On January 2, Staff Accountant Derya Gazioglu gathered CBM staff members John Shlesinger, Bhavin Patel, Grace Song, Mikki Obreja, Minji Kim and Michael Corvelli to volunteer at the DC Central Kitchen, a charitable organization which “was founded in 1989 by a young nightclub manager named Robert Egger. Robert’s idea for a ‘central kitchen’ involved picking up wasted food, turning it into balanced meals for shelters and nonprofits and using that process to train jobless adults in the culinary arts .” – DC Central Kitchen, 2020
Featured below is Derya’s firsthand account of the volunteer experience.
“We helped prepare and package meals that will eventually be distributed to 80 nearby homeless shelters, transitional homes, and other nonprofit organizations with little or no cost. We left the DC office around noon with our CBM t-shirts on. I should not pass without mentioning how John was wearing his cool CBM sunglasses. After watching a little orientation video, our journey started in the kitchen.
“The chef on site then distributed work amongst the different groups. Mike, Minji and Grace started with washing, peeling and chopping pumpkins. John and Bhavin gained lots of muscles carrying boxes of food. Mikki and I mastered seasoning chicken breasts and laying them on the tray in order for them to be cooked evenly. It required a lot of attention. Mikki said: ‘Man, I did not know I would need to think about chicken this much’ with a smile on her face and we laughed.
At one point, I looked at Grace and Minji and saw that they were really taking it seriously. Mike seemed to be having lots of fun chopping pumpkins. Later, Mikki and I packaged oranges and helped the pumpkin group. We were working, joking and smiling but most importantly we were all united for the purpose of helping others. It felt really good!”
If you would like to volunteer or donate, please visit DC Central Kitchen’s website at: https://dccentralkitchen.org/.