Campus Kitchen: Creating a Well-Fed Community

Photo of six students preparing baked Mac-and-Cheese and a salad together in the Food Lab on Nov. 11, 2022, taken by Imogen Page 

Abi Hilden, features editor

What is a basic necessity that every person needs to live? Food. For Augsburg students and community members, Campus Kitchen is working to make that necessity easier to access.

“Campus Kitchen is a group of student leaders, interns, and staff that work to make healthy food accessible at Augsburg University and in our surrounding neighborhood,” explains Heldon Centellas, a third year student who works with Campus Kitchen, “The Campus Kitchen team is full of passionate Augsburg community members who contribute to a more just food system in the Twin Cities. We do this in a variety of ways.” 

The “variety of ways” that Centellas is referring to includes Campus Cupboard and the Food Lab, two opportunities for students to receive and make food on campus. Campus Cupboard is the on-campus food shelf, located in Anderson 26, where students and community members can get a variety of items such as pantry staples, meat, dairy and snacks. They even offer various hygiene and menstrual products, sometimes even carrying emergency contraception.

Campus Kitchen also operates the Food Lab, located in Hagfors 108, where students who need access to cooking equipment can go to make meals. The Food Lab is stocked with basic ingredients, so students only need to bring some of their own to make their meals. It is also home to Campus Kitchen’s weekly food workshops where they “teach the Augsburg community how to cook a variety of dishes and build community through food,” according to Centellas. He also talked about the variety of other things that Campus Kitchen offers.

“During the summer and fall months on Saturdays, we glean leftover produce from local farmers at the Mill City Farmer’s Market and redistribute it to our neighbors at Riverside Plaza! On Fridays during the majority of the year, we help distribute free produce to our neighbors there!” shares Centellas. In addition to these seasonal efforts, Campus Kitchen “[has] a community garden for people to grow their own food behind the Hagfors building, meal deliveries to Ebenezer Towers and Bethany Church, serving warm food at the Brian Coyle Center, provide assistance in SNAP applications, host giveaways, have open Food Lab hours, offer Cupboard online orders, and more!”

Assistance with applications for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is one important service open to Augsburg students and community members. “SNAP reduces poverty and food insecurity by helping those with low income afford more healthy foods,“ Centellas explains, “We want the Augsburg community to know that they should consider applying for … SNAP benefits! The Campus Kitchen team is available for appointments if you need help applying for SNAP.” 

If you are looking to get involved with Campus Kitchen or have questions about SNAP assistance, you can email them at campuskitchen@augsburg.edu or follow their Instagram (@ck.augsburg). Their Instagram also features their upcoming events and opportunities, such as a mandu (Korean dumpling) workshop in the Food Lab on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 4:30 p.m. with Chef Jess Tolliver.

“We would love to have students RVSP [on Auggie Life] to join and make yummy food with us.”