MLK Day of Service Grant Recipients!

 

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I am thrilled to announce that Campus Kitchens Project at Auburn University, through Campus Compact partner Auburn University Office of Public Service (OPS), has been selected as a recipient of the 2016 MLK Day of Service Community Partnership Project mini grant! Former OPS VISTA Elizabeth Harbin and I worked together on the grant proposal and are now moving forward with the project to reduce food insecurity in East Alabama!  We will host one of 62 projects in Campus Compact colleges and universities across 25 states!  Grant funds upwards of $300,000 will be distributed and over 20,000 volunteers will be mobilized for all of the projects on and around the MLK Day of Service, January 18, 2016.  If you would like to check out the other award recipients, or find out more about the MLK Day of Service grants, CLICK HERE.

I am so excited about our project!  Over the next few months the Office of Public Service, part of University Outreach at Auburn University, will be working hand in hand with Campus Kitchens project at Auburn University, The Food Bank of East Alabama, and The Food Bank of Macon County, to sponsor and run a mobile food pantry.  What is a mobile food pantry you may ask? A mobile food pantry is basically a food pantry on wheels.  It enables us to provide food to those in need who may not have access to a local food bank by bringing the food bank to them! It is one of the most effective programs The Food Bank of East Alabama provides.  From 2011 to 2014, one hundred forty one mobile food pantry distribution events were sponsored and almost 750,000 pounds of food was distributed.  It is structured to be an engaging experience where volunteers assist with various tasks.  The mobile pantry uses a farmer’s market type atmosphere which allows guests to choose items for their family, which engages them and offers the opportunity to connect with partners and volunteers.   Our project will recruit volunteers from Auburn University, Lee County, Campus Kitchens Project, and the Auburn Serves Network. We will mobilize over 30 volunteers to provide 5000-8000 pounds of food, as well as nutrition education and prepared Campus Kitchen meals, to up to 110 families and veterans in Macon County.

Campus Kitchens Project will be doing so much to help with this project.  They will be working as student coordinators for the grant, fundraising for grant matching funds, volunteering at the pantry distribution site, and will provide nutrition information and meals for each family who will be served.  For those who are not familiar with Campus Kitchens Project, it is a student-led, student run, organization that fights hunger and food waste by safely collecting surplus food from the university’s dining facilities to produce nutritious meals for food pantries on and off campus. This semester alone, they have collected 2,573 pounds of food that would have been discarded, and provided 2,621 meals to local food pantry’s and non-profits in the Lee County area.  If you are an Auburn Student and are interested in Volunteering with Campus Kitchens in the spring, contact Adam Bashir (aeb0038@tigermail.auburn.edu).

Our project will be held In Macon county On January 22nd 2016.  Please contact me at clh0063@auburn.edu if you are interested in volunteering or supporting our project!

Until Next Time!

 

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