Campus Kitchen of the Year

Recognized first out of 51 universities by the national office for our innovative solutions to reducing food waste while providing healthy meals to the community.

Together, We Recover!

We pick up unused, quality food from UK Dining, grocery stores, farms and farmers’ markets.

Together, We Cook!

Our volunteers utilize the food donations to prepare healthy, balanced, and nourishing meals.

Together, We Deliver!

Volunteers deliver prepared meals to organizations as well as to low-income families and individuals.


Student-Powered Hunger Relief

The Campus Kitchen at the University of Kentucky (CKUK) is an on-campus student service organization that provides a sustainable approach to reducing food waste on college campuses while also providing healthy meals to those struggling with hunger. 

It was established in April, 2014 with faculty support from the Department of Dietetics & Human Nutrition. CKUK is an affiliate of the national The Campus Kitchens Project (CKP), which in 2016 recognized CKUK as "Campus Kitchen of the Year" out of nearly sixty across the nation. 


The Need

In the United States, 40% of post-consumer food is wasted each year while 1 in 6 Americans are hungry. Over 750,000 Kentuckians do not always know from where their next meal will come. 1 in 4 of Kentucky’s children lack consistent access to enough food for a healthy, active lifestyle.[1]  Over 66% have to choose between food and medical care and, due to limited access to healthy food, over 58% of hungry households have a member with high blood pressure and 33% have a member with diabetes.[2]

Our Solution

Food Rescue

Cooking and Food Preparation 

  • Using kitchen space in 207 Funkhouser in the Department of Dietetics & Human Nutrition, volunteers utilize the food donations to prepare healthy, balanced meals.

Meal Delivery

  • Volunteers deliver, distribute, and enjoy with participants well-balanced meals and grocery bags through established partnerships to children, youth, families, individuals, and older adults experiencing poverty, hunger, isolation, or homelessness.

Empowerment and Education

  • Our volunteers engage in intergenerational mentoring and empower those served with the skills, knowledge, and confidence they need to live a healthy life. We develop educational materials and programming that address hunger issues. 

As an affiliate, we have adopted the CKP mission to use services as a tool to:

  • Strengthen Bodies by using existing resources to meet hunger and nutritional needs in our community;
  • Empower Minds by providing leadership and service learning opportunities to students, and educational benefits to adults, seniors, children and families in need; and
  • Build Communities by fostering a new generation of community-minded adults through resourceful and mutually beneficial partnerships among students, social service agencies, businesses and schools.