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Corn Congress - Day 1

Posted on July 25, 2014 at 8:26 AM by Iowa Corn

Many within our group spent the morning flying to Washington D.C. from various airports across Iowa.  Some had to leave their homes at 2:30 a.m., others had connecting flights delayed due to late stewardesses, but eventually we all arrived safely.

Upon arrival and meeting up with each other, we traveled to the DC Central Kitchen.  The primary location of this amazing nonprofit is located in the basement of DC's largest homeless shelter.  Staff members, Alex and Amanda explained to us that DC Central Kitchen has a four pronged mission: combat hunger, create opportunity, nourish community, and resist recession.  They cook 5,000 meals a day to distribute to shelters, rehabilitation facilities, and other nonprofits.  These meals are prepared by both volunteers and the men and women in the culinary job training program.  This program creates opportunity by graduating  approximately 85 people every year with the skills needed to begin a culinary career.  One graduate is even an assistant pastry chef at the White House.  Other graduates find work in DC Kitchen's second location.   This location is a for profit social enterprise providing important services in low income neighborhoods.  Two important projects are contracting with several DC schools providing balanced and healthy school meals and providing local corner stores with locally sourced fruits and vegetables.   DC Central Kitchen also fights the recession by paying all employees a living wage, providing health insurance, and even providing a significant retirement match.

We were all very impressed with the size and efficiency of this great nonprofit.  After this visit, we had a little time to visit some of the many great sites in our nation's capital.  We are all very excited for our opportunity to visit local agriculture tomorrow.

Chris Wolters is a sixth generation corn and soybean farmer from Northwest Iowa.  He is active in many local organizations and is a graduate of Northwest Missouri State University.

Tagged As: DC Central Kitchen

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