What we do
The Campus Kitchen at Virginia Tech is a VT Engage program that combats hunger and food waste by redirecting quality, surplus food from VT Dining Services to area hunger relief agencies. Since its launch in fall 2015, Campus Kitchen has:
- Diverted 93,933 pounds of quality, surplus food from Dining Services.
- Engaged 500+ volunteers in serving with Campus Kitchen.
- Worked with four hunger relief agencies across the New River Valley: the Giving Tree Food Pantry, Micah's Backpack, New River Valley Agency on Aging, and Radford-Fairlawn Daily Bread.
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.
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.
One in eight Virginians struggles with food insecurity, and there is a great need in our region to provide services to get food to those in need. This program is an ideal fit for Virginia Tech for several reasons.
Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) is an integral part of our culture at Tech, and with a Campus Kitchen chapter, we are able to build upon food recovery work already being done in our dining halls, raise awareness about hunger issues in our region, and help connect more students with these important issues.
We also have a focus on sustainability at Tech, and re-directing perfectly good food to our neighbors is an exciting way to reduce our food waste. Finally, we all know what a fabulous dining program we have at Tech; this program is just another way of demonstrating how innovative dining services is. Check out the video that won us our start-up grant.