WHAT TO EXPECT
Want to reach out, but don't know who, what, when, where, and how?
Our Leadership Team at Campus Kitchen has composed a guide to every shift you might encounter as volunteer or shift leader. We offer three types of shifts for volunteers: culinary, distribution, and food recovery. Each of these shifts differ heavily, so there is a shift type for everyone!
Throughout the week, Cooking and Soups & Sides Shift Leaders guide volunteers to prepare the recipes created by our Meal Planners. All Shift Leaders have a ServSafe license from National Restaurant Association to keep food and volunteers safe. As a volunteer, you will experience working in an industrial kitchen provided to us by Talmadge Terrace-Lanier Gardens and get to work with a variety of interesting foods we have recovered. Meals are typically composed of one starch, meat, and a vegetable depending on what the food recovery shift collects and meal planners utilize. We never cook more than 50 servings per shift, allowing opportunity for more creativity than a large-scale operation. Students have complete ownership over the complete preparation of each client's meal. The prepared food is cooled and portioned into family-style meal kits that our clients can reheat and enjoy.
Home-Delivered Meals: Delivery Shift Leaders deliver packaged meals and groceries directly to the homes of older adult families. Shift Leaders use personal vehicles to deliver to nearly 50 households every two weeks. As a volunteer you will assist the driver in navigating, calling clients, and carrying the groceries and meal to the client's house. Each delivery route can range from 45 minutes to an hour and a half. Groups receiving our delivery service are:
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren (GRG)
Often characterized by older adults raising young children, GRG families receive services through the Athens Community Council on Aging (ACCA). We deliver to families that have been vetted by the ACCA as food insecure, and Campus Kitchen's deliveries continue even after they have exited from ACCA's case management services. More information about the GRG program can be found here.
Meals on Wheels (MOW)
We provide additional meals and grocery bags to individuals already enrolled in daily home-delivered MOW program through the ACCA. We deliver to elderly individuals that have been vetted by the ACCA to have a food access need in addition to their Meals on Wheels.
A majority of the food Campus Kitchen works with is surplus inventory donated from Trader Joe’s. Food items typically include items nearing but not past expiration dates, misshapen or bruised produce, or torn outer packaging. We also receive fresh, local produce from the UGArden Student Farm, the Athens Farmers Market and Collective Harvest. Food Recovery Shift Leaders pick up donations from these locations and transport them to our cooler space at Talmage Terrace-Lanier Gardens.
When volunteering with us, our shift leaders will meet you at the Presbyterian Student Center off Lumpkin Street before driving to Trader Joe’s where you will be greeted by two or three red, rolling shelves of boxes to be loaded into cars. Expect to unload anywhere from 600 to 1300 pounds of apples, eggs, bread, potatoes, bell peppers, fish filets, and the occasional bonus dented can of dog food. Many of our donations are close to expiration, could be considered “ugly”, or are in great condition and make us wonder why anyone would donate them in the first place. Together, we’ll sort like-items into boxes before weighing them and placing them in the cooler where meal planners and our culinary team will later transform this food waste into anything from steak and potato dinners to delicious taco cuisine.
Like what you see?
If you feel like you would enjoy any of these shifts, volunteering is easy! You can sign up through our Volunteer Page on our website or directly through GivePulse. Can't get enough through just Volunteering? Get more involved by applying to be a Shift Leader here. Applications open towards the end of every semester to apply for the following semester.