Staff gives back to local community

December 19, 2009
Andrea Calabrese

The DC Central Kitchen is nonprofit organization that prepares 4,500 meals per day for DC’s homeless. The kitchen started in 1989 as an effort by Robert Egger to use surplus food from local businesses to feed the area’s homeless population. Since its creation, the kitchen has also begun to provide culinary training and a catering service.

Michele Noukimi was assigned to chop and prepare vegetables. Noting the strict adherence to hygiene and precision, Michele was worried that the volunteers would not make it through the morning.

Michele added, “By noon, we had chopped cucumbers, radishes, green onions, tomatoes, red cabbage, and carrots. We put them in neatly piled boxes ready to go out to homeless shelters across DC. We felt an immense satisfaction from a job well done.”

Isabelle Hauswald, in a different group, found herself peeling mangos. After she started on the mountain of mangos, Isabelle was engaged one of the staff members in conversation.

“He was a former drug dealer who had spent eight and a half years behind bars. When he was paroled two years ago, his parole officer brought him to DC [Central Kitchen] to be trained as a cook. He sounded happy to be there. He was content to have a decent job with a pay check at the end of the month to pay his bills.”

The communities that the DC Central Kitchen serves are not that different from the communities that Development Gateway seeks to help. Much like the kitchen, Development Gateway attempts to use all of the available aid to help the most people possible.

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