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Volunteer Opportunities at DC Central Kitchen

I chose to volunteer with the DC Central food kitchen again. I worked the evening preparation shift from around 5-8pm. The purpose of the service I performed was to prepare and arrange food that was going to be used the next day for breakfast and lunch. I washed and cleaned grapes. I removed hamburger buns from their packages and arranged them into trays. Also, because they were closing the kitchen for the night I helped with clean up, sweeping the kitchen and taking out the trash. This was a great experience for me because I worked the afternoon shift last time and that was more food focused and things were actually being baked in the oven or mashed potatoes were being made. The evening shift is mostly just prep work and clean up so it was a very different experience. You could tell a lot of volunteers were coming straight from work and were even wearing suits, which I thought was very cool to see. It made me think of the dedication these volunteers have if they are enthusiastic to come help cook after a long day of work instead of spending time relaxing at home. I think the service I performed was valuable to the community because I was cleaning fresh fruit and I thought it was very cool to see fresh fruit being distributed for free. These meals were not only tasty but they were also healthy and fresh and that is extremely important. When researching food stamps and DC Snaps, I found it very difficult to purchase fresh fruit with that budget, but it is good to know that there are places you can go to receive such things. The central food kitchen should promote their recipes and menus more and publish tutorials on how to cook food. They have a very cost effective, healthy menu for the month already filled out and I think it would be valuable information for people to view. It may help people spend their SNAP benefits more wisely, especially because it is coming from a well known and trusted source within DC. While cleaning the grapes, I noticed a lot of grapes were moldy and had to be thrown away. It made me think of the overall concept of food wastage that we discuss in class. It seems food waste is a problem everywhere, even at food shelters that you would think would try to maximize their food output. It seems there must be an idealogical shift around food waste that needs to happen for citizens to truly start to eat and cook efficiently. It also left me thinking that more organization could be done on the central food kitchens part to ensure food is inspected as soon as it arrives and is redistributed elsewhere if almost close to going bad or is used right away in something. Overall, I loved my service experience. This time is particular was very impactful because I was volunteering with young high school students and regular volunteers who were very dedicated to the mission and knew the employees. I felt like a part of their family, joking around and pulling pranks with all the participants. It truly was a family environment, united towards a better cause.

Gave 3.50 hours on 12/04/2019 with George Washington University, SUST 3003 World on a Plate
Anuj Sisodiya

Anuj @ SUST 3003 World on a Plate

I had a great experience at DC Central Food Kitchen. I worked in the kitchen making mashed potatoes, peeling potatoes, helping clean work stations and transporting goods. I love cooking so it was a great experience to see food being made on such a large scale. What I loved most about the experience was meeting all the regular volunteers and employees who work there. I could tell that they were so passionate about their job, loved to have fun and it was such an infectious energy. Something that resonated with me was the idea that you need a community of passionate employees or workers but with that core group, you will be able to energize/empower anyone. The reason DC Central is running is because of the passion and desire to do good that fuels its people.

Gave 3.00 hours on 09/20/2019 with George Washington University
Volunteer Opportunities at DC Central Kitchen

I had a great experience at DC Central Food Kitchen. I worked in the kitchen making mashed potatoes, peeling potatoes, helping clean work stations and transporting goods. I love cooking so it was a great experience to see food being made on such a large scale. What I loved most about the experience was meeting all the regular volunteers and employees who work there. I could tell that they were so passionate about their job, loved to have fun and it was such an infectious energy. Something that resonated with me was the idea that you need a community of passionate employees or workers but with that core group, you will be able to energize/empower anyone. The reason DC Central is running is because of the passion and desire to do good that fuels its people.

Gave 3.00 hours on 09/20/2019 with SUST 3003 World on a Plate