Watch Us Go From Garden to Table with GW University on Good Morning Washington
GW Students Grow A Harvest That Brings More Than A Meal to Our Guests
Sustaining our guests through healthy breakfast and dinner meals is the gateway to helping our guests find stable housing. MK’s Chef Cheryl recently joined our partners from George Washington University’s GroW Garden and Kidd O’Shea form Good Morning Washington to show how we go from garden to table to supply food access in our dining room and beyond to our residents in permanent supportive housing. Tap on the photos below to watch the short videos.
Plus, GW’s Civic Service Program Engages Student’s Like Zach Hollander to Support Our Guests Outside of the Kitchen
Zach Hollander, a political science major at George Washington University, began volunteering in spring 2018 semester with GWU’s civic engagement program, engageDC. EngageDC is specifically geared towards helping nine DC nonprofits, including Miriam’s Kitchen, expand their capacities to provide services with a consistent flow of student volunteers. The program also provides issue awareness through fundraisers and GW community awareness campaigns. Zach is entering his junior year as a student leader of engageDC focusing on building a strong unit of students to support MK and issues of poverty and homelessness in DC.
Though Zach is just eight months into his civic service role with Miriam’s Kitchen, he began volunteering in homeless services during his middle and high school years at St. Anthony’s Foundation in his hometown of San Francisco. “Someone from St. Anthony’s knew about Miriam’s Kitchen as a key provider in supportive services in DC, so I knew that’s where I wanted to go [to be a volunteer].” Despite being over 2,800 miles apart Zach notes that “the similarities between San Francisco and DC with regards to the housing and homelessness crisis juxtaposed with the immense wealth of both cities is jarring.”
“People get upset with the aesthetics of homelessness and how it looks and how it kind of impedes on what they think their city should look like as opposed to getting upset with the fact that people have to live out on the street, do not have homes, do not have stable access to food and health care and many [other] stable components. One of the deeper goals of service is pushing yourself to get out of your pre-established mindset and Miriam’s provides that opportunity in a powerful way to engage with the human in front of you. Anyone, no matter their state, can come in and get the support they need and/or just a nutritious meal and affirm that dignity that is inherent to each person but gets lost in the way people appear and the way people judge.”
Zach’s understanding of systemic issues of homelessness and equity has become deeper through his volunteer experience. “If you want to engage with incredible people on both sides of the issues, people experiencing homelessness and people working to dignify their experience and end their homelessness you’ll find that at MK. Or simply, if you walk in DC and you see people that are forced to sleep in 95-degree heat or on the flip side in 18-degree cold and that strikes you as fundamentally wrong and something that shouldn’t exist in the wealthiest nation, then this is a way to become an active participant in addressing the issue.”
As a community nestled in the basement dining room of Western Presbyterian Church you can help provide those experiencing homelessness with more than a meal. In Zach’s words “a meal is one part that nourishes your body, but it also facilitates bringing people together as a part of a community. At Miriam’s, it’s a meal with massive benefits. You can get your toiletries, you can speak with case managers and social workers if you need help with Medicaid or Medicare, and you can get help with housing.”
If you want to join Zach and our passionate volunteer crew, visit www.miriamskitchen.org/volunteer to RSVP for our next volunteer orientation and learn more about engagement opportunities at MK.