The Campus Kitchen at Virginia Tech

A student loads a food delivery bag into the Campus Kitchen van.

What we do

The Campus Kitchen is a VT Engage program that combats hunger and food waste by redirecting quality, unserved food from VT Dining Services to area hunger relief agencies. Since launching in fall 2015, we have:

  • Diverted over 100,000 pounds of quality, unserved food from campus to community.
  • Worked with six hunger relief agencies and other nonprofits: Radford-Fairlawn Daily Bread, the Giving Tree Food Pantry, Plenty! Farm and Food Bank, New River Valley Agency on Aging, Warm Hearth Village, and the YMCA after school program.
  • Worked with six Virginia Tech dining centers: Dietrick, West End, Owens, Squires, Southgate, and Turner Place.
Campus Kitchen at VT logo

Join the spring 2019 team!

Be a part of the team that has redirected more than 100,000 pounds of unserved food from our campus to our community. We rely on student volunteer support to make this work happen each day, and we need students who are willing to make a weekly commitment to Campus Kitchen.

Are you interested in making a weekly commitment with Campus Kitchen next semester? We'd love to have you! Check out our spring schedule below and fill out the interest form.

Diversion shifts
Diversion shift leaders work with Dining Services employees to repackage unserved food to prepare it to be picked up on an upcoming delivery.

  • Mondays 1 - 3 p.m.
  • Tuesdays 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • Tuesdays 1 - 3 p.m.

Delivery shifts
Delivery shift leaders coordinate the groups of students who pick up the food and drive a university vehicle with the food to one or more community partners.

  • Mondays 8 - 10 a.m.
  • Wednesdays 8 - 10 a.m.
  • Wednesdays 9 - 11:30 a.m.
  • Thursdays 8 - 10 a.m.
  • Fridays 3 - 5 p.m.

Dry meal events
These leaders facilitate dry meal packing events with various groups and clubs. Leaders will be trained on how to run the events, which are scheduled upon request.

Part of a national movement

One in eight Virginians struggles with issues related to food security, and there is a great need in our region to provide services to get food to those in need. Our chapter is part of the Campus Kitchens Project, a national organization that promotes students getting involved combating food waste and hunger.

Students in collegiate chapters across the nation collect surplus food from on-campus dining halls and help transform it into healthy meals that are distributed to food insecure individuals in the area. In spring 2015, Virginia Tech was one of three schools that won a $5,000 grant to help start up a campus chapter.

Where is the Campus Kitchen located?

Currently, we do not have a dedicated physical space. We work in dining halls to divert and store surplus food, and use a lab kitchen in Wallace Hall for cooking shifts.

Host a dry meal event

This Campus Kitchen program works with the New River Valley Agency on Aging’s Meals on Wheels initiative to provide prepared dry meals for the agency’s clients. These meals require only adding hot water, and are easily stored for later use.

Here’s how to host an event:

  • Contact the Campus Kitchen team at engage@vt.edu to get started. We’ll give you all the details on how to host your food drive and help schedule the food packing event.
  • Hold a food drive. You’ll work with your participants to collect ingredients and supplies.
  • Host a packing event in your office. We’ll join you to help run the event and engage your group in a reflective conversation on the impact the meals will have.

Questions? Contact Lester Schonberger, graduate assistant for the Campus Kitchen at Virginia Tech, at hlschon@vt.edu or 540-231-2078.