Student-Led 'Campus Kitchen' Provides Feeds the Hungry

Steve Adubato talks with Erich Sekel, Associate director of Campus Ministry for Community Service at Saint Peter’s University about “The Campus Kitchen,” a student-led community service project providing free, healthy meals to local residents by using donated food that would otherwise go to waste.

9/2/17 #3027







"We are pleased to be joined by Erich Sekel, who is the Associate Director of Campus Ministry for Community Service at Saint Peter's University, based in beautiful Jersey City. Greatest city in the world. Well, for those of us born in Newark, New Jersey, we would question that. But that's another story. Well, we'll talk about that another time. Yes. That's a different show. We'll debate that. Yes. We'll debate that. We'll have Mayor Fulop and Mayor Baraka debating that. Yeah. How about this one? You're involved in something called the Campus Kitchen Project. What is it? So the Campus Kitchens Project is the main... they're kind of like our headquarters, based out in D.C. and they put, or they kind of run, or try to establish, Campus Kitchens in high schools, and universities or colleges. And we established, at Saint Peter's University, we were the 39th Campus Kitchen in the country. And the 2nd in New Jersey. The other one's in Atlantic City. What's in between? No one. Seriously? Yeah. That's... I mean, that's... that's a big part of what the Campus Kitchens Project does, and what... you know, we're trying to do is spread awareness. Let people know that there's food waste, and that... that schools, high schools, universities, need to step up. We got Hudson County covered at Saint Peter's. Well let me ask you this. You said you have Hudson County covered. Who is in a position to be food insecure? To be looking for help? To be looking for food? Needs food? Well, I mean, one in six Americans, I mean, is food insecure. And you had 40% of all food in the United States is thrown out. So what we do is we recover the food, or... What does that mean? Well, it means... Give us an example. You know what? It doesn't mean that I'm going around people's plates saying, "You know, are you gonna finish that?" What does it mean? It means, basically, you know, if you are a cafeteria, or a dining hall, so for... at Saint Peter's, Sodexo is our food provider. If you cook... if you cook, you have to... you have to estimate how many meals you're gonna be doing. So, if you're cooking lunch, if you're cooking dinner, you're assuming, alright, like there are 500 meal plans, and some faculty, some staff, are gonna come and eat, so we're gonna estimate... cook for 700. But if people decide to go to Prince of Pizza, I'm giving them a plug... Or they just don't come? Or they just don't come. What happens to that food? It's thrown out because they've been..."