More than 30,000 people in Morris County don’t know the source of their next meal.
“It’s stunning when you think that 1 in 8 Americans suffer from food insecurity,” says Dr. Helen J. Streubert, president of the College of Saint Elizabeth. “It’s particularly painful to realize that children and the elderly are among the populations that struggle the most with this issue.”
In order to help combat this problem, CSE has been awarded a grant from The Campus Kitchens Project to establish a community service program that recovers and repurposes food that would have otherwise been wasted. The Campus Kitchen at the College of Saint Elizabeth (CKCSE) will collect unused food from the College’s dining hall, local hotels and restaurants. Students who have received food safety training will then prepare delicious meals for both the Interfaith Food Pantry and the Community Soup Kitchen and Outreach Center.
“Students in the College’s Dietetic Internship program will learn about the issues of food insecurity and the needs of our local community,” explains Kathleen Carozza, instructor of the Dietetic Internship at CSE. “We hope it will fuel students’ interest in serving their communities and inspire them to consider how public policy impacts food insecurity.”
The Campus Kitchens Project is a national organization that has inspired students to complete more than 75,000 hours of community service over the 2017-2018 school year. Last year, its over 65 Campus Kitchens transformed nearly a million pounds of food into more than a million meals for those in need.
“It’s about environmental and organizational sustainability,” says Margot Nitschke, the Northeast Regional Program Specialist for CKP. “The Campus Kitchens Project involves the entire community to reduce waste and fight food insecurity.”
The Campus Kitchen at the College of Saint Elizabeth will open in late September.
“We are taking a big step toward addressing this important need,” adds Streubert. “I feel certain that, while we’re cultivating leadership in solving a U.S. problem, we’re also helping our community in a very deep and rich way.”
Mary Colleen Robinson has a communication degree with a concentration in journalism and is currently working as the PR/Social Media Specialist at the College of Saint Elizabeth.