The Issue: Food Insecurity in DC
Food insecurity affected approximately 13.4% of DC households in 2011–13, meaning members of these households lacked access to nutritionally adequate and safe food. Some of these people didn’t have the economic means to acquire such food, and some didn’t have a way to get to grocery stores. A study reviewing 2008–12 shows children face an even greater challenge, as nearly one third of households with children reported that they couldn’t afford to buy enough food—the second worst rate in the country behind Mississippi. Distributing food to these people can help alleviate their hunger, but it takes more to break the cycle of poverty.
The Campaign: Distributing Food to DC Non-Profits with Self-Sufficiency Training
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by DC Central Kitchen to provide nutritious, balanced meals to underserved DC residents. For every $10 raised, DC Central Kitchen can prepare and distribute four locally sourced meals. These meals go to 88 non-profits around the city that have programs to help people gain work, overcome addiction, or learn new skills, compounding their potential to rise out of poverty.
In addition, every $10 donation to this campaign will be matched by a $5 donation from the AARP Foundation, which will provide up to $12,500 in matching funds.
DC Central Kitchen
"Everything we do, we don't waste any resources," says Alexander Moore, Director of Development and Communications for DC Central Kitchen. "We work out of a kitchen space that nobody wanted before we moved in . . . and we are the only place in town where you can take food that would go to waste." The extra food that winds up here—roughly 3,000 pounds a day—becomes the building blocks of nourishing meals for the city's underserved residents. With these ingredients, volunteers create 2 million meals annually that they deliver to 88 area homeless shelters and youth programs—with a caveat. Any organization receiving food must include job-placement or drug-rehabilitation programs to help people break the cycle of poverty. Supplementing this goal, DC Central Kitchen also trains locals in the culinary arts, helping participants connect with their neighbors and giving them marketable skills to help them get jobs. This work demonstrates what Moore knows to be true: 'We are good at taking what people think can't be done and proving them wrong."