By Emma Calvo & Giselle Rivard
DC Central Kitchen Talks Volunteering on Campus Students learned about DC Central Kitchen and its various programs including the CampusKitchens Project at the 2015 Global Issues Network Conference. The presenter, Andrea Lindsay, commented on the strategies this organization uses to help the less fortunate. The meeting took place at The Elliott School of International Affairs of George Washington University on Monday, March 9th, 2015.
DC Central Kitchen was founded by Robert Egger, a young nightclub manager. In 1989, Egger began collecting edible leftover food and distributing it to homeless shelters around DC. A couple years later he began a culinary training program for the people visiting these shelters. Egger believed that they shouldn’t just be feeding the less fortunate, but they should be helping them gain and develop skills to help them go forth in the future (Teach a man to fish…). 25 years later, DC Central Kitchen has grown to become one of the leading organizations in its field nationwide.
The DC Central Kitchen has an effective strategy to not only cook and serve food but to not let any go to waste. “We recover food that would otherwise go to waste. On college campuses that is typically dining halls, but also from restaurants and grocery stores in the community,” says Lindsay.
As DC Central Kitchen has become better known, people around the country wanted to have such a program in their own communities. Robert Egger began the Campus Kitchen Project to get people involved around the country. “We ask campus kitchens to think about what the root causes of poverty in their community are and address those root causes,” says Lindsay.
DC Central Kitchen’s Campus Kitchen Project exists in many high schools and universities nationwide, they replicate what DC Central Kitchen has done and encourages students and volunteers to get involved in their own communities. Students volunteer to cook and give out food to the less fortunate in their campus kitchen spaces. “You have students that are eager to volunteer and looking for a way to really engage meaningfully and do more than just hand out food,” Lindsay says.
The DC Central Kitchen encourages students to start their own food programs at their schools and look to the organization for any questions or concerns. Lindsay believes that hunger in the United States can be stopped if everyone gets involved. “Any sort of innovative community food programming is crucial to getting there.”
Written by students at WIS