May 1, 2016 | Leave a Comment
BUIES CREEK — Campbell University has applied for a grant to start a Campus Kitchen to combat hunger, provide food security and educate the Harnett County community on healthy food choices. If chosen, the Community Engagement office in Campus Ministry will receive a $5,000 grant from Campus Kitchens Project, a national leader in community service for students.
“Campbell University has always been committed to service, and this is another way we can impact the area we live in,” University President J. Bradley Creed said. “People will be surprised to find out the health concerns we have [locally] because of food insecurity. This is a good project for our students and their desire for learning, their desire to serve and desire to make a positive difference in the lives of their closest neighbors.”
Over half of the households in Harnett County are considered “food insecure,” meaning those families have limited or uncertain access to adequate food. Many other families receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits but still struggle to put food on the table. And healthier foods cost more, meaning many families settle for fast food or junk food that’s often cheaper than the healthier alternatives.
A Campus Kitchen will not only provide an on-campus community kitchen space, it would recover food not used in Campbell’s cafeterias and rely on student volunteers to prepare and deliver healthy meals to the community. Campbell’s Campus Ministry currently houses a small food pantry that will expand under the Campus Kitchen Project.
“Organizations [that feed those in need] come and go, and people who are food insecure lose trust,” said Blake Faircloth, one of the student organizers of Campbell’s grant effort. “They don’t know which way to turn. Campbell can provide that trust, because it’s already an established organization in this community.”
The idea for Campbell’s involvement came from student experiences on a mission trip to Washington, D.C., during spring break in 2015. Hannah Jonas, one of the students on that trip and a Buies Creek native, said she was inspired to see the impact those universities can have.
“Growing up here and attending these public schools, I’ve seen friends and others who really do struggle with poverty and hunger,” she said. “And they’re not getting good healthy food.”
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