"Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth."
Recently, several Cvent employees had the privilege to pay some of that rent by volunteering for evening meal prep at the DC Central Kitchen (DCCK). If you don’t already know about the DCCK, and their mission (to “use food as a tool to strengthen bodies, empower minds, and build communities”), I’d like to take a moment of your time to tell you all about this worthwhile organization.
Founded in 1989, DCCK dishes out 5,000 meals a day and distributes them to about 100 local homeless shelters, transitional homes and non-profits, saving them money and nourishing their clients. Most importantly, the meals go out with a message: DCCK offers, in their main kitchen, a rigorous Culinary Job Training program for unemployed men and women who want to replace homelessness, addiction, and incarceration with new careers and changed lives.
Not a traditional soup kitchen, the DCCK wants to do more with food, using it as a tool to strengthen the community. Through job training, healthy food distribution, and local small business partnerships, DC Central Kitchen offers path-breaking solutions to poverty, hunger and poor health.
It gets better. Their Food Recycling program helps turn tons of leftover, surplus food into thousands of balanced meals every day. And each morning, their First Helping team hits the streets to provide warm meals and social services to chronically homeless residents of DC’s Wards 7 and 8.
All of this served as great inspiration for the Cvent team. Said Cvent Sales Executive Christian Lewis, “It’s easy to get wrapped up in your own life and always be constantly trying to better yourself and your situation. Volunteering keeps you humble, and makes you appreciate all the things we have been blessed with.”
Along with an extremely committed and hard-working staff, DCCK have a local celebrity in their midst: Alexandria resident and Season 3 “Hell’s Kitchen” winner Rahman “Rock” Harper is Director of Kitchen Operations. According to my sources, Chef Rock hasn’t picked up Chef Gordon Ramsay’s colorful language, but his enthusiasm for food and philanthropy is an equal match to the Scottish celeb chef. “He was such a charismatic guy and had a lot of passion for what he was doing at DCCK that was simply contagious,” said Cventer Ashley Baber.
You don’t have to be a Michelin three star chef to make an impact, but volunteers are needed. As Cvent employee Briana Evans explains, “The thing that touched me was the amount that 28 individuals can do. The kitchen needs that kind of support every day to survive, and I think that the simple fact that a group of young individuals took merely 3 hours out of our week and could make such a huge impact is invaluable. I cannot wait for us to go back.”
If you want to learn more about the DC Central Kitchen (DCCK), or would like to volunteer or donate, please visit http://www.dccentralkitchen.org
Tell Chef Rock Cvent sent ya.