Miriam’s Kitchen Becomes D.C.’s First Homeless Services Provider Honored with Slow Food DC “Snail of Approval”

Miriam’s Kitchen Becomes D.C.’s First Homeless Services Provider Honored with Slow Food DC “Snail of Approval”

Award Recognizes Miriam’s Kitchen’s Commitment to Quality, Authenticity and Sustainability in its Service to Washington’s Chronically Homeless Population

April 10, 2015 (Washington, D.C.) Miriam’s Kitchen today announced that it has been awarded the Slow Food DC “Snail of Approval.” This honor recognizes organizations that are making significant contributions to the transformation of the local food system. Organizations that receive the “Snail of Approval” embody the slow food philosophy through their commitment to good, clean, fair food.

Miriam’s Kitchen was selected in recognition of its novel meals program, which served more than 87,600 fresh, nutritious meals to Washington’s chronically homeless population in 2014. Through relationships with dozens of local food industry partners, including farms, farmer’s markets, grocers, restaurant groups, and food suppliers, Miriam’s Kitchen consistently serves high-quality, fresh and healthy meals to the District’s most vulnerable individuals.

“Our philosophy about food aligns perfectly with the slow food movement,” said Chef Emily Hagel, Miriam’s Kitchen Director of Kitchen Operations. “We believe that enjoying great, nutritious food is a cornerstone of human dignity, and that all members of our community deserve to share in that experience. We’re honored to join so many of our local food industry partners who have also been recognized by Slow Food DC.”

Recent entrees at Miriam’s Kitchen have included Guinea fowl with braised chickpeas, marrow-barley risotto with kale salad, and breakfast sandwiches with salmon, egg and avocado. According to Hagel, the focus on quality meals plays a vital role in the organization’s mission to connect people with housing and other services they may need. She reports that, at first, many individuals only come to Miriam’s Kitchen for a meal.

“Over time, our guests come back, because they know they’ll eat well and be treated well,” she said. “That’s where trusting relationships are formed, and it’s how our case managers begin to partner with our guests on their longer-term needs. So many times, it all starts with a quality meal.”

The award also recognizes organizations that have made a commitment to sustainability. Hagel states that Miriam’s Kitchen’s mission makes sustainability an essential part of the job.

“We serve people who are hungry, and that means waste is wrong,” Hagel said. “We partner with local grocers to immediately put to use any ingredients that they won’t be able to sell. Meanwhile, we also partner with our volunteers to creatively use every bit of food that enters our kitchen, and to responsibly recycle and compost what little we can’t. We are proud to say that the end result is less waste and less hunger. It is our honor to have these efforts recognized by Slow Food DC.”

This year’s Snail of Approval winners will be honored on Saturday, April 18, at a reception hosted at RIS DC, from Noon – 3:00 PM.  Tickets are available athttp://bit.ly/Snail2015.

About the Slow Food DC “Snail of Approval”
The Snail of Approval is Slow Food DC’s way of recognizing the providers that are making significant contributions to the transformation of our food system. In order to help guide D.C. patrons and visitors to food that is good, clean and fair, Slow Food DC will award the Snail of Approval to those artisans, eateries and farmers who contribute to the quality, authenticity and sustainability of the food we eat and the beverages we drink in the City of Washington, D.C. and surrounding areas.

About Miriam’s Kitchen
Miriam’s Kitchen is committed to ending chronic homelessness in Washington, D.C. Miriam’s Kitchen advocates for permanent supportive housing as a long-term solution, while meeting short-term needs by providing healthy meals and high-quality social services to more than 5,000 homeless individuals each year. www.miriamskitchen.org

Tom Murphy
Director of Communication
202.452.8926, ext 235