Williams Students Win Grant from The Campus Kitchens Project to Help Address Local Food Insecurity

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: Noelle.Lemoine@williams.edu

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., January 23, 2017—Two groups of Williams College students who will work collaboratively to address food insecurity issues in northern Berkshire County have won a $5,000 grant from the Campus Kitchens Project.

Williams Recovery of All Perishable Surplus (WRAPS) and Moo-Mami, a student cooking group, will continue a long-term project with Dining Services to gather, prepare, and distribute free, healthy meals to area housing communities and organizations. For several years, WRAPS and Dining Services have partnered on this project, and the funds from Campus Kitchen Project will enable the groups to purchase supplies needed for the packaging and transportation of meals. Last year, WRAPS delivered 1,409 meals.

Currently, WRAPS uses existing Dining Services kitchen space during off-hours to repackage and prepare balanced and nourishing meals that are delivered to the Mohawk Forest Apartments and Louison House in North Adams. Under the Campus Kitchens Project, WRAPS and Moo-Mami leaders will combine forces and talents to organize weekly shift operations to recover food, prepare meals, deliver meals, and do programming and outreach.

“The Campus Kitchens Project is all about serving each other through hunger relief and relationship-building,” said Megan Maher ’17, Campus Kitchens coordinator at Williams. “In that light, the Campus Kitchens team at Williams is extremely excited for this opportunity to collaborate with a variety of student and community groups who share these values. Not only will this help us coordinate and strengthen existing efforts, but it will also help us brainstorm new ways to expand our work, build relationships with new people, and join a national network of people seeking to serve each other by alleviating hunger.”

“For several years, students and Dining Services have partnered to address the issue of food insecurity in our region,” said Stephen Klass, vice president for campus life. “We are very excited to add this vital national partner to our ongoing work.”

The Campus Kitchens Project, the leading national nonprofit empowering students to fight hunger and food waste, works with high school and college students nationwide on efforts to combat food waste and hunger by collecting surplus food from community gardens, restaurants, and grocery stores and transforming it into healthy meals.

The grant for the Campus Kitchens Project was sponsored by CoBank.

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Founded in 1793, Williams College is the second-oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college’s 2,000 students are taught by a faculty noted for the quality of their teaching and research, and the achievement of academic goals includes active participation of students with faculty in their research. Students’ educational experience is enriched by the residential campus environment in Williamstown, Mass., which provides a host of opportunities for interaction with one another and with faculty beyond the classroom. Admission decisions on U.S. applicants are made regardless of a student’s financial ability, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet the demonstrated needs of all who are admitted.

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About The Campus Kitchens Project

Founded in 2001, The Campus Kitchens Project is a national organization that empowers student volunteers to fight hunger and food waste in their community. On 57 university and high school campuses across the country, students transform unused food from dining halls, grocery stores, restaurants, and farmers’ markets into meals that are delivered to local agencies serving those in need. By taking the initiative to run a community kitchen, students develop entrepreneurial and leadership skills, along with a commitment to serve their community, that they will carry with them into future careers. Each Campus Kitchen goes beyond meals by using food as a tool to promote poverty solutions, implement garden initiatives, participate in nutrition education, and convene food policy events. To learn more about our work, visit www.campuskitchens.org.

About CoBank

CoBank is a $120 billion cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America. The bank provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states. The bank also provides wholesale loans and other financial services to affiliated Farm Credit associations serving farmers, ranchers and other rural borrowers in 23 states around the country. CoBank is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture, rural infrastructure and rural communities. Headquartered outside Denver, Colorado, CoBank serves customers from regional banking centers across the U.S. and also maintains an international representative office in Singapore. For more information about CoBank, visit the bank’s web site at www.cobank.com.