During the government shutdown, the DC area’s approximately 364,000 DC area federal employees have been out of work. And this number does not include non-government employees impacted by the shutdown. Considering 70% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, a wage loss like this could be devastating. Anita Seline, head volunteer coordinator at the Campus Kitchen at Washington DC(CKWDC) explains, “Think of the contractors – the people who are cleaning and servicing government buildings, or lower wage earners. For them, that money is just gone.”
As families endure reduced wages, the Campus Kitchen at Washington DC has felt this need. In response to the government shutdown, one community partner, Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church, requested that their weekly meal distribution be increased from 300 meals per week to 800. For a chapter that provides approximately 860 meals a week, distributed to their 9 community partners, this is a 57 % increase. To this request, CKWDC responded with an unwavering “Yes!”
Mt. Vernon Methodist Church is one of many establishments that provides free meals across the city. Its surge in need is an indicator of hunger. In a time of such prevalent immediate need, CKWDC represents an optimistic reminder of the role of grass-roots organizations in response to crisis. The network of DC’s direct service organizations is responding to our community’s greatest need by saying “Yes!”. Thank you to Anita Seline, Chef Anthony Mickens and the entire CKWDC team for your impressive community response efforts.
Photo: Chef Anthony Mickens and volunteers serve a community meal at one The Campus Kitchen at Washington, DC’s 9 community partner agencies.