John Cerrotti ‘17
Merrimack College recently partnered with The Campus Kitchens Project to allow students the opportunity to complete community service and represent the Merrimack College Community.
Campus Kitchens Project, a non-profit organization works to teaching younger generations how to fight the epidemic of hunger in their community. When asked about where the idea came from, the leader of the project, Lauren McCarthy said that she “originally heard about the project at the National Conference for Collegiate Women Leaders.” During the conference, McCarthy remembered one quote that really stuck with her. “Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation.” ― Nelson Mandela. Besides colleges, CKP partners with high schools to show the importance of fighting hunger by preparing and delivering meals to those in need. UMass Boston is the only other college in the area to be a part of the program.
Upon learning about the organization, sophomore Kaitlyn Magnano stated: “This is exactly what Merrimack needs. The community needs to know that charity is a big part of who we are and what we do as a college.” Likewise, sophomore Karlee Pedemonti was very excited about the project. She believes “that there is no better feeling than helping those in need.”
In the spring, Merrimack can look forward to the opening of its very own Campus Kitchen. With the help of Sodexo, Merrimack is able to be a part of this initiative. Although the partnership is still underway, there are goals being set for the first year of the Campus Kitchen at Merrimack. Ideally, the team would like to have enough volunteers to run the kitchen for a few hours every Sunday. During these times, students will use the frozen foods that are available to them to prepare meals that will then be delivered to nearby food pantries. Lazarus House will be the main recipient of these donations, but other organizations including Neighbors in Need and other local shelters would ideally also receive donations from the college.
At this point, the new team is looking for members to join. Ideally, campus clubs, departments and community members are needed to join this great cause, along with current students. The more volunteers there are, the more meals can be prepared and then delivered.
If anyone is interested in helping out as a volunteer or in developing the program contact Lauren McCarthy at firstname.lastname@example.org . Visit www.campuskitchens.org for more information regarding the program.