Written by Imogen Page, MSW Intern with Campus Kitchen
On the ground floor of the Anderson residence hall, the Augsburg Campus Cupboard is buzzing with activity. A student worker reminds fellow Auggies to grab a box or a bag for their free groceries, and around 15 students are shopping in Augsburg’s free food cupboard.
Today, there is plenty of fresh produce – salad greens, apples and pears, onions and potatoes in addition to fresh herbs and berries. A refrigerator stands full of milk, yogurt, cheese, and dairy alternatives, and a freezer contains frozen chicken, ready-to-eat meals, and tortillas. The week before, the cupboard distributed a shipment of halal beef, goat meat, and salmon. Students browse canned goods, fresh bread, dried beans, pasta, and rice in addition to coconut milk, oil, vinegar, ketchup, fish sauce, Tabasco, and salad dressings.
“These condiments literally kill, dude” one student says to his friend as they choose from the shelves.
This is all part of the daily routine at the Campus Kitchen, where a team of student workers, interns, and staff operate the Campus Cupboard six days a week. We’re always busy – whether unloading boxes of produce from our trusty old van, stocking shelves, distributing hot meals and groceries to our neighbors, or cooking together in the food lab.
Abi Hilden at the Augsburg Echo recently covered Campus Kitchen’s work, interviewing student worker Heldon Centellas about the cooking workshops, grocery distribution, SNAP application help and other work we do in our community.
“During the summer and fall months on Saturdays, we glean leftover produce from local farmers at the Mill City Farmers Market and redistribute it to our neighbors at Riverside Plaza! On Fridays during the majority of the year, we help distribute free produce to our neighbors there!” shares Centellas. In addition to these seasonal efforts, Campus Kitchen “[has] a community garden for people to grow their own food behind the Hagfors building, meal deliveries to Ebenezer Towers and Bethany Church, serving warm food at the Brian Coyle Center, provide assistance in SNAP applications, host giveaways, have open Food Lab hours, offer Cupboard online orders, and more!”
Our work at Campus Kitchen is possible because of support from Augsburg’s community. With growing food insecurity in our communities and the rising price of basic essentials, we need your help to keep providing nutritious food in our community. Your donation today helps to keep our community well-fed, healthy, and thriving. You can give here, and designate your gift to “Campus Cupboard.”