CSB Community Kitchen
Over 40 percent of the food produced for consumption ends up in the landfill. In fact, the US alone wastes enough food to fill the 90,000-seat Rose Bowl stadium every day. That's an annual cost of over $100 billion. According to the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) if food waste were a country, it would rank as the third top emitter of CO2 after the US and China. And while these facts reflect an obvious inefficiency in our food system, 49 million Americans do not know where their next meal is coming from. It is estimated that there are 100 million missing meals each year in the state of Minnesota.
The juxtaposition of immense food waste and persistent hunger is puzzling, but Community Kitchen's effort focuses on strategically fitting these pieces together to transform the current system into one which comprehensively supports and nourishes our community.
Community Kitchen seeks to integrate the campus and community to increase access to high quality and nutritious food through a multifaceted, innovative approach to alleviating food insecurity with an emphasis on rural Stearns County. Our meal-delivery program utilizes surplus food on campus and in the community as a catalyst for education, collaboration, and community action.
Community Kitchen envisions a mutually beneficial campus-community partnership that educates and empowers us to transform the current food system and mindset into one which comprehensively supports and nourishes our community.
- Community Engagement
- Community Living
- Dignity of Work
- Respect for Persons
- Distribute high-quality, nutritious food
- Increase wrap-around services such as financial literacy, sustainability, & nutrition education
- Bridge services to increase accessibility, especially in areas lacking transportation resources
- Reduce food waste on campus and in the community
- Advocate for local and national hunger relief programs
- Provide leadership and experiential opportunities for students
- Support sustainable and environmentally responsible programs and development
The Idea Behind CSB Community Kitchen
Certain parties within CSB, including the Office for Experiential Learning and Community Engagement and the Office of Sustainability, spent multiple years researching models of other campus food recovery programs. Augsburg was one of the first college campuses in the nation to start a Campus Kitchen. Over the past few years, we have held several conversations, conducted a study tour of their operation and researched extensively on the web. Augsburg's Campus Kitchen uses a model that includes: food to share, food to grow, food to buy, and food to know. This model encompasses a free food program, the community garden, the farmer's market, and food justice simulations. Augsburg's mentorship has been instrumental in the implementaion of CSB Community Kitchen, especially in the initial stages of research and development.CSB Community Kitchen currently partners with Casa Guadalupe Multicultural Community to provide congregate meals twice a week. Community Kitchen has also partnered with Simply Good Cooking through Reach Up, Inc. and Upward Bound through the congregate dining program. Other non-profits, churches, assisted living facilities, and food shelves located in St. Joseph, Cold Spring, Melrose, Holdingford, Albany, and Avon, may make excellent partners in our effort to increase access to healthy food and help CSB Community Kitchen provide meals where need is high and other services are not already being offered.The CSB Community Kitchen strives to maintain a rural focus. In rural communities, churches are often the community gathering place and most churches have the infrastructure and kitchen space needed for meal reheating and preparation. Community organizations are also aware of the families experiencing high levels of need and could refer for a meals-on-wheels model, where meals are delivered to the homes in rural areas. There are a number of resources in St. Cloud available for people to access and receive a warm meal; however, in rural communities, access to healthy food and meals is more difficult to attain.