OMSA MEDICAL STUDENT OF THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY - KAITLYN HAYES

After Kaitlyn Hayes recognized a dichotomy between food waste and hunger within her community, she started Soul Food to partner with local charities and food vendors to rescue and donate fresh unserved food. Over the last 3 years, she has been working to establish a constitution and formal Federation of Students club status; create awareness (through speaker events and social media); recruit members; network with local charities, students, farmers, vendors, and chefs; and donate food. With almost 40,000 students and staff on campus, there is opportunity to rescue and donate a substantial amount of unserved fresh and nutritious food to shelters. 

Kaitlyn's initiative has made other university students more socially aware and has shown them the wonderful extent that a community will work together. Her group offers a chance for students to show the community that they care. Our environment will also benefit from her food rescue group by saving compost and landfill space reducing greenhouse gas emissions. She inspired students, university staff, vendors, and farmers to lead an amazing community effort to promote access to healthy food for people in need.