Fighting Food Insecurity One Volunteer at a Time: How Campus Kitchen at UGA Is Making an Impact on the Community in Clarke County By Margaret Pfohl

Recovering between 500 and 1,000 pounds of food from donors each week, Campus Kitchen at UGA currently serves 127 individuals in 51 different families through weekly and bi-weekly deliveries of prepared entrées and grocery bags of donated goods. The student program provides for older adults who are in need of additional support within the community or who are in a service gap, where organizations like Meals on Wheels do not have enough traditional resources to match the community need. Campus Kitchen's volunteer base is responsible for all aspects of the small-scale operation, from recovering donations to delivering prepared meals and groceries to clients.

On Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, the Campus Kitchen volunteers picked up donations, sorted food, created recipes and cooked and packaged entrées, which included baked salmon filets, a vegetable sauté and rice.

Volunteers, from left to right, Darshan Patel, Maggie Wigton, Julia Mattingly and Santosh Nimkar pick up food donations from Trader Joe's on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, in Athens, Georgia. Roughly 811 pounds of food were picked up on this shift, a number that is usually much higher, around 1,000 pounds, according to Nimkar, who was the Shift Leader for this food recovery shift. (Photo/Margaret Pfohl)

After the food is delivered to the Talmadge Terrace Receiving Room in Athens, Georgia, on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, Sam Matthew, a volunteer on the meal planning shift, sorts through the donated food and groups similar items together so that all of the items are clearly visible when the team is writing the recipes. Campus Kitchen uses the refrigerators, freezers and kitchen at Talmadge Terrace, a retirement community in Athens, to store the food and prepare the entrées. (Photo/Margaret Pfohl)

Volunteers sort through fruits, vegetables and eggs to be weighed in the Talmadge Terrace Receiving Room on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, in Athens, Georgia. All bruised or spoiled produce and eggs that are cracked or broken are composted and delivered to UGArden, a student organization that uses Campus Kitchen to distribute produce to families in need in the community. (Photo/Margaret Pfohl)

Sam Matthew writes the recipes for baked salmon and a squash, zucchini and carrot sauté to be cooked by the kitchen volunteers later that evening on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, at Talmadge Terrace. After sorting through the donations, which usually include bread, eggs, fruits, vegetables and dessert, the meal planning team creates recipes that adhere to MyPlate.gov definitions for what constitutes a balanced meal and yield no more than 40 servings to provide more ownership and control for students through the entire process from pick-up to packaging. (Photo/Margaret Pfohl)
Volunteers on the cooking shift unpack the box of ingredients and begin preparing the vegetables, rice and salmon to be cooked on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, in the Talmadge Terrace kitchen. The previous shift's meal planning volunteers packaged the box to contain the exact portions of food needed to fulfill the required servings for that week's deliveries. (Photo/Margaret Pfohl)
Volunteers review the recipe instructions and chop the vegetables to be sautéed on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, in the Talmadge Terrace kitchen. Campus Kitchen volunteers recover food from Trader Joe’s, the Athens Farmer’s Market at Bishop Park, the Collective Harvest CSA and the Georgia Center Hotel on weekends, while the UGArden Student Farm and the Green Roof Garden at UGA grow their own food for Campus Kitchen.(Photo/Margaret Pfohl)

The Shift Leader for the cooking shift, Caroline Quandt, unpackages, washes and seasons salmon filets with olive oil and herbs during the cooking shift in the Talmadge Terrace kitchen on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019. Each Shift Leader attains a ServSafe Food Handler’s license and keeps HACCP paperwork documenting proper time and temperature control as well as a temperature log for the cold storage space during the shift. (Photo/Margaret Pfohl)

Aditi Dhume, left, and Savannah Laux, right, sauté the sliced zucchini, squash and shredded carrots in the Talmadge Terrace kitchen on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019. Because each cooking shift prepares no more than 40 servings per shift, the student volunteers have more freedom to be creative in the recipe creation process, an opportunity that large-scale operations tend not to have. (Photo/Margaret Pfohl)

Volunteers place the salmon filets in each package on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, in the Talmadge Terrace kitchen. Different sizes and numbers of filets are placed in each container depending on how many individuals are in the family receiving the package. (Photo/Margaret Pfohl)

For the final step, the prepared entrées are packed and labeled in the Talmadge Terrace kitchen on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019. After packaging the salmon filets, sautéed vegetables and rice, the meals are labeled with the recipients name, a list of what food items are in the package, a use by date and directions for heating the food in the oven and microwave, and the packages are delivered to recipients in and around Clarke County the following day. (Photo/Margaret Pfohl)

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