Flatbet trailer extensions

Mobile Kitchen Trailer is a godsend for Campus Kitchen

This will help the student-run anti-hunger program “meet the people where they are”

More food insecure Athens area residents will now be served by the University of Georgia Campus Kitchen program, thanks to its new mobile food trailer, which was purchased with a grant from the University of Georgia Parent Board of Directors and funds raised by the UGA Young Alumni Network.

The trailer, which will be housed at Ugarden student farm on South Milledge Avenue, operates like a traditional food truck, but can be towed behind regular vehicles and does not require a special license to drive. The 126 square feet of mobile cooking space will allow the Student-Managed Campus Kitchen, a program run by the UGA’s Service Learning Office, to offer more food options to hard-to-reach populations. to reach.

Athenian Taurine (Maxim) Watkins owns Food Truck Builders A to Z, the food truck “The Munchies”, and built the Campus Kitchen food truck. (Photo submitted)

“The idea is to better serve the community and to meet people where they are with hot meals, especially the homeless,” said Andie Bisceglia, Campus Kitchen coordinator.

Built by Athens-area food truck operator and builder Max Watkins, the Campus Kitchen food trailer was made possible primarily through a grant of $ 38,270 from the UGA Parents Leadership Council. A long-time supporter of the Office of Service-Learning, a public service and outreach unit, the council awards annual grants to UGA organizations with “a clear commitment to improving the undergraduate student experience” and for programs that have “a direct and positive impact on student life at UGA.

The new Campus Kitchen trailer houses a full-size, fully-functional kitchen with gas stove, sink, refrigerator and oven. (Photo submitted)

The remaining $ 4,730 needed for the project was raised by members of the UGA Young Alumni network.

“We are very grateful to the Parents Leadership Council for this investment and also to the Alumni Network who provided additional funds,” said Shannon Brooks, Director of the Service Learning Office. “I think it makes this project even more special that the UGA alumni and parents are the ones funding it.”

The trailer will initially be used at the Advantage Homeless Day Service Center, where Campus Kitchen has been providing free meals on Thursdays for the past year. Meals are currently prepared at the Covenant Presbyterian Church and transported in a cooler to the day center in downtown Athens. With the trailer, meals can be cooked on site, providing people with fresher food and, potentially, a limited menu to choose from.

(Photo submitted)

The ability to cook, transport and serve meals from a single, mobile location will make Campus Kitchen more efficient and able to help more people, said Tru Patel, UGA health promotion student and student president of Campus Kitchen.

“One of the biggest issues we have right now is getting meals from where they’re cooked to where they need to go,” Patel said. “When transported, they can get dirty and tip over and not be at the right temperature. Having an on-site cooking location really eliminates all of these issues.

The trailer will also be used for Campus Kitchen’s annual Turkeypalooza food drive. With the extra cooking space, the students hope to increase the number of Thanksgiving meals they deliver to senior families and homebound people from 200 to 300.

In the future, the trailer could be made available to community partners to be parked at UGArden. Feedback from the community and partner organizations will also help determine future uses for the food trailer.

The ultimate goal is to help promote the Campus Kitchen program in the community for people experiencing food insecurity.

“Campus Kitchen being part of the wider Athens community is really a relationship that bridges the gap between residents and the university,” Patel said. “It shows the community that we are there for them, just like they are there for us. “

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