By Libby Feray | Contributor
Dear Lariat Editorial Board,
I appreciated your recent editorial on how Baylor could do more to fight food insecurity among its students. The sober statistic you mentioned is that nearly 20 percent of Baylor students experience some level of food insecurity, or lack of access to affordable, nutritious food. While you highlighted several contributing issues which only authorities at Baylor can address, such as the need for more affordable meal plans or an extended shuttle system to take students to the grocery store, I wanted to inform you that there are many ways students themselves can fight food insecurity among their fellow students, and in the Waco community as a whole.
I am the president of Baylor’s chapter of The Campus Kitchen’s Project, an organization that works to eliminate food waste and alleviate hunger on college campuses and in the communities that surround them. In your editorial you mentioned the possibility of repurposing the food waste of Baylor dining halls to feed those who are hungry. This is actually something that Campus Kitchen already does! We collect extra, uneaten food from the Baylor dining halls several times a week and deliver it to our local Salvation Army, where it is used nightly in their free community dinners, which are open to anyone. We also collect extra bread and pastries from the Panera Bread on 8th Street several nights a week, which we then distribute to several charitable organizations, including Baylor’s on-campus food pantry, The Store. In the near future we hope to introduce a program, in partnership with The Store, that uses part of the recovered food from dining halls in free meals available to students who are food insecure.
So, while there is much that Baylor can do at an administrative level to address the problem of food insecurity among its students, there is also quite a bit that students can do to address the issue. I would like to invite you and any other Baylor students interested in eliminating food waste and feeding the hungry to join us in the work we do at Campus Kitchen. While we have sufficient funds to operate our programs, the limiting factor we often face is a lack of volunteers. We are still in need of new members who can bolster our dining hall food recovery process and organize programs such as free meal distributions to hungry, food-insecure students. Those interested can contact me at Libby_Feray@baylor.edu or learn more online at www.baylor.edu/campuskitchen.
In the fight against food insecurity among Baylor students, we don’t have to stand by and wait for the Baylor administration to solve the problem. Together, I believe we students can work to significantly address food insecurity among our fellow students.
President, Baylor Campus Kitchen
Libby is a senior University Scholar from Colleyville.