As always, I felt very comfortable and happy to help at DC Central Kitchen. This week I chopped lettuce for salads and brussel sprouts that would be roasted. Even though I have completed my service hours for my class for the semester, I hope to return to DC Central Kitchen to continue to make a difference in the city.
How many hours did you assist your community partner?
During my hours, I packaged fresh fruit- watermelon, grapes, and fruit salad. This fresh fruit would be sent to corner stores in food deserts.
What is the purpose of the service you performed?
Traditionally, corner stores are the most reliable source of food in areas where grocery stores are sparse, but they usually do not carry fresh produce. This is where DC Central Kitchen comes in, by supplying fresh, affordable produce to corner stores in food deserts around D.C., what they call “Healthy Corners.”
Why is the service valuable to the community?
By packaging fruit- and labeling, pricing, and sorting into boxes to be sent to these corner stores, I was a part of the work that turns corner stores into access points for health food. This service allows people who live in food deserts to better their nutrition by accessing and affording fresh fruits and vegetables they otherwise would not have access to.
How does the service related to the course concepts?
This service relates to the nutrition part of the course- as fruits and vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet. This service also relates to the inequality present when it comes to accessing food. People in disadvantaged neighbors, in food deserts, do not have access to the food they need for a healthy diet, and the Healthy Corner program enables them to better their diet.
What do you feel about your participation in this service experience?
I felt really good about doing this service. I had learned about food deserts in not only World on a Plate, but also my sustainability and public health courses. I know that this is a real problem that I do not suffer from- I am within walking distance to Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s- so to be able to do something about a problem I knew existed in D.C. felt like I was using my privilege to contribute to a cause perpetuating inequalities in the D.C. community, and making people healthier, but also happier!