Yale Volunteers at DESK is a new YHHAP initiative for…
The Yale Hunger and Homelessness Action Project (YHHAP) is a Dwight Hall member group that aims to address homelessness and food insecurity through its eleven projects. Among these is the Yale Community Kitchen (YCK), which distributes meals to the New Haven community on Friday and Saturday evenings. The meals, which are donated by Yale Dining, are served at the United Church on the Green Parish House. This past week, YCK’s amazing project heads, coordinators, and volunteers contributed time over their Fall Break to volunteer at the kitchen. Hear from some of those students below:
“We’re YCK, the Yale Community Kitchen, and we’re Yale’s student-run soup kitchen. We partner with DESK [Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen], located on 311 Temple Street, to help feed food-insecure New Haveners seven days of the week. DESK covers Sundays through Thursdays, and we cover Fridays and Saturdays. It’s been a blast volunteering here. It’s always nice to see new faces and meet everyone who wants to come out and help out.”
-Sheikh Nahiyan ’24, YCK Project Head
“As a volunteer or as a coordinator [of the Yale Community Kitchen], it connects you to New Haven residents who aren’t part of Yale. But it also connects you to other students at Yale who are interested in being connected to New Haven, and that tends to be a really lovely group of people. So both of those communities are nice to be connected to…It’s nice to do something for people who are not connected to Yale and people who don’t otherwise overlap with us. We can serve and be part of their lives.”
-Justin Hsieh ’25, YCK Coordinator
YHHAP uses direct service, community involvement, and advocacy efforts to address root causes and to support immediate and long-term solutions for local food and housing deprivation. At heart, YHHAP is a vibrant community of student-volunteers like Sheikh and Justin, who are committed to helping our New Haven neighbors and addressing larger societal issues.
For anyone interested in getting involved with YCK, sign up for its mailing list to volunteer for a Friday or Saturday shift in the future. And to learn more about getting involved with different YHHAP projects, visit YHHAP’s website.