By Logan McDonald (’19)
In the cafeteria of an elementary school, students are serving a different kind of meal for the Logan Neighborhood. This fall, Gonzaga University students, through an organization called Campus Kitchens, began serving meals weekly to the residents of the neighborhood that surrounds the GU campus. Each Tuesday evening, CKGU prepares, delivers and serves meals at Logan Elementary.
Partnering with 63 universities across the U.S., Campus Kitchens empowers students to combat epidemic food waste and hunger. This is accomplished by collecting undesired, yet edible, food from a variety of sources and preparing new meals to offer to residents in need. Now serving for 13 years, Gonzaga’s Campus Kitchens program repurposes unused food from its own campus cafeteria and Second Harvest Food Bank, making nutritious meals for nearby communities.
Looking for another school to partner with, CKGU chose Logan Elementary for a few reasons. Of Spokane Public Schools, Logan Elementary has the highest percentage of families receiving and reduced lunch for their children. Serving these families supports Gonzaga’s mission statement in fostering a mature commitment to social justice and solidarity with the poor. Additionally, the elementary school is within a mile from the University, creating the opportunity for Gonzaga students not only to serve, but also to share the meal alongside Logan residents. CKGU invites anyone attending Gonzaga to these meals.
Campus Kitchens Program Manager Emily Banick expresses desire for family-style seating at tables rather than an assembly line approach to meal service. She also considers the meal to be “a bridge for parents who otherwise wouldn’t find themselves in their children’s school.” In this way, a weekly dinner opens the door for parental involvement in Logan Elementary.
CKGU is always looking for new volunteers to help with preparing and serving food. If you have any further questions or would like to volunteer, contact Emily Banick at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (509) 313-6939.