Troy University’s Campus Kitchens organization has taken steps to further their work in the community with the addition of a new member.
Rhea Martin, a TROY alumna with a Bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Jackson, Alabama, was selected by the National Campus Kitchens group to join the TROY division as a VISTA, or Volunteers in Service to America, team member.
“My former academic advisor, Dr. Johnson, emailed me a link about the position,” Martin said. “When I read over it, I was excited and decided to apply. When I found out that I was chosen for such an important role in our community, I was elated!”
VISTA began in 1965 as a service program to help fight the effects of poverty in America and soon became part of the network of AmeriCorps, a national, non-profit, civil service organization supported by the federal government.
“AmeriCorps works with organizations to develop local capacity around specific issues, and VISTA is tied to poverty which fits in well with a lot of our programs, and Campus Kitchens specifically,” Jonathan Cellon, coordinator of learning initiatives, said. “She’ll be working on developing our capacity to meet hunger needs around the Troy and Pike County community by working specifically with our Campus Kitchens program.”
Campus Kitchens is a national, non-profit organization that partners with schools and universities to repurpose prepared but unused food and deliver it to those who need it most. TROY’s chapter has partnered with Head Start, the Christian Love Community Center and the Boys & Girls Club with the goal to serve 120 meals each week to those in need.
Since its launch two years ago, 651 volunteers have provided 7, 895 meals and 11, 766 pounds of food to families in the community, but Martin has plans to increase its success.
“My plans for making Troy University Campus Kitchens more effective is to improve community outreach and student engagement,” Martin said. “Troy University Campus Kitchens has many great programs, and I plan to implement more. Throughout the year, I hope to help every program and future program continue to expand and run smoothly.”
In addition to working directly with Campus Kitchens, Cellon said she will also work with its non-profit partners to see how they can provide better access to food between these meals and identify the skills and life opportunities needed to end the cycle of poverty.
The last meal preparation day of the semester will be Dec. 1 at 2:30 p.m., and the last meal delivery day will be Dec. 2 at 1 p.m.