Campus Kitchen at Kent State a national success


Students at the Campus Kitchen on December 6 2011. Photo by Megan Galehouse.

Abby Prulhiere

The Campus Kitchen Project at Kent State is the 2012 recipient of the National Campus Kitchen Project’s Excellence in Programming Award.

The Campus Kitchen Project (CKP) is a student-run, nonprofit organization that gathers leftover food from local restaurants and repurposes it into healthy, well-balanced meals for those in need.

According to the Campus Kitchen Project’s website, the Excellence in Programming Award recognizes the Campus Kitchen branch that best uses food as a tool to bring its community together. Kent State’s Campus Kitchen received the award at a national conference in Tennessee Oct. 7.

Graduate nutrition major Chris Vogliano said Kent State won the award for the farmers’ market and Nutrition Outreach Education programs that volunteers initiated over the past year.

“We are very honored that all of our hard work and efforts to help build the community around the Campus Kitchen Project has been recognized by the national CKP offices,” Vogliano said. “(We have) gained inspiration to keep growing larger and help more community members.”

Vogliano said volunteers help at the Haymaker Farmers’ Market in Kent by cooking food, marketing the organization and establishing relationships with farmers. Vogliano said local farmers donate food to CKP because of the close rapports they have made with students and volunteers.

Vogliano, the leadership coordinator of the Nutrition Outreach section, said he leads a team that teaches monthly nutrition programs and nutritional analyses of menus.

Vogliano said he would like to expand the Nutrition Outreach section and teach money management and physical activity to community members.

“Food is a really good gateway that brings people together,” Vogliano said. “We all eat, so once people are gathered we can talk about other things.”

Ann Gosky, Campus Kitchen project adviser, said Kent State’s branch produces 180 hot meals, 50 to 80 breakfast meals, and 60 to 100 brown-bag lunches on a weekly basis.

Gosky said she is pleased with the success of Campus Kitchens at Kent State. She said she hopes it will remain a success in the years to come.

“My hope is to continue to expose students to the fact that they can make a difference in the community,” Gosky said.

Gosky said she thinks Kent State’s Campus Kitchen is unique because of the diversity of student volunteers.

“I think our kitchen stands out from others because our volunteers come from majors of anthropology to zoology,” Gosky said. “But we are fortunate enough to have students who are majoring in hospitality and nutrition, and that adds a whole new level of what we’re able to do.”

Vogliano said the group always welcomes new volunteers.

Gosky said anyone interested in volunteering with the Campus Kitchen at Kent State can contact her at [email protected].

Contact Abby Prulhiere at [email protected].