News Release

UDM Participates in National Campus Kitchens Program

After a year-long feasibility process, University of Detroit Mercy has been awarded a three-year grant to coordinate the Campus Kitchen at UDM Program from its McNichols Campus. Campus Kitchens is a national student-run program that promotes anti-hunger programs in communities near designated colleges. Student volunteers prepare meals and deliver them to food centers for distribution. The Campus Kitchen at UDM is the first college program in the state of Michigan.

The idea for Campus Kitchen at UDM came from Sodexo Retail Manager Kari Haddrill, and Sodexo continues to provide critical support for the program. Sodexo’s on-campus operation, which provides the food services for the UDM campuses, has helped the Campus Kitchen at UDM by providing kitchen space, volunteering staff hours, preparing meals, donating leftover food from the dining hall and helping obtain other food donations. UDM’s University Ministry, Dining Services, Student Life and the Institute for Leadership & Service collaborated to make UDM’s program possible.

UDM will kick off its program on Jan 28-29, 2011 with a collection of non-perishable items that were donated at the Loft and Café a la Cart located on the McNichols Campus. Approximately two dozen student volunteers will prepare and deliver collected donations to those in need in the surrounding neighborhood. Unused food from the UDM dining hall will also be donated to the Campus Kitchen at UDM. The main goal of the program is to connect students with the community and raise hunger awareness.

Community partners working with UDM are St. Gregory’s Parish, Peggy’s Place-COTS (Coalition on Temporary Shelter), and Martin Park, Fitzgerald and Pilgrim Village neighborhood associations in northwest Detroit. The Walmart Foundation has also provided funding.

“The program is in keeping with the University’s mission of being a student-centered program,” University Minister Drew Peters commented. Student responsibilities include planning a menu, cooking, organizing drivers and completing paperwork. The program will allow students to build leadership and team building skills.

“The program will be run by the students and the outreach is to the local community, which reflects the mission of reaching out in an urban context,” Peters said. UDM encourages its students to engage in service and the immediate community around the University.

The Campus Kitchen at UDM is a part of the nation Campus Kitchens Project whose goal is to provide food to those in need by utilizing student volunteers and connecting them to surrounding communities. As of January, 28 schools, both colleges and high schools, are participating in the program. Since 2001, more than 25,000 student Campus Kitchens volunteers have donated more than one million meals to their communities.

 “The Campus Kitchen at UDM is another great pairing of willing and able students and a community in need,” said Mike Curtain, CEO of DC Central Kitchen, the parent organization of CKP. “The Campus Kitchens Project is using food to strengthen bodies, empower minds and build communities while developing the next generation of philanthropic entrepreneurs.” 

The partnerships between the student participants and communities in need should be beneficial to both by providing students with leadership experience and teaching them the importance of helping the local community. This mission is consistent with UDM’s, which exists to provide excellent, student-centered, undergraduate and graduate education in an urban context. A UDM education seeks to integrate the intellectual, spiritual, ethical, and social development of its students.

For more information on the Campus Kitchen at UDM, visit

Release date: January 24,2011

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For more information about UDM, or to apply online, go to

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