This morning I was privileged to go to the graduation ceremony of the LENS program we have talked about on the Daily Deac this week. This program brought high school students to campus to work in groups and partner with local agencies on finding creative solutions and opportunities to help the partner agencies do better work in our community.
The partner agencies all had to do with topics like sustainability, the environment, and food resources. I learned some troubling things at the presentations, especially about local food issues. Winston-Salem has a higher child poverty and child hunger rate than the norm, and we also have “food deserts” – areas of our city where there is not ample local grocery stores/access to good, healthy food, which encourages residents to choose less healthy options like fast food.
One of the partner agencies these students paired up with is our own Campus Kitchen, which takes food that has been cooked but not eaten in our own dining venues, and prepares meals for local families who need them.
A friend of mine on Facebook was talking about doing a shift with Campus Kitchen this week, and I didn’t realize they had such a robust system to sign in volunteers. It can be accessed here. I have signed up for my own first shift as a volunteer and am really looking forward to it. There are lots of ways your students could plug in to Campus Kitchen once they are back on campus – you don’t have to love to cook, either. There are sorting and delivering options too.
So many of our students (and faculty and staff) want to do something in honor of our Pro Humanitate motto and help the community. Campus Kitchen is a well-0iled machine, and if your students are looking for ways to give back, meet great people, and serve, this is a terrific service program.
The News Service did a nice special on LENS on the WFU website. Enjoy it.