Sherwood Frey / Darden

My dream idea is to work with a group of students who are concerned about hunger and troubled about waste in an effort to establish a Campus Kitchen at the University of Virginia.

Campus Kitchen is an on-campus community service program that provides free meals to its neighboring community by reprocessing surplus/leftover foods salvaged from campus dining halls, local restaurants, and community volunteers. The kitchen operates out of a shared, on-campus dining hall kitchen in accordance with all state/local safety and sanitation regulations. The kitchen is staffed by student volunteers. The meals are delivered by student volunteers to families, children, and homebound seniors who are already receiving community-service support.

The Campus Kitchen concept is a proven endeavor operating at ten universities (for example, Northwestern, Marquette, Wake Forest, Washington & Lee), serving nearly 150,000 meals per year and involving more than 1,800 student volunteers. Guidance, seed money, and ongoing oversight are provided by a national organization located in Washington, D.C.

The UVA founding team would (1) conduct feasibility studies (ARAMARK, the UVA food services vender, has expressed interest in supporting the Campus Kitchen concept on a national basis); (2) seek the support of community partners, students, and university administration; (3) develop a plan to house, staff, operate and sustain the UVA program; (4) gain full affiliation with the national organization. The short-term objective would be to deliver the first meals during the Spring semester of 2007 at a rate of 300 meals per week.

The Mead Endowment funds would be used for the incidental expenses associated with travel to Washington, D.C, for meetings with the national Campus Kitchen staff and for site visits to W&L and potentially Wake Forest and for hosting on-grounds informational meetings to spark interest in the program. The total expense would be well within a $2,000 budget.