Summer Intern Reflections – Food and Community

Campus Kitchen hosted two high school interns through the Minneapolis Step-Up program again this summer. Davonte returned for a second year, bringing confidence to share his previous knowledge and to ask brave questions in staff meetings, and Rahma for the first year, bringing lots of Cedar-Riverside neighborhood knowledge and incredible baking skills.

This summer I’ve had the pleasure to work with Campus Kitchen. Over the summer I participated in meetings where complex ideas were discussed and I had the liberty to share my own thoughts and ideas within an inter-generational group which was a knowledgeable experience for me. I had the privilege to learn about vegetables that were unfamiliar to me at first and then figure out how to use these vegetables to make healthy and creative foods such as zucchini chocolate chip muffins, zucchini chocolate chip cookies, and cucumber brownies. My cooking skills grew very much this summer as I had lots of opportunities to practice thanks to Campus Kitchen. I’m also much more comfortable in a garden setting now. I got to work in the campus community garden a lot which strengthened my agricultural skills and knowledge. Throughout the summer I participated in many garden activities such as watering, trellis building, plant identification, harvesting, checking the soil and some landscaping. On Saturdays, I participated in the weekly gleaning where we received donations of produce from farmers at the Mill City Farmers Market who were willing to give. After this we sorted through and bagged the produce to give to The Cedars, which are low income apartments for the elderly in Cedar-Riverside. There we would have to communicate with the elderly whom often didn’t speak english. Usually we’d have leftover produce from the Saturday gleaning which we used to make a delicious and healthy lunch every Tuesday in the aforementioned garden. On Thursdays we prepared meals for about 50-60 elderly people who live in the Ebenezer Tower and Seward Towers East/West. Some Fridays we’d prepare and serve dinner for some of the residents at the Ebenezer Tower. Campus Kitchen allowed me to grow my knowledge of food desserts, positive/negative food environments, food oasis, ugly vegetables, school lunches, food rights in our community, fast food, food insecurities, the food process (where food comes from/how it gets to us), and composting. We did many projects and research to further our knowledge on these subjects such as making a food glossary, conducting a market basket survey, a research project on food desserts, and a presentation about school lunches. I’m now much more aware and conscious of food waste thanks to Campus Kitchen. I thoroughly enjoyed my second summer of working with Campus Kitchen and I’m thankful for the experience.

-Davonte Hall (South High School, class of 2021)

Hey, My name is Rahma Farah and this summer I worked in for the Campus Kitchen as an intern.The Campus Kitchen at Augsburg is an on-campus student program that is a member of a national nonprofit organization. We did all sorts of different things such as work in the community garden to help the gardeners’ plants grow and build many trellis so that their tomatoes could grow on them. We also got a lot of donated fresh produce from the Mill City Farmers Market that we give out to The Cedars, which are a low income apartments for the elderly in Cedar-Riverside, and the Campus Cupboard, which is a food shelf for Augsburg students. Every Tuesday we’d use some of that produce to make a garden lunch where anyone could come grab a bite to eat. On every Thursday we go to Ebenezer Tower, Seward Tower East and West and prepared about 60 meals in total. And every other Friday we go back to Ebenezer Tower and serve and eat dinner with them.

Throughout this experience I gained many skills. By going to the Friday dinners, it boosted up my communication skills because I would talk to a different person every time we went. By working out at the garden, I gained knowledge about plants such as how to identify them and take care of them. I also learned how to manage my time, since some days we were given a list of tasks that had to be done and we’d get it done with time to spare. We did all sorts of different projects like learning about food deserts in our neighborhoods and food securities in the elderly community. We did a market basket survey about the grocery stores in the area and their prices for certain items. I also became more aware about food waste and compostable items. This summer has been full of great experiences and I want to thank the Campus Kitchen team for an amazing first job experience.

The first photo is us learning how to build a trellis.

The second photo is of us brainstorming a food system.

-Rahma Farah (South High School, class of 2021)

students build a garden trellis

students brainstorming

Serving up food and fun with Campus Kitchen Step-Up interns

Hi my name is Davonte and I worked as one of Augsburg’s Campus Kitchen summer Step-up interns and it was my first ever job experience. Over the summer I’ve acquired a variety of job experiences and practiced many skills such as cooking, gardening, and researching food systems. Every Monday through Thursday I served food with the youth at the Brian Coyle Center and on Saturday I participated in the gleaning at the Mill City Farmer’s Market where we collected fresh donations of produce and gave it elders at The Cedars senior apartment building in Cedar-Riverside. It was a lot of hard work but it was also very fun and well worth the time. For example, going to the Guthrie Theatre during my shift on Saturday to enjoy the views made the time go so much faster.

This summer while cooking I learned new things such as new recipes made from fresh and healthy ingredients that ended up tasting really good like zucchini muffins and cucumber popsicles. Also one of my favorite parts of the job was just making other people happy by giving them food. It’s a rewarding experience.  

-Davonte

 

Hey, my name is Raykel and this past summer I worked for Campus Kitchen through the Minneapolis Step Up program. “What’s Campus Kitchen you ask?” Well Campus Kitchen is a food organization that is basically built off of donations. Any food not used in the Augsburg kitchen that has already been prepared but wasn’t eaten is given to Campus Kitchen to be reused. We have a wide variety of the kinds of food that we get, although once the food is put into the fridge we have a week to use it and most times it gets used and if not we freeze it. Another question you probably have is “Where does the food go once prepared everyday?” Well, Monday-Thursday the food is made and distributed to the Brian Coyle Center, for the children and even the adults (depending on how much we have left) but kids always eat first. Fridays, twice a month we take food to the elders at Ebenezer Tower Apartments and eat dinner with them. Campus Kitchen is like an organization that is always giving back to the community. Did I mention the garden where the community gets together and grows what they want to?

This job gives many opportunities. For instance, you meet people at a college and you learn things about the college that you didn’t know before. Also, you can put it on your resume. Plus if you ever need a job when you come to college then you know a place that you don’t even have to leave campus for. There were many memories and skills that we made and learned over the summer but there’s a couple that stand out to me:  knowledge of plants and knowledge of cooking in the kitchen. For two weeks in the summer time we had a gap in our schedule because the Brian Coyle Center was shut down so we helped out MN Urban Debate League camp. During, before, or even after their lunch we always could eat lunch so who wouldn’t go back for 3rds? This job helped me gain a lot of knowledge about many things and I’m very grateful for a great job.

Here’s some photos from the summer time:

1st photo is from the Garden

2nd photo was when we prepared the food by ourselves

-Raykel N.

 

Cooking and building community with Campus Kitchen!

20160627_135606Hello! Kenani and DJ here, Augsburg Campus Kitchen’s summer 2016 Step-Up Interns. This summer we were placed with Augsburg Campus Kitchen for our first ever job through the City of Minneapolis Step-Up program. All summer we have been cooking and serving meals for youth at the Brian Coyle Center summer program. In addition, on Mondays we helped teach gardening, cooking, and nutrition lessons to Brian Coyles’ K-8th graders. The theme for the summer was Top Chef and each week we had a cooking competition and awarded three participants Top Chef of the week. Thanks to grant support from The Campus Kitchens Project, These students were able to bring home a bag of groceries and recipes to their families so they could recreate the meals with them.

IMG_20160818_120719This past week in Top Chef we had a salsa competition where students were given a certain amount of fake money to buy the fresh ingredients to make their special salsas. The students had to be creative in making unique salsa while still making sure they had enough money to buy all the ingredients for their salsa. The kids had tons of fun making salsa and many of them were surprised how good their salsa turned out. For instance, a few students challenged themselves by putting less common ingredients such as black beans or pineapple in their salsa and still ended up loving it! We were really impressed that almost all the students liked their salsa – we learned it is almost impossible to make bad salsa from fresh ingredients!

Throughout the summer we learned about a community that is different than our own. We realized how everyone in Cedar Riverside seems to know each other and how connected they are to their community. Even though we were out of our comfort zone a little at first we were able to make new friends and learn new things, not to mention becoming all-star dishwashers and building our resumes!

 

You can eat processed meats and red meats, but can you digest cancer?

As a way to further reflect on their experience with Campus Cupboard, polish their communication skills, and explore new topics related to food and sustainability, Campus Cupboard volunteers will be publishing weekly blogs this fall. Check back each week for new musings from the students!

By: Oscar-Martinez-Armenta (’16)

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an intergovernmental agency forming part of the World Health Organization (WHO), recently served us a mouthful. On Monday, October 26, the IARC reported that processed meats and red meats are linked to cancer.

After analyzing 800 scientific studies, the IARC categorized processed meats as a Group 1 Carcinogenic. Under this category, “there is enough evidence to conclude that it can cause cancer in humans.” Red meats were placed in Group 2A, which means that there is probable cause of cancer, but the evidence is inconclusive.

Processed meats are those altered through methods like salting, curing, and fermentation. Bacon, ham, and sausage are prime examples. Eating 50 grams per day of these meats can increase the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%. Continue reading “You can eat processed meats and red meats, but can you digest cancer?”

My Passion for New Adventures

As a way to further reflect on their experience with Campus Cupboard, polish their communication skills, and explore new topics related to food and sustainability, Campus Cupboard volunteers will be publishing weekly blogs this fall. Below, Malia kicks off the “Food and Sustainability Series” by exploring new food adventures. Check back each Monday for new musings from the students!

By Malia Thao (’16)

Living in a big and dynamic world, I have a strong passion to travel across the globe, for new adventures and to learn more about the various cultures out there. Food is always a big part of that learning.

Last semester, I was fortunate enough to studied abroad in two countries: El Salvador for a short term winter break, and South Korea for a semester long. Both of these international experiences were wonderful and awesome learning abroad experiences. The biggest highlight of everything was the authentic foods from these places. One of my favorite foods in El Salvador was Pupusa which is a thick tortilla bread stuffed with a bean paste. On the other side, my favorite food in South Korea was Kimbap and Dakbokki. Kimbap, is a steamed rice wrapped with all kinds of vegetables and Dakbokki is a spicy rice cake stew. Just thinking about these foods makes me really want to go back to visit El Salvador and South Korea. Continue reading “My Passion for New Adventures”

Biodiesel: Fueling an Open Mind

As a way to further reflect on their experience with Campus Cupboard, polish their communication skills, and explore new topics related to food and sustainability, Campus Cupboard volunteers will be publishing weekly blogs this fall. Below, Oscar kicks off the “Food and Sustainability Series” with a topic he has been interested in learning more about. Check back each Monday for new musings from the students!

By Oscar Martinez (’16)

Last year, Minnesota increased the mandate from a 5 percent minimal biodiesel blend (B5) in its diesel fuel supply to B10. The shift occurred because biodiesel has demonstrated substantial reduction in particulate and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As the statue currently reads, Minnesota will be raising to B20 by 2018.

Biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning substance made from oils and natural fats (e.g., soybean oil, and animal fats) that is reducing dependence of fossil fuels. If I was in the same mindset that I had been in three years ago and listened to these statements, I would be asking why the state is not aiming for higher biodiesel blends. Luckily (or maybe not), playing the scientist in college has opened my mind. Through lecture, lab research, and discussion, I have found that biodiesel and other renewable energy sources are not 100% practical. Continue reading “Biodiesel: Fueling an Open Mind”

Campus Kitchen Summer Update

It’s hard to believe summer is almost over – it feels like it just started for us! With a solid team of interns serving weekly meals, supporting the community garden, revamping our farmer’s markets, and teaching gardening and cooking classes, it was a busy but rewarding summer at the Campus Kitchen. We’re looking forward to keeping this momentum going into the school year… but before that happens, we finally have time to catch our breath and share what we’ve been up to for the past 3 months. Check out our summer updates below!

Food To Share

In addition to serving 60 packaged lunches to seniors in Phillips and Seward each week, we had a few special events at our Friday community dinners at Ebenezer Tower. Rhys led an “Easy Cooking & Eating” discussion with residents to share strategies on no-fuss healthy eating. Many thanks to The Campus Kitchens Project and AARP for sharing the curriculum and supporting these new senior outreach efforts! To celebrate Independence Day, we brought our most festive attire, some July 4th trivia, and pies graciously donated by Perkins Restaurant.

Picture1 Continue reading “Campus Kitchen Summer Update”

Food Waste, Hunger, and You – By Emily Campbell (’17)

Recently, Campus Kitchen students joined peers from across the country at the 2015 Food Waste & Hunger Summit, where we networked, shared insights, learned new ideas, and were honored with a “Going Beyond The Meal” award.  Check out Emily Campbell’s (’17) reflection and call to action below, and stay tuned for more student reflections!

The United States wastes 40 billion pounds of food each year. 40 billion. That statistic is staggering, but it’s even more unsettling knowing that 1 in 6 Americans do not consistently know from where their next meal is coming. Some throw perfectly edible food in the trash while others go hungry. It’s a paradox: in a decade, our landfills will be so full of food and other organic material that we’ll have to start exporting our trash and yet there are still people who are food insecure. I could go on with statistics about hunger and about wasted food, but I’ll cut to the chase: What can we do about it? Continue reading “Food Waste, Hunger, and You – By Emily Campbell (’17)”

Campus Kitchen goes “green” at Brian Coyle Center!

plates

This semester, Campus Kitchen has been able to resurrect a practice that’s both earth-saving and cost-saving with the youth at Brian Coyle Center. A year ago, an intern created a reusable plate system to use with the youth, but the system (and plates) got lost in transitions through the summer and fall. Now, thanks to a donation from Seward Community Co-op, thoughtful clean-up skills from the youth, and a little extra elbow grease from our current interns and volunteers, re-usable plates have returned!

The youth are back in the habit of saving plates every day, and Campus Kitchen students have been able to use the dishwasher at Brian Coyle to make clean-up efficient and effective. These cheery green plates are now saving about 100 Styrofoam plates from a landfill each week!

photo 3

Campus Kitchen Expands Outreach To Seniors

 

CK student leaders deliver senior meals with nutritional information
Sophomore Rhys Dilenschneider and freshman Xochil Martinez delivered a special brochure with nutritional information as part of our initiative to expand outreach to seniors this year.

Every Thursday, Augsburg Campus Kitchen students package and deliver balanced meals to 50 seniors in our community. Thanks to a partnership between The Campus Kitchens Project and the AARP Foundation, we are excited to expand these meal deliveries and offer new programming, including nutrition education and themed community meals, to further combat food insecurity and anti-isolation.

This semester, sophomore Rhys Dilenschneider is leading these Thursday delivery shifts and working on nutrition education opportunities. For our first foray into nutrition education, Rhys created a handout explaining the nutritional components of a pumpkin/yam/chickpea patty that sophomore Hannah Thiry and cooking shift volunteers whipped up especially for seniors. Next on the horizon is a collaborative workshop, where Campus Kitchen leaders and seniors at Ebenezer Tower Apartments can share tips and techniques while learning to cook an easy meal together.

Picture6
Sophomore Hannah Thiry and the cooking shift crew prepared vitamin and protein packed pumpkin/yam/chickpea patties especially for our seniors.

One of our newer community partners, Common Bond Communities Seward Tower West, is eager to bring more of their residents into this program. Already, they have 14 residents on a waiting list to receive meals. Because Rhys and the other Campus Kitchen student leaders are on a tight schedule doing deliveries between classes, we are looking for a few more volunteers before we can start serving our neighbors Seward Tower West.

If you’re interested in helping us expand our outreach by volunteering or assisting with nutrition education, contact Allyson at campuskitchen@augsburg.edu. And stay tuned to our facebook page or Twitter for more news from our work with seniors and other neighbors!