Campus Kitchens and The Grand Food Center Team Up for TurkeyPalooza
Northwestern University students will encourage shoppers attending a Thanksgiving “tasting” event at The Grand Food Center in Winnetka from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov., 10, to donate groceries needed for student volunteers from the Campus Kitchen at Northwestern University (CKNU) to prepare 700 Thanksgiving meals for Chicago and Evanston families in need. The Grand, located at 606 Green Bay Road will match each item collected by students.
As part of its annual “TurkeyPalooza” initiative, volunteers from CKNU will use the donated food items to assemble, package and deliver the meals to Chicagoland families. This year’s Thanksgiving meal features sliced turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, vegetables, and a pumpkin dessert.
CKNU is part of a national, 33-campus program that uses university kitchens during off-hours to prepare meals for area clients including homeless shelters, YMCA, Salvation Army, homebound seniors and a youth organization. From the Northwestern University’s residence hall kitchen, volunteers spend over 200 hours each month to prepare 2,000 free meals they provide every month. Students incorporate roughly 1,400 pounds of recovered food – donations of fresh produce or other non-shelf stable food that would otherwise go to waste – into meals.
Student volunteers plan the menus, work cooking shifts and organize meal delivery. Since 2001, more than 45,000 student volunteers nationwide have participated in The Campus Kitchens Project. They’ve recovered more than two million pounds of donated food, and delivered more than one million meals throughout local communities.
“TurkeyPalooza is a fun way to get our North Shore neighbors involved in fighting hunger,” says Mike Curtin, CEO of The Campus Kitchens Project. “Helping our neighbors is what Campus Kitchens are all about, and we’re excited that The Grand Food Center will join our cause this year.”
The Grand Food Center, with stores in Winnetka and Glencoe, has been providing groceries to the North Shore for more than 25 years. The grocer prides itself on community involvement by supporting local schools, houses of worship and non-profits in the communities it serves.
“The idea of using an idle, university kitchen at night to feed the homeless is a brilliant concept,” says Chris Barber, co-owner of The Grand Food Center. “These student volunteers are tireless, so we’re looking forward to a very productive food drive at our Winnetka store.”
To learn more about The Campus Kitchens Project, visit www.campuskitchens.org.