A recent study by Feeding America, the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity, has quantified the significant impact that Campus Kitchen at Washington and Lee is having on the Rockbridge area.
According to the data, 4,640 individuals deal with "food insecurity" in the Rockbridge area (Rockbridge County, Buena Vista and Lexington). That figure includes 1,400 children.
Campus Kitchen serves 717 community members and is, therefore, reaching about 15 percent of the risk population. Since 500 of CKWL's clients are children, the organization is currently reaching about 36 percent of kids dealing with food insecurity.
One of CKWL's most effective programs for children is its Weekend Backpack Program, which provides backpacks filled with non-perishable food to the schools and targets children who are eligible for free or reduced lunches. All seven elementary schools in Rockbridge County participate in the program.
Campus Kitchen is now in the running for a $20,000 grant as part of the Walmart Fighting Hunger Together program. That grant would be used to support an expansion of the Backpack Program into the middle and high schools. Voting is exclusively on Facebook and runs throughout April. Watch the CKWL Facebook page for details about voting in the coming weeks.