PHILIPPI, W.Va., April 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Hunger affects all 55 counties and more than 275,000 residents in West Virginia, including seniors. Four organizations — Alderson Broaddus University (ABU), Sodexo, The Campus Kitchens Project, and AARP Foundation — formed a taskforce to address food insecurity within West Virginia's senior community, and today announced plans to launch a new initiative this fall to fight hunger with opportunities for student involvement. The program is made possible through a grant awarded by AARP Foundation to Alderson Broaddus University.
Alderson Broaddus will use the funds to launch its chapter of The Campus Kitchens Project, the nation's leading nonprofit organization empowering young people to fight food waste and hunger. Campus Kitchens will place a Fellow at the university to launch the program and ensure its success over the first two years, including student volunteer opportunities.
"Alderson Broaddus University is delighted to collaborate with our dining partner, Sodexo, and the nationally recognized Campus Kitchens Project in addressing the issue of hunger for elderly people in Barbour County, West Virginia. Equally satisfying is the fact that AARP Foundation is supporting us in this ambitious and much needed endeavor," said Dr. James (Tim) Barry, President of Alderson Broaddus University. "Rural poverty — in particular, elderly rural poverty and hunger — is an issue that is endemic to West Virginia, particularly in Barbour County. The University has identified rural hunger as a critical need that must be addressed. In our discussions with Sodexo, we believe that we have the beginnings of not only a partnership but a collective way to address the issue of hunger in Barbour County with the support of our Campus Kitchens student volunteers. We look forward to critically examining the programmatic needs for this and developing a successful and engaged program."
"Sodexo has a longstanding commitment to end hunger and believes in the power of young people in fighting this critical cause," said Sodexo District Manager Michael Greenfield. "For more than 10 years, our Stop Hunger Foundation has invested in young people to help them start and grow innovative solutions to hunger. In 2017, our foundation provided nearly 4.1 million meals for 2.3 million people in local communities around the world and supported the growth of programs like The Campus Kitchens Project. We are glad to extend our partnership with Alderson Broaddus University beyond campus dining halls to provide hunger relief for seniors in the local community."
On more than 60 university and high school campuses across the country, student volunteers with The Campus Kitchens Project transform unused food from dining halls, grocery stores, restaurants, and farmers markets into meals for people experiencing hunger. In the last academic year, Campus Kitchens across the country recovered over 1.3 million pounds of wasted food and served 350,000 meals.
"We're thrilled to expand our Campus Kitchens network to Alderson Broaddus and into West Virginia," said Dan Abrams, director of The Campus Kitchens Project. "Young, eager student volunteers at Campus Kitchens across the country are developing sustainable solutions to hunger and food waste that have a real and lasting impact on those struggling with food insecurity. We look forward to seeing how the Alderson Broaddus team, along with supportive partners like Sodexo and AARP Foundation, will replicate this model in Barbour County to serve disadvantaged seniors and others in need."
"Thousands of people over age 65 in West Virginia are living in poverty," said Emily Allen, senior vice president of programs at AARP Foundation. "AARP Foundation works to end senior poverty by helping vulnerable older adults build economic opportunity and social connectedness. This taskforce initiative in West Virginia will forge an intergenerational partnership — a win for student volunteers and a win for the senior community."
The taskforce will hold meetings this spring to create an action plan for the fall launch. Other organizations will join the initiative and serve as feeding venues.
About Alderson Broaddus University
For more than 144 years, Alderson Broaddus University has been providing a quality education for its students. Overlooking the picturesque Tygart River Valley in Phillipi, West Virginia, Alderson Broaddus University students learn and grown in a faith-based learning community. Alderson Broaddus University is a health-related and professional education institution. Alderson Broaddus University is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches, USA, and the West Virginia Baptist Convention.
About Sodexo North America
Sodexo North America is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 80 countries. Sodexo is a leading provider of integrated food, facilities management and other services that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life of 15 million customers in corporate, education, healthcare, senior living, sports and leisure, government and other environments daily. The company employs 133,000 people at 13,000 sites in all 50 U.S. states and Canada and indirectly supports tens of thousands of additional jobs through its annual purchases of $9.2 billion in goods and services from small to large American businesses. In support of local communities across the U.S., the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation has contributed close to $30 million over the past 20 years to help feed children in America impacted by hunger. To learn more about Sodexo, visit SodexoInsights.com and connect with us on Facebook and @SodexoUSA on Twitter.
About AARP Foundation
AARP Foundation works to end senior poverty by helping vulnerable older adults build economic opportunity and social connectedness. As AARP's charitable affiliate, we serve AARP members and nonmembers alike. Bolstered by vigorous legal advocacy, we spark bold, innovative solutions that foster resilience, strengthen communities and restore hope.
About The Campus Kitchens Project
Founded in 2001, The Campus Kitchens Project is a national program of DC Central Kitchen that empowers student volunteers to fight hunger and food waste in their community. On over 60 university and high school campuses across the country, students transform unused food from dining halls, grocery stores, restaurants, and farmers' markets into meals for people experiencing hunger. 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 implements innovative Beyond the Meal programming that uses food as a tool to end systemic poverty. Across the country, local campus kitchens are building community gardens, organizing mobile food pantries, filling backpacks for after school children, and educating the public on SNAP benefits and nutrition. To learn more about our work or bring The Campus Kitchens Project to your school, visit www.campuskitchens.org.