Whether you relocated for a job, followed a partner, came for school, or followed a dream – DC has become your home. Over the years, DC has given us so much, and we want to start the new year off right by establishing a trend of thankfulness for our city, its communities, its people, and of course, its real estate.
In order to promote thankfulness, we wanted to highlight ways that we can give back. Below are four DC-based charities that are doing spectacular things for members of our community experiencing homelessness or hunger.
For over 28 years DC Central kitchen has made it its mission to use food as a tool to improve communities. Founded in 1989 by Robert Egger, the central kitchen developed a strategy that many felt was unwise: picking up uneaten food from restaurants across the district, using the ingredients to create healthy meals for those in need, and using this process to train the unemployed. The process proved to be extremely successful, allowing Egger to launch several other ventures, including expanding job training, creating healthy meals in schools, working with colleges to address food waste, and linking with 60 other “central kitchens” nation wide.
If you are interested in getting involved, DC Central kitchen accepts volunteers and donations.
Wangari Gardens, located adjacent to Washington Hospital Center, operates a 2.7-acre gardening
plot with the purpose of providing a sustainable community food source in an urban food desert. Wangari Gardens plants crops that feed lower income members of the community, offers apprenticeships for people interested in urban gardening, as well as free yoga and DC’s first public hammock. Their efforts have educated many in the DC community about the importance of access to sustainable and healthy food sources and also given meals to those experiencing hunger.
Wangari is open every Sunday to volunteers who wish to improve the public plots, and everyday for those who have a reserved plot.
Martha’s Table was founded in 1979 as a safe space for children to eat and read after school but has since expanded based on the needs of the community. Martha’s Table now operates a food pantry, thrift shop and education center to serve lower income members of the DC community. They are able to sustain this effort only with the support of their nearly 16,000 volunteers a year.
If you are interested in getting involved, they accept donations of time, clothing, food, and cash.
So Others Might Eat (SOME) was founded as an interfaith effort to address the growing population of Washingtonians experiencing homelessness. They meet the day to day needs of nearly 8,500 homeless men and women by providing meals, shelter and access to basic healthcare services. After being founded in 1970, SOME has expanded past the traditional soup kitchen and needs continued volunteer support to advance their mission.