This paper describes a service learning project developed to enhance the coverage of costing concepts in an introductory Managerial Accounting course. The assignment entails a service learning fieldtrip where students help prepare a meal at a local soup kitchen and use actual financial data from the nonprofit organization to identify cost behavior, calculate the cost of a meal, and perform some basic CVP analysis. Comparison of scores on pre- and post-tests suggests the service learning assignment enhances students’ understanding of managerial accounting. More specifically, mean post-test scores significantly increased fifteen percent over pre-test mean scores after completion of the service learning project, as opposed to in a control group which showed no significant improvement in mean test scores over the same time period without the service project activity.  Furthermore, feedback from survey data suggests students value the opportunity to engage in service learning that draws linkages between textbook material and the real world, while showing students how they can make a difference in the lives of others less fortunate than them.


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