Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger

An Afternoon at the D.C. Central Kitchen

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Bread for the World interns Katy Merckel, Theresa Martin, and Hampton Stall volunteering at D.C. Central Kitchen. Bottom photo: Bread for the World interns assembling salads at D.C. Central Kitchen. (Photos by Bread for the World intern Donald Soffer) 

By Theresa Martin

Clad in aprons and hair nets, Bread for the World interns were busy chopping onions and arranging salads on the eve of July 4. While our time at Bread is usually spent working on advocacy in the office rather than direct service, we spent the afternoon volunteering at D.C. Central Kitchen.

D.C. Central Kitchen is an organization that focuses on providing both food and skills training for those in need. However, as its website reads, it is “not a soup kitchen.” Through programs like the 14-week culinary job training program for the unemployed, D.C. Central Kitchen provides those it serves with tools for ending the cycle of poverty. Rather than just offering food, the organization teaches others how to prepare food and then deliver meals to food pantries and other agencies around the city. Fresh Start Catering, D.C. Central Kitchen’s revenue-generating arm, which employs culinary job training program graduates, catered Bread for the World's 2013 National Gathering.

As volunteers, we had the opportunity to work alongside culinary students and to get to know some of the people we advocate for and with at Bread.

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“D.C. Central kitchen gave me a great chance to get to work for a good cause while learning a lot about the people I [volunteered] with!” says Bread intern Hampton Stall. 

Intern Sara Doughton said the experience “was a powerful reminder that, although we may seem to be on different paths, or using different tools, we’re traveling together – and with countless others – as we work to end hunger.”

It was encouraging to learn about the work of the DCCK, and above all, it was a reminder to be creative in the pursuit of a just food system. Through their passion for cooking, the founders of D.C. Central Kitchen’s culinary training program have "changed the lives of over 1,000 men and women." Are you passionate about cooking? Writing? Politics? Music? Use what YOU are passionate about in the fight against hunger!

Theresa Martin is an intern in Bread for the World's Church Relations department.


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