The Campus Kitchen at Washington and Lee (CKWL) began in 2006 due to the dedication of a senior student, Ingrid Easton. Easton graduated before operations officially began, but her legacy lives on. In April of 2012 CKWL served its 100,000th meal. Meals are served in partnership with community agencies in a manner that best serves their needs- hot congregate meals, refrigerated individual meals, or bags of non-perishable food.
CKWL has made an impact in nutrition education locally for children. Two separate youth organization- the local YMCA summer camp and the Lexington City Office on Youth summer program- are benefiting from CKWL's "Seed to Feed" nutrition education which links to growing food in our organic garden.
The Campus Kitchen also provides the opportunity for students to develop their leadership skills. Each year the student leadership team, composed of 16 members, takes control of the operational aspects of our kitchen's volunteer shifts. CKWL also provides students the opportunity to develop important skills- grant writing, program development, event organizing and health department approved culinary practices.
The focus of CKWL is hunger relief and leadership development, but our kitchen has become a leader in environmentally sustainable practices on campus and in the community. Each week we recycle over 1,000 pounds of food that used to end up in landfills. The food we are unable to serve, such as scraps and leftovers, are composted. CKWL is working to reduce waste, but with the additional purpose of using the available resources in our community to provide a needed service for the hungry in Rockbridge County.