By Amy Heard
My life has gotten to the point where if I’m not in class I’m sleeping or doing something for Campus Kitchen. I have all sorts of plans and goals for the group, and I can’t wait to see Campus Kitchen reach its full potential on Baylor’s campus.
Here’s the thing about passions, though — it’s easy to forget that not everyone shares your passion, or even knows what the heck you’re so excited about.
So I’ll let y’all in on a little secret: Campus Kitchen is worth being excited about.
For the uninitiated, Campus Kitchen is a student-led organization. We rescue and cook food to distribute to those in need. Five days a week students go to the dining halls and pick up pans of food and take them to Salvation Army. On Tuesday afternoons, students are busy in the Family and Consumer Sciences kitchen creating healthy snacks to be given to children at local schools. On Thursdays, the kitchen crew cooks a meal that is delivered to the women and children at the Family Abuse Center.
Here’s why I love Campus Kitchen. Food is something we take for granted while people go hungry. Anytime my stomach even starts to rumble I can stop by the SUB, or Taco Cabana, or H-E-B. While I’m shopping for groceries, there are families and children desperate for food. Campus Kitchen does something about that. What’s even more amazing is that all that’s required is your time. You don’t need expertise, or even experience.
There are already innovative things going on within our Campus Kitchen. Waco Arts Initiative and Campus Kitchen have jointly created a program that educates children about balanced meals and teaches them how to make easy, fun meals in a crock pot. The Baylor Community Garden that was just unveiled will soon be providing fresh produce that will add to the meals cooked on Thursday and the kids’ crockpots. There’s a little something for everyone — every major and personality type can find their niche in the array of programs and shifts.
Baylor’s Campus Kitchen is just a baby. The only Campus Kitchen in Texas, we’re a mere two years old and already thriving. With so much room to grow, Baylor can look to Campus Kitchens at other universities for inspiration.
There are kitchens that cook every day of the week, feeding multiple organizations in their area. Some kitchens serve as a proxy between major wholesalers and smaller food banks, picking up donations and redistributing the food. At Washington and Lee University, a backpack program provides children who are on free or reduced lunch at school with nonperishable food items for the weekends.
Every one of these examples are possible in the Waco community. Given a few years, enough volunteers and some true passion, Baylor Campus Kitchen could very well become one of the best in the nation. We have the resources, we have the support, and we definitely have a community in need.
Delivery shifts leave at 3:30 p.m. every day from the Family and Consumer Sciences building parking lot. Cooking shifts start at 3 p.m. on Tuesday and at 3:30 p.m. Thursday and meet in the kitchen in the Family and Consumer Sciences building. For more information, e-mail me at Amy_Heard@baylor.edu.
Amy Heard is a junior English major from San Antonio and is a copy editor for the Lariat.