UK is Home to 2016 Campus Kitchen of the Year

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 2, 2016) — The Campus Kitchen at the University of Kentucky has been named the 2016 Campus Kitchen of the Year. The Campus Kitchens Project (CKP) national office recently announced awards at the third annual Food Waste and Hunger Summit at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. 

Founded in 2011, the Campus Kitchens Project is the leading national nonprofit empowering students to fight hunger and food waste.

The Campus Kitchen of the Year is selected from 51 Campus Kitchens across the nation. The honor recognizes the Campus Kitchen that excels not only in safe and efficient operations, but in community partnerships, participating in the CKP network, volunteer engagement and more.   

“Since their launch just two years ago, the Campus Kitchen at the University of Kentucky has had a significant impact on the issues of food waste and hunger in their community,” said Laura Toscano, director of the national organization. “Their innovative work includes not only providing meals, but also creating an intergenerational mentoring program that decreases isolation for older adults, which is one of the underlying root causes of hunger for the senior population. It is our pleasure to recognize their work through the Campus Kitchen of the Year Award.”

The Campus Kitchen at the University of Kentucky (CKUK) is an on-campus, student service organization established with faculty and staff support in the Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition in April 2014. It creates sustainable solutions to decreasing food waste while providing healthy meals to those struggling with hunger.

Sandra Bastin, chair of the Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition (DHN), praised the CKUK student leaders and advisors including Tammy Stephenson, DHN assistant professor and director of undergraduate studies, and Amanda Hege, DHN director of community outreach.

“The department is proud to support these efforts and is especially pleased that this group of individuals have been recognized for their passion and hard work. They are a perfect example of uniting individuals from diverse backgrounds to work toward a common goal; in this case feeding those experiencing hunger. The program not only builds camaraderie and teamwork among the volunteers but individually promotes personal growth and self-esteem. I am humbled to be associated with the Campus Kitchen,” Bastin said.

"It has not only been an amazing opportunity to pursue my passion of service, but also allowed me to grow as a student leader,” said Ash Thenappan, CKUK president, “Receiving the Campus Kitchen of the Year Award shows the amazing work our leadership team and volunteers are making in ending hunger in Lexington."

Since November 2014, 1,180 UK students recovered 2,751 pounds of prepared food from UK Dining and gleaned 1,153 pounds of fresh produce through GleanKY and the UK South Farm. They served 4,080 meals to children, youth and older adults experiencing hunger and homelessness in Lexington.

“Whether our students are leading volunteers in the kitchen or establishing community partners, they are developing a commitment to service and building leadership skills that they carry with them into their future,” Hege said.

The Campus Kitchen at UK is an affiliate of the Campus Kitchens Project and is proudly supported by the Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, School of Human Environmental Sciences, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, The Food Connection, Student Sustainability Council and Student Government Association at UK. To learn more about the Campus Kitchen at the University of Kentucky (CKUK) visit:

CKUK is operating this summer. If you are interested in volunteering, sign up online:

On 51 university and high school campuses across the country, student volunteers with the Campus Kitchens Project transform unused food from dining halls, grocery stores, restaurants and farmers’ markets into meals that are delivered to local agencies serving those in need. Each Campus Kitchen goes beyond meals by using food as a tool to promote poverty solutions, implement garden initiatives, participate in nutrition education and convene food policy events. To learn more about the Campus Kitchens Project, visit



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue

MEDIA CONTACTS: Terrance Wade,, 859-257-8716; Carl Nathe,, 859-257-3200.