MANKATO — By Robb Murray
Free Press Staff Writer
MANKATO — She came as just another work-study student looking for a way to earn some cash while going to school.
But instead of filing papers in some academic department on campus or answering phones, freshman Allie Houfer is happy to be doing something with a little more substance, even if it’s not exactly what she had in mind.
Houfer is one of the dozens of students engulfed in the Campus Kitchens phenomenon at Minnesota State University, the program that takes unused cafeteria food and distributes it to a handful of agencies in town that work with the homeless and hungry.
The program is just getting started, but already they’re delivering 110 meals per week. By mid-December, they’ll be delivering more than 200. Eventually, possibly 200-400.
“It really has affected me,” Houfer said. “I didn’t expect it to hit me this hard.”
Campus Kitchens came to MSU for the first time this semester. A $67,000 grant covers some expenses and the work of a graduate assistant, but most of what the program needs is donated, such as the residence hall food that each day is prepared but not put into a cafeteria line in MSU's residence hall kitchens.
So far, student volunteers have been easy to find — all volunteer slots are filled for the rest of the semester, and slots are filling up fast for next semester.
“We usually tell people, ‘The one thing you’re not going to have to worry about is volunteers,’” said Karen Borchert, the Campus Kitchens director, who came in from the home office in Washington, D.C., to check on the Mankato program. “Food is really basic. It appeals to a number of basic instincts. And this is fun work. It’s social as much as anything else.”
Campus Kitchens help feed hungry
MANKATO — By Robb Murray
- Local News
Update: Football players, Hoffner ready to practice again (video)
At a news conference Thursday involving Hoffner, associate head coach Aaron Keen, MSU athletic director Kevin Buisman and player representative Sam Thompson, all parties said they are ready to move forward with the program and play football.
- Children's Museum, GAC partnership earns award The college's Center for Developmental Science has been working with the museum for the past five years
- Mom, son accused of assisting runaway A Little Falls mother and son, Mary Koran and Joshua Childs, are facing criminal charges for allegedly helping a 16-year-old North Mankato girl run away from home.
- North Mankato man accused of burning girlfriend Leroy Ryrie, 37, was charged this week with two counts of second-degree assault involving substantial bodily harm and use of a dangerous weapon.
- Former Watonwan County investigator sentenced Jeffrey Matthews, 54, was originally charged with felony theft by swindle and misconduct of public officer, a gross misdemeanor offense.
- Freight truck jack-knifes near Le Sueur Truck driver Kenric Fisher of Greenboro, N.C., injured when semi jackknifes on Highway 169.
- Mankato area job numbers up 2.1 percent in March There were 54,793 jobs in the Mankato-North Mankato Metropolitan Statistical Area, up 1,120 from March of 2013.
- Statement from MSU football players
- Senate candidate stops in Mankato MANKATO -- U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden, a Republican from Sunfish Lake, stopped in Mankato this week to stump for his run to become the official Republican challenger to Democrat incumbent Sen. Al Franken. McFadden emphasized his platform of
- Case made for Security Hospital project Lucinda Jesson, the state’s human services commissioner, visited the Regional Treatment Center in St. Peter Wednesday to talk with staff and reporters about the importance of securing state money for a $56 million expansion.
- More Local News Headlines
- Update: Football players, Hoffner ready to practice again (video)