By: Christian Downes
Lee University recently hosted the Campus Kitchens Project (CKP)
National Conference on Oct. 5-7, 2012. CKP is a national movement
in higher educational institutions to provide meals to those
members of the community in need.
The national conference welcomed representation from various
high schools and colleges, including Baylor, Southern Adventist
University, University of Massachusetts (Boston), and Washington
and Lee University. The event afforded students an
opportunity to join CKP representatives in sharing ideas about
social justice while developing organizational relationships and
volunteer initiatives between schools and the community.
"If students engage in well-designed service-learning, their
learning should be enhanced as well," said Lee's Vice President of
Student Development Dr. Mike Hayes.
Thirty-three institutions, including Lee, presently host a
campus kitchen that serves their community. Their mission is to
"empower the next generation of leaders to implement innovative
models for combating hunger, developing food systems, and helping
communities help themselves."
Robert Egger, president and founder of DC Central Kitchen,
encouraged the audience to "fundamentally, (let's) change the whole
thing around. Many of the problems we face are too big for charity.
What I want to do is start the conversation. Never underestimate
the power of the impact you can make."
Egger spoke about the idea of cascading leadership: "Who
is coming behind you? How do you get people to step over the line
and do things that are frightening? That's what campus kitchen
does, is to try and help people to be brave."
Mike Curtin, CEO of the Central Kitchen, also spoke on
maintaining motivation of its members, the value of community,
fostering relationships within that community and focusing on the
task of getting healthy food options to impoverished areas.
Lee's CKP meets at the Leonard Center Mondays at 6:30 p.m. and
Tuesdays at 4:30 p.m.
For more information about Lee's CKP, contact Americorps VISTA
Stephen Van Gorp: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about DC Central Kitchen's mission and
successes, visit http://www.dccentralkitchen.org.
PHOTO: Members of DC Central Kitchen and Campus