Chefs Make Change: World Central Kitchen’s Dine-N-Dash Comes to DC

On June 7, Chef José Andrés will open the doors to 30 Washington DC restaurants for the annual  Dine-N-Dash fundraiser.

The goal of Dine-N-Dash is to raise $500,000 through ticket sales for World Central Kitchen, a non-profit organization that uses the power of food to empower communities and strengthen economies around the world. The concept is pretty cool – participants choose a restaurant for their first course and make their way to others with a complimentary selection of 6 to 8 dishes and 4 to 6 drinks from each. Make sure you’re wearing your stretchy pants because this is a turkey day level feast.

As an activist, traveler, and media hack I’m frequently asked about nonprofits and volunteer opportunities around the world. I am very cautious with my advice because voluntourism is often connected to questionable NGO ethics and a white savior complex but World Central Kitchen is a non-profit that I am proud to support.

World Central Kitchen runs a variety of programs in countries around the world. One of them, The Smart School Kitchens implements clean cook stoves, food safety, and sanitation training, and a revenue-generating component for the school to become financially sustainable. The daily meal acts as an incentive to increase attendance while improving the student’s health.

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Because, more than 4 million people die every year from smoke inhalation of openfire indoor stoves World Central Kitchen has created a program to speak to the need. The Haiti Breathes program installs clean cook stoves and provides food safety and sanitation training for schools. This equipment and training reduces indoor air pollution, deforestation, and the transfer of disease. The Kitchen Culinary School is another Haiti based training that focuses on providing the next generation of chefs with high quality technique-based education. This program increases earnings potential, enhances quality of life, elevates the hospitality workforce, and strengthens Haiti’s economy

In the mountains of the Dominican Republic, a small grassroots initiative is using the power of food to strengthen community. This cooperative of 21 women is producing honey to help profit the village. To support this smart solution, World Central Kitchen:

■ Has doubled the number of beehives

■ Has helped increase production by 120%

■ Has assisted in marketing

■ Will help bottle and package honey

■ Will import and sell the honey in the US

■ Will send profits back to the community

The participants in World Central Kitchen’s programs are not only improving the quality of life for their immediate and extended families, but also uplifting their community as a whole while honing valuable skills for the future. I am proud to support World Kitchen’s efforts and will be attending the Dine-N-Dash fundraiser on June 7, 2017. Join me?

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