, right outside of our bubble is one of the nation's largest food deserts, an area with little to no access to healthy and affordable food options. Winston-Salem as a whole is a city that needs a little love and help when it comes to food.

Megan Rivenburg

Who better to help than Wake students? Campus Kitchen is an organization on campus that works to reduce food waste and to make the food desert just a little bit smaller. The student-run organization gives back to the community with shifts running each day of the week.

There is a shift for everyone. You can take a trip to Fresh Market to pick up produce that can't be sold because of a minor bruise or discoloration. Prefer to stay on campus? Run to the dearly beloved Pit to pick up trays upon trays of extra food that was made but never put out for students to eat. 

There are also cooking shifts and delivery shifts to multiple partner organizations in Winston. Members of these organizations get to know our Campus Kitchen volunteers and see them as mentor-like figures.

With the vast variety of different shifts and times of the day that shifts run, there is something to fit every schedule and each range of interest. There is even an up and coming "action team" meant to involve more volunteers on a deeper level with more responsibility but also more flexibility when it comes to scheduling.

The major event Campus Kitchen at Wake runs each year is TurkeyPalooza, where we dedicate the cooking shifts of the week to preparing full Thanksgiving meals for all of our partner organizations and sit down with the partners to share the meals on delivery shifts.

Events like this bring together people from all realms of Wake Forest in the name of something that is for the greater good — feeding people who don't always know where their next meal could be coming from.

Take it from a few Campus Kitchen leaders:

"Campus Kitchen has allowed me to be an active participant in making a positive change in the Winston-Salem community. I love being able to interact with the people we serve, and being a part of this organization has given me a new perspective on the needs of a population that is right in Wake Forest's backyard" (Tara Coady '17). 

"Campus Kitchen has allowed me to escape the Wake Forest bubble to make an impact on our community. It brings me great joy to know that by taking a few hours our of my week to help cook a meal or deliver food, I can make a difference" (Taylor Alouf '18).

For me personally, Campus Kitchen is something that I have been involved with since my freshman year at Wake. It has given me a chance to make friends, assume leadership positions, but most importantly, it's given me the opportunity give back to the community that is so deeply connected to me and Wake Forest as a whole.

If you go to Wake Forest and want to volunteer on a shift, sign up with on the Campus Kitchen volunteer portal. Even if you don't go to Wake, you can still volunteer! Campus Kitchen has branches at multiple schools around the country. No Campus Kitchen at your school? Not a problem — the organization is always open to new locations. Your community and your school will thank you.