From Alejandra Owens at One Bite At A Time
We often gather over food to talk. But rarely do we talk about the food itself — where it came from, how it got to our tables and how it was prepared. An even more rarely is the conversation centered on the fact that we even have the food to eat while there are many who have none.
At first glance, Saturday Night Sips could seem like another chic, D.C. fundraiser for a couple of organizations that do good things in the city. But when Greg Nelson, aka @SocialEpicurean, opened his home (all three floors and all the bedrooms, to the shock of many of us) to a sizable crowd of D.C. foodies, chefs, mixologists, movers and shakers he took fundraising and awareness for DC Central Kitchen and Martha’s Table to a whole new level.
Speeches by Chef José Andrés, Alice Waters and Robert Egger powerfully reminded the crowd just why we were there (no, not just to eat and drink): to celebrate real, good food and combat hunger in our city.
I won’t wax poetic about the issue — the numbers tell their own story — but here’s a look at hunger- and food-related issues in D.C.:
- Nearly 21% of D.C. residents reported that there had been times in the past 12 months when they did not have enough money to buy food that they or their family needed.
- D.C. is ranked 18th in the USDA Food Insecurity Ranking. This ranking compares the number of times in a variety of cities that at least one person in a household experiences hunger over the course of the year because of the inability to afford enough food.
- In 2009, 50.2 million people lived in food-insecure households, including 17.2 million children.
- Approximately 12,000 of D.C.’s children, families, and individuals are homeless or in need of food, with about 82% of these homeless families headed by single mothers.
- In 2009, DC Central Kitchen distributed approximately 1.75 million meals to its partner agencies in the D.C. metropolitan area.
If these numbers shock you, the way they continue to shock many of us, take a moment and consider donating your time or your money to these organizations. They’re just two examples of many that are creating real change in our city.
Note: Data from Createthegood.com, FDA and DC Central Kitchen and Martha’s Table.