Feeding the hungry during the holidays

Feverishly chopping and slicing away, amateur chefs Mike Cavanaugh and Hannah Beal aren’t cooking meals for paying customers.  Involved since its conception, these seniors are the cooks and leaders of the Campus Kitchens Project, a student-run organization that dishes up meals using leftover food from UVM dining halls.  With cooking and community in mind, Campus Kitchens reached out to the student body during the past two weeks through a donated recipe fundraiser.  Right now, Cavanaugh said that, with Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner, the fundraiser is focusing on holiday recipes.However, their inspiration comes year-round.  “We want to emphasize that Campus Kitchens is active daily,” he said. “It’s not only during the holidays.”  The need for recipes is supplemented by this popular fundraiser, which  is scheduled around the seasons and holidays. “I noticed the posters all around campus — I believe it’s a good idea,” sophomore Haley Clayton said. “It connects UVM to the greater Burlington community and helps those less fortunate than us.”  In addition to this recent effort, Campus Kitchens will be hosting their annual neighborhood feast on Nov. 19. The event will be held at the Champlain Senior Center on North Winooski Avenue.    “It’s free food donated by local partners and the UVM campus,” Cavanaugh said.”It’s not just a meal, it’s a feast,” Beal said.   “The community and donors have been very generous,” Beal said. “This program prospers off of donations and volunteers.”   “It’s about the community,” Cavanaugh said. “We want to help Burlington as they have welcomed UVM students into the area.” Campus Kitchens started at UVM because of the people in each community who need nourishing meals.”Every college campus [that] has unserved food in its dining halls and brilliant students in its classrooms,” the Campus Kitchens’ website said.    “UVM is the first school in the Northeast to have a campus kitchen,” Cavanaugh said.  “Boston University is now following in our footsteps and recently began a Campus Kitchens Project.” Members of Campus Kitchens are active in more ways than just their usual cooking during the school year.   “I stayed here during the summer break running the program and working directly with the Healthy City program, which is dedicated to aiding at-risk youth,” Beal said. “We teach them about the value of an education, job and a healthy diet.”  “You truly make a difference,” Cavanaugh said.