According to the Athens Community Council on Aging, one in every five seniors in Athens is classified as food insecure, meaning they lack access to healthy, adequate and affordable food. The lack of access is not just a financial barrier. Transportation issues can sometimes prevent seniors from going shopping or health problems may limit their dietary options.
Campus Kitchen at the University of Georgia is a food recovery program that works to address these issues in the community. The program secures unused food from grocery stores, restaurants and farmers markets that would otherwise be thrown out. This food is combined with produce from the UGArden and delivered to seniors in the area.
UGA students are responsible for all aspects of the Campus Kitchen operation, from collecting food to cooking and delivering meals. More than 300 students volunteer with Campus Kitchen each year. Since the program’s inception in 2012, 67,000 meals have been delivered and more than 221,000 pounds of food have been recovered.
Campus Kitchen is one of many experiential learning opportunities at the university. UGA is the largest public university to require all undergraduate students participate in experiential learning, providing hands-on experiences that allow students to be engaged in their fields and in the community.
UGA’s Campus Kitchen program is based in the Office of Service-Learning, which is jointly supported by the Office of Instruction and the Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach.