So, after a thorough proposal process and lengthy Lodge conversations led by our Master, WB Jason Lebowitz and WB John Zevitas, our Master Elect, the Lodge decided to commit $75,000 to sponsor a classroom for DC Central Kitchen at the Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus in Ward 8.
DC Central Kitchen has long been operating a culinary arts training program in Downtown DC, nestled between Georgetown Law and the Department of Labor. Recognizing the need for more educational opportunities in Ward 8, they launched a project that includes a commercial kitchen to teach skills, a classroom and a café to provide training and education for the students, as well as nutrition education and cooking demonstrations. In addition to culinary classes, financial literacy and other life skills programs are given.
We were given a tour of the facilities by a student who shared his experience and how the program is helping to get his life back in order. We loved hearing him talk about the space. The chairs with the mobile desks? That was great because it was comfortable so he could sit in them, even with his scoliosis. The digital display lets them see things from laptops in the room, and those laptops allow them to set up their job interviews and next steps. Most importantly, we learned about how the classroom has enabled students to secure jobs in kitchens around the city like Founding Farmers.
This is the largest gift Singleton has made in a very long time, but we are confident that by focusing our charitable budget on a program like DC Central Kitchen’s, we can make a better and more lasting impact on our community. Not to mention that we are very excited to start a longer-term partnership with an organization that does so much for disadvantaged young people in DC.