Unbeknownst to many, there is a small house in the North Country known to pizza delivery drivers as 11 Maple Street. To others, it’s a house near the edge of campus full of mystery and the unknown. What goes on in the Campus Kitchens house? For those who may not know, or don’t even have an idea of what the Campus Kitchens Project (CKP) is, here’s the scoop.
The house is home to four students at St. Lawrence who are active members of the Campus Kitchens Project. Built in 1900 and acquired by St. Lawrence University in 2003, the house has provided space for social gatherings and lasting friendships within the local community. CKP, as a theme, established its headquarters on Maple Street in 2015 and since then has been creating its reputation as the newest theme house on campus. Because we live in the age of construction, the house has undergone multiple renovations. A large hole found in the foundation in the fall compromised the heating ducts and unfortunately displaced its residents temporarily; but, the people of CKP are a resilient bunch and can overcome any challenge! A new front porch came out of the construction, which was a silver lining during the situation and is enjoyed on warmer days.
The Campus Kitchens Project is a nationally recognized volunteer organization of leaders who hope to eradicate hunger in the United States. Founded in 2001, there are multiple chapters throughout the country. SLU’s chapter is the only club led entirely by students. In Canton, the club has established its niche in the community through weekly, free meals and donations to the public school system. Every week, a meal is planned, prepared, and served at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Monday nights. On Wednesdays, healthy snacks or “Bear Packs” are prepared and donated to the K-12 school to ensure that children of the North Country aren’t left hungry. All meals are prepared in the pleasantly antique kitchen of Eben Holden with house members and other leadership team members leading shifts. CKP holds all its meals and snacks to a standard of healthiness because one of the major problems in impoverished areas is malnutrition. Meals always have a balance of protein, carbs, and fruits or veggies to encourage healthy eating. The meals served weekly in Canton are oftentimes the only warm plates that some individuals will have, so we make sure the meal is healthy and delicious every week.
Josiah, our club president and fearless leader, is the house veteran, having lived in the house from its very first year on campus. Josiah is one of Volunteer Services’ student workers, and serves as the club liaison to the Volunteer Services Office. When he’s not doing Campus Kitchens or working for Ashlee Downing, Jo loves to make pasta and enjoys a good Java show on Thursday and Saturday nights.
Olivia, the VP, is beyond excited to be back on campus after a semester abroad. She’s currently the Thelmo Elections Chair, treasurer for Advocates, and a member of the Singing Sinners. You can catch her on Wednesday and Thursday mornings giving tours for Admissions as well! Liv’s favorite part of being back at the house is the new porch — she loves to sit out in our red camp chairs and play guitar in the sunshine.
Allison and Audrey, our dynamic duo and the house members who live in the double, are some of our most involved club members.
Audrey is the CKP Secretary and also leads our serving shift, so she has direct contact with meal recipients every week. In addition to being a great leader, she has formed meaningful bonds with many community members over the course of the last two years. On campus, Audrey is a Gen Bio TA and a member of SLU EMS. She’s also a big fan of the Gilmore Girls and loves The Head and the Heart.
Last but not least, Allison is the club Treasurer and our resident grilled cheese aficionado. She runs our Wednesday Bear Packs shift and creates the meal plan nearly every week. Allison has an affinity for naps, dance, and squirrel observation. She and Audrey both dance on the SLU Dance Team. Given that during the summer Allison is a Victoria’s Secret sales representative, she also serves as the house bra-fitting guru (Josiah is the one who utilizes this service most, believe it or not).
Audrey and Allison will both be studying abroad next semester. We will miss them tremendously, but we hope they have a blast in Tuscany and Trinidad!
We look forward to welcoming new house members for next semester, and would like to invite everyone to come work with Campus Kitchens! Our shift times are Sundays, Prep 2-4; Mondays, Cook 3-5, Serve 4:30-6:45, and Dishes 6:45-7:30; and Wednesdays, Bearpacks: 5-7.