State of the Rockies Report Card Summary - Colorado College

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For Immediate Release

Leslie Weddell
(719) 389-6038


 Students often forego breaks to help serve a hot meal to community’s homeless

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – April 12, 2012 – Colorado College’s Community Kitchen, one of the oldest student-run community kitchens in the nation, will celebrate its 20th anniversary from noon to 4 p.m., on Sunday, April 15, at Shove Memorial Chapel, 1010 N. Nevada Ave. The meal will be served at 1:30 p.m., and the Colorado Springs community is invited to join in the meal and the celebration.

The kitchen will commemorate its anniversary with local bands, speakers on homelessness and poverty and a picnic-style meal. Among the speakers will be Colorado College President Jill Tiefenthaler, Bruce Coriell, chaplain at Colorado College, and CC alumna Becky Manchester Aidlberg, who helped found the kitchen when she was a student.

The Community Kitchen has provided a hot meal to the city’s hungry and homeless 52 Sundays a year for 20 years, including summer, winter, Thanksgiving, spring and all block breaks. Many students forego their breaks to stay on campus and help prepare and serve the meal.

Senior Colin McCarey, one of the three student kitchen managers, said there has been a consistent rise in the number of guests since he started working at the Community Kitchen. Currently, the kitchen serves an average of 200 guests each Sunday. “Since 2008, there have definitely been more families and more children coming in for meals,” McCarey said.  He started volunteering at the kitchen his first year on campus, and became a kitchen manager his sophomore year.

The Community Kitchen began on Easter Sunday in 1992, when a group of concerned CC students, lead by Aidlberg, began serving a free weekly meal to the hungry and homeless of Colorado Springs. The students recognized a need for a hot meal on Sunday afternoons, when the Marian House was closed. What began as a small operation dependent upon donations from the college’s cafeteria excesses soon grew into a community-supported organization that served an all-time high of 300 meals this summer.

The kitchen runs on donations: Bon Appétit, the food-management company at Colorado College, Whole Foods, La Baguette and, in the summer, Miller Farms, are the primary food donors.  Once a week, volunteers pick up donations from several locations around the city with which to create a meal on Sunday.  Because donations fluctuate week to week, the kitchen also purchases some staples from Care and Share. The Colorado College Student Government Association gives the kitchen an annual allotment and the college’s annual Empty Bowls benefit helps raise money for the kitchen. Students also help write grants to support the kitchen.

Since its founding, the CC Community Kitchen has fostered a welcoming atmosphere for its guests. The kitchen managers, all students, have emphasized a unique element at the CC Community Kitchen: They insist those served are treated as guests, not clients. The kitchen strives to eliminate boundaries and stigmas that commonly alienate the homeless. Many of the volunteers eat with the guests, and many of the guests volunteer with food preparation, serving, and clean-up.

Organizers of the event are accepting picnic-food donations for the anniversary meal, including hot dog buns, potato chips, potato salad, deviled eggs, baked beans, tomatoes, lettuce and sliced onions for burgers and desserts.

For information, directions or disability accommodation at the event, members of the public may call (719) 389-6607.

About Colorado College
Colorado College is a nationally prominent, four-year liberal arts college that was founded in Colorado Springs in 1874. The college operates on the innovative Block Plan, in which its approximately 2,000 undergraduate students study one course at a time in intensive 3½-week segments. The college also offers a master of arts in teaching degree. For more information, visit <>.