Yale Community Kitchen

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our mission:

Yale Community Kitchen powers Yale’s student-run soup kitchen.


One of YHHAP's most popular projects, Yale Community Kitchen (YCK) is Yale’s student-run soup kitchen on campus. We serve leftover food donated by Yale Dining on Friday on Saturday evenings in the United Parish House across from TD, the satellite location of the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen (DESK). About 15 volunteers per night help us prepare food, set up the dining room, serve food, interact with guests, clean up, and wash the dishes. 


In 1987, the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen began serving evening meals three nights a week. As demand for these important services grew, DESK extended its operations to five nights a week and provided a Food Pantry twice a month. However, many transient residents of New Haven relied on these meals and the need for dinner meals seven days a week became impossible to ignore. Responding to the call, YHHAP created its second food-rescue program, Yale Community Kitchen (formerly known as Hunger Heroes) in 2005. Initially, Yale Community Kitchen volunteers served and staffed dinner service on Friday nights. As the program grew and more and more volunteers joined, YCK was able to add Saturday evening meals as well in 2010.

DESK now serves evening meals seven days a week to hungry citizens of New Haven. We have served over 100,000 meals!

How to get involved:

Serve with Yale Community Kitchen.


The volunteer shift on Fridays is 5:30-7:00pm and on Saturdays is 4:30-6:00pm, all throughout the academic year. You can volunteer just once, or every week–– it's completely up to you and volunteers are welcome to join at any time. We send out signups on a weekly basis over email. To be added to the YCK mailing list, email Maurice or Willy. Groups can contact the project heads to reserve shifts ahead of time based on availability. YCK also does a food drive called Trick-or-Eat for DESK every Halloween! 

YCK is a wonderful way to provide a service to others and to form relationships both with fellow students and the people we serve. If you’re looking for a flexible way to get more involved in directly serving the New Haven community, join us for dinner at YCK. 

Project Heads: Willemijn van Deursen (2016-2020) (willemijn.vandeursen@yale.edu) & Maurice Ware (2016-2020) (maurice.ware@yale.edu).

Co-coordinators: Courtney Green (2018-2020), John Agoh (2018-2020), Ali Bauman (2019-2020), Brain Lin (2019-2020), Abby Langford (2019-2020)