Not knowing where your next meal is coming from is a reality for many people around the Athens Community. According to the Athens Community Council on Aging official website, 20.4 percent of Athens-Clarke county residents are food insecure.
This is what Kelsey Collin, 23, fights to combat through her co-presidential role in Campus Kitchen at the University of Georgia.
“I have a passion for supporting the underserved populations, “ said Kelsey Collin Co-president of Campus Kitchen UGA. “We give [our clients] nutritious, organic home cooked meals, along with other products that are low in fat and sugar,” Collin said.
The Campus Kitchen project is a national organization dedicated to combating hunger and educating individuals on healthy and sustainable eating practices, according to the national website. Specifically at UGA, volunteers can do a range of things including harvesting food, cooking food, grocery store and UGA dining hall food pick-ups and food deliveries.
As a president of UGA’s chapter of Campus Kitchen, Collin spends much of her time with a group of dedicated volunteers. Leila Couchair, a former co-president and volunteer of Campus Kitchen at UGA, spoke to the positive atmosphere Collin brings to the job.
“Kelsey is the kind of person you would want on your team. She is almost always in an upbeat and happy mood. On those rare instances that she wasn't, she always seemed to still be able to put on a smile and muster up some enthusiasm,” said Couchair.
Along with her fellow co-president, Gracelyn Jones, Collin manages a team of heartfelt and passionate volunteers to better the Athens community.
“Kelsey is extremely outgoing and a truly fun person to be around. She's passionate and a joy to work with. She's an excellent speaker and knows how to motivate everyone - overall she makes what we do at CKUGA a lot of fun,” Jones said.
When Collin is not volunteering, she is studying about ways to better the lives of her fellow citizen through her health promotion major.
“As a health promotion major, I feel an obligation to do all in my power to increase the quality of life for low-income families, the homeless and chronically ill,” Collin said.
Collin will graduate from UGA in May 2016, though she didn’t initially start off her undergraduate journey there.
“I came to UGA after transferring from a smaller university that was not a fit for me. I chose this university because of the large student population and the feel of how the campus and the local area intertwine to make a unique and wonderful community,” said Collin.
When Collin is not combating hunger and tackling her health promotion classes, she enjoys indulging in personal hobbies. Collin said she enjoys yoga, exercising, cooking, reading, hiking/camping, traveling and watching movies.
“Athens is fantastic for outdoorsy people like myself that enjoy all that the campus has to offer but are also passionate about being a part of their community and giving back to initiate a change,” Collin said.
With her health promotion major, Kelsey eventually wants to go to physician assistant school. She said that her undergraduate in health promotion will allow her to study medicine with a greater focus in preventative care.
“This passion [to serve] fuels my future career choices, my major and my community involvement efforts,” Collin said.