Campus Kitchen Through the eyes of Alison Long

Photos and captions by Crosby Melendi

In Alamance County, one in four children do not know where their next meal is coming from. Campus Kitchen at Elon University is a chapter that focuses on alleviating food insecurity in Alamance County by providing meals to those in need.
Alison Long is a senior political science major who has been volunteering with Campus Kitchen since her freshman year. Without a car, Campus Kitchen's cooking shifts are a great way for her to help out the Burlington population while staying on campus.
When the opportunity to be a cooking coordinator opened up, Alison eagerly applied. As a member of Alphi Phi Omega, Elon's co-ed service organization, she is passionate about volunteer work and takes her privilege seriously. "We are blessed to go to a school like Elon when there are so many people in the community that are suffering and struggling," Long said. "If we can help even in a small way, that's what's important."
Every Tuesday evening, volunteers convene in the Lakeside kitchen to cook and package meals for those in need in the Burlington community. 200 meals are packaged every shift – 150 for Allied Churches of Alamance County and 50 for local senior centers – and the food is always fresh and nutritious. Elon Dining generously shares their kitchen space and supplies, along with a weekly donation of protein and grains, in support of Campus Kitchen’s mission to fight hunger in the community.
CKEU volunteers harvest vegetables from Bill Loy Farm every Sunday to be prepared by the cooking team; the rest of the ingredients are from BJ's. During the 2015-2016 academic year, over 3000 pounds of food was harvested and delivered to community partners. "We get all our fresh vegetables from Loy Farm," Long said. "This is not a luxury that all Campus Kitchen chapters have."
On this particular Tuesday, the cooking team is making a stir fry. To start, they chop the fresh vegetables while the rice is steaming. Then, the chicken is cubed and cooked on the stove with the chopped vegetables until it is thoroughly mixed. Once that's finished, they mix it together with the rice and package it in individual containers for the delivery shift.
The leaders of Campus Kitchen at Elon truly believe they are making a difference in Alamance County. They have been recognized in the local newspaper and their work does not go unnoticed by community members. Food insecurity is a huge issue in this community, and it is CKEU's mission to put an end to it.

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