With the holidays drawing nearer, not everyone has holiday feasts to look forward to. But one campus organization at Kent State University is doing something to make sure no one in their community goes hungry. TV2’s Henna Thornberry has the story.
The holidays are a busy time for people with lots of good food to look forward to. However, not everyone in the Kent community have meals on their tables everyday. One Kent State University organization is doing something to change that.
The Campus Kitchen Project started with opening of the Campus Kitchen in 2011. Kent State joins 32 other schools in participating in the Campus Kitchen Project. The goal of the program is to use service to provide nutritional meals to needy families. The program is completely volunteer based. It is not just a program to help others but changes the students who participate too. Several volunteers said they feel good about what they are doing and know they are making a difference.
Senior Kitchen Manager Joshua Lenardos is a senior in the hospitality management program. He loves food and incorporates it into what he does. He is in charge of the entire program from organizing the meals every week, keeping track of and training volunteers and delivering the food to the community partners. He said it is more than just a job though.
“Growing up I always went with my church and delivered meals to people who needed them and that stuck with me,” Lenardos said.
The Campus Kitchen partners with about five community organizations who provide meals to people in Kent and Portage County. One of those organizations is Kent Social Services. Not only does the Campus Kitchen Project supply meals for the organization but nutrition classes from the university also go and give classes for community members. Assistant Programming Director of Kent Social Services Marquice Seward works closely with the program and said they have a tremendous impact on their organization and the community.
“I know our clients really appreciate the healthy food and we really appreciate them,” Seward said.
The Campus Kitchen Project provides over 250 meals a week to local organizations. Lenardos said the beginning of the semester is most difficult when people are just finding out about it but after that there is no shortage of people volunteering their time.