The Campus Kitchens Project and AARP Foundation Expand Commitment to Fight Senior Hunger

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The Campus Kitchens Project and AARP Foundation announce a renewal of their senior hunger outreach program.

The Campus Kitchens Project, the leading national nonprofit empowering students to fight hunger and food waste, and AARP Foundation today announced a renewal of their senior hunger outreach program. With more than 10 million older adults currently grappling with food insecurity, sustainable evidence-based interventions to address hunger are more important than ever before.

Through a two-and-a-half-year commitment of $563,000 from AARP Foundation, The Campus Kitchens Project will apply rigorous research methods to its most promising solutions to senior hunger and continue to bring its sustainable direct service programming to more communities across the United States.

At 60 Campus Kitchens across the country, students lead efforts to combat food waste and hunger by transforming surplus food from dining halls, community gardens, restaurants, and grocery stores into healthy meals.

“The issue of hunger in the older adult population is simply growing too fast for the traditional charity approach to keep up,” said Laura Toscano, director of The Campus Kitchens Project. “But in every community there is a school, and in every school there is leftover food going to waste and a dining hall that sits dark in the evenings. By engaging student volunteers to mobilize these existing assets in our communities and to go beyond the meal to address the underlying root causes of hunger through innovative programs, The Campus Kitchens Project is providing a sustainable solution to the problem of senior hunger.”

Previous support from AARP Foundation contributed to the recent growth of The Campus Kitchens Project from 33 to 60 schools. Of these new Campus Kitchens, 17 serve older adults, adding over 1,000 seniors to the number of clients served monthly by the national student network. To share the innovative interventions designed to address the root causes of older hunger, such as social isolation, lack of access to transportation, and the need for nutritional knowledge, student volunteers with the support of AARP Foundation also developed a discussion-based nutrition education curriculum for older adults called Healthy Living Made Easy: Practical Discussion and Activity Guides for Older Adults. And, to help replicate the sustainable solutions to older hunger developed by student volunteers, The Campus Kitchens Project published its first report on programs operating at Campus Kitchens across the country in Going Beyond the Meal: Best practices for addressing senior hunger from leading universities across the country.

“Far too many older Americans are struggling every day to put food on the table, which is why we work with Campus Kitchens — to bolster existing efforts to feed the hungry and foster the development of innovative solutions,” said AARP Foundation President Lisa Marsh Ryerson. “Engaging young people in such an important charge as senior hunger helps to create intergenerational connections while cultivating future leaders on this crucial issue.”

The recent investment from AARP Foundation will allow The Campus Kitchens Project to deepen its understanding of the impact of its program serving older adults with primary evaluation research partners at the University of Georgia, while sharing its successful and replicable programs within the rapidly expanding network of Campus Kitchen chapters.

For more information on The Campus Kitchens Project, its AARP Foundation-funded senior hunger outreach program, and other work visit .

About The Campus Kitchens Project
Founded in 2001, The Campus Kitchens Project is a national organization that empowers student volunteers to fight hunger and food waste in their community. On 60 university and high school campuses across the country, students transform unused food from dining halls, grocery stores, restaurants, and farmers’ markets into meals that are delivered to local agencies serving those in need. By taking the initiative to run a community kitchen, students develop entrepreneurial and leadership skills, along with a commitment to serve their community, that they will carry with them into future careers. 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 our work or bring The Campus Kitchens Project to your school, visit

About AARP Foundation
AARP Foundation works to ensure that low-income older adults have nutritious food, affordable housing, a steady income and strong and sustaining bonds. We collaborate with individuals and organizations who share our commitment to innovation and our passion for problem solving. Supported by vigorous legal advocacy, we create and advance effective solutions that help struggling older adults transform their lives. AARP Foundation is the affiliated charity of AARP.


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Erica Teti-Zilinskas
DC Central Kitchen
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