By SARA GIBONEY
KEARNEY –“Happy Thanksgiving,” UNK students Kelsie Musil and Whitney Nelson said in unison as they held out two Styrofoam containers.
The contents of those containers – turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, fruit, a dinner roll and piece of pie – were meant to make it feel more like the holidays for those who can’t afford a Thanksgiving meal.
The University of Nebraska at Kearney’s Campus Kitchen delivered nearly 100 meals Monday during its annual TurkeyPalooza.
“It’s so important because most of the people we’re delivering to are families with small children who can’t afford a Thanksgiving meal or are elderly and may not have family visiting for Thanksgiving,” said Musil, Campus Kitchen president.
Campus Kitchen at UNK is comprised of 15-20 student volunteers who make and distribute meals every week to the less fortunate in the community. In Kearney, Campus Kitchen’s clients range from families with children as young as 5 years old to homebound seniors in their 90s.
“During the holidays people love getting together with their family. Some of these people don’t have the luxury to do that,” said Musil, a senior biology major. “It’s nice for them to have the feeling of having a feast even if they can’t afford it or are living alone a long way from family. It’s also nice for them to have someone come to their door.”
Student volunteers gathered in the University Residence North kitchen to prepare the meals. With the help of UNK Dining Services, students prepared five turkeys, one ham, 11 pies and side dishes. The meals were delivered late Monday afternoon.
“No one should feel that they have to go hungry,” Musil added. “As a community we should try to help the less fortunate so they don’t have to worry about their next meal.”
Last year, the UNK volunteers provided more than 2,200 meals to feedd insecure clients in the Kearney area.
Most donations to UNK Campus Kitchen come from Kearney High School, Sunrise Middle School and the Big Blue Cupboard on campus. The Big Blue Cupboard provides nonperishable food items to students in need.
UNK Campus Kitchen is part of a national student development and hunger relief organization, The Campus Kitchens Project. The Campus Kitchens Project is a student-driven initiative on campus where high school and college students recover un-served food from dining services, use school cafeterias to prepare meals, and deliver those meals to low-income youth, seniors, families and community-based agencies. The mission of The Campus Kitchens Project is to strengthen bodies, empower minds and build community. For more information, to coordinate a meal delivery or to donate to Campus Kitchen contact Jon Watts at 308.865.8448 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Jon Watts, 308-865-8448, email@example.com
Writer: Sara Giboney, 308.865.8529, firstname.lastname@example.org