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From Our Garden to the Table

Hundreds of bell peppers in shades of green, red, orange and yellow were on the chopping block today at the DC Central Kitchen. The peppers, personally delivered by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack from the USDA Farmer’s Market, were on their way into quesadillas as part of the lunch menu at the DC Central Kitchen.

Secretary Vilsack was at the DC Central Kitchen today as part of the Obama Administration’s ‘National Day of Service and Remembrance’. The Secretary, with sleeves rolled up and proper food safety procedures in place, jumped on the food production line and demonstrated his dicing skills as the peppers made their journey into quesadillas.

In addition to the cases of peppers, the Secretary delivered fresh green beans and other vegetables picked only an hour early from the People’s Garden at the USDA headquarters. Altogether, he People’s Garden has produced 300 pounds of fresh produce that has been donated to DC Central Kitchen over the course of the summer.

Under the banner of President Obama’s ‘United We Serve’ initiative, the DC Central Kitchen was packed with volunteers eager to give back to the community. And what better way to give back than to help those members of the community that are underserved and the most vulnerable. The DC Central Kitchen represents the best of our community and has used their facility to recover unused food, prepare and deliver meals to partner social service agencies, train and employ homeless men and women for the food service industry, and intellectually engage volunteers.

The DC Central Kitchen takes their dedication to the local community a step further by reaching out to local farmers and producers for the food they use. From local gardens and farms to the dinner table on a large scale is quite a sight. As a community kitchen, they recycle over one ton of surplus food each day that would otherwise go to waste and turn it into 4,500 meals for the hungry in the greater Washington, D.C., region.

Thank you to those Americans that volunteered their time on this National Day of Service and Remembrance.

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