Campus Kitchen short on deliverers
Where are they?
The 925 million undernourished people in 2010? Some of them are here.
The face of hunger is not always a child glancing up at a camera with a piercing look of misery dressed in tattered clothes that beg to fall off of a half-starved body.
Someone should step up to help, right? You could volunteer to do just that by becoming part of the Campus Kitchen family.
“The people of Campus Kitchen are my family, I love when they come and visit,” said Pota Liosk. “Just two of their words make me happy.”
Liosk is on Campus Kitchen’s third delivery route every Wednesday. She knows Campus Kitchen members by name, and it has become custom for volunteers to stick around and visit with Liosk for a while. On this particular Wednesday, she was celebrating 55 years of living in the U.S. Liosk is a Greek immigrant.
A couple stops later in the route, Arlene Jones turns the volume down on her favorite show, “Jeopardy,” while volunteers help her fill out a satisfaction survey. A retired high school teacher, Jones is partially blind. “I am quite satisfied with the meals and greatly appreciate them,” she said. “Especially since I can’t see to cook for myself.”
You wouldn’t think twice if you came across Jones—just another face in the course of your day. Driving past Jones’ home wouldn’t alert you either. Like most on Campus Kitchen’s delivery routes, her home is in a neighborhood familiar to anyone who has lived in Kearney.
“A lot of our clients have been home owners for years, but have reached a point where they need help to meet other needs,” said Kelli Oelsigle, Campus Kitchen’s undergraduate coordinator.
Currently, Campus Kitchen serves 97 clients, which according to Oelsigle has been a steady number over the past three years.
Unfortunately, resources to keep the program running have not always been easy to come by. The resource Campus Kitchen needs the most is volunteer work. At times, only four people have had to fill all five delivery routes.
However, Oeligle and her fellow volunteers are hardly discouraged. “If we have the means to provide, we will,” she said.
They know the life of the organization is out on the routes, in the faces of citizens like Liosk who waits every Wednesday afternoon near her window and beams at the sight of her family.
The mission of The Campus Kitchens Project is to use service as a tool to:
Strengthen Bodies by using existing resources to meet hunger and nutritional needs in our community.
Empower Minds by providing leadership and service learning opportunities to students, and educational benefits to adults, seniors, children and families in need.
Build Communities by fostering a new generation of community-minded adults through resourceful and mutually beneficial partnerships among students, social service agencies, businesses and schools.
Source: http://www.fao.org/ Food and Agriculture Organizations of the United Nations