By: Erica Teti, Associate Director of Communications at DC Central Kitchen …..
DC Central Kitchen’s mission is to use food as a tool to strengthen bodies, empower minds, and build communities. With nearly 200,000 DC residents living on city blocks where the closest healthy food retailer is at least three times farther than the closest fast food or convenience food store, it’s more important than ever that our meals are not only dignified, but packed with healthy, wholesome ingredients, too.
Last summer, we took our efforts to provide healthy meals a step further with the opening of our new Baking Corner. The concept was brought to us by DCCK production manager, Will Ferrell, who came to DC Central Kitchen in 2010 after being released from prison. Will was a student in our Culinary Job Training program and now serves on staff at the Kitchen. With a long held passion for baking and a personal interest area for culinary growth, Will realized he could make our snacks for afterschool programs more nutritious and less costly by doing more baking on-site and relying less on packaged, processed foods. Will creatively uses ingredients such as natural sweeteners and avocados to make traditional favorites, like banana bread and cheesecake, much healthier.
Today, Will, his team, and the more than 15,000 volunteers that work in the Kitchen each year can also come together in the Baking Corner to create new, innovative snacks and healthy meal concepts for our partners.
At this year’s Rooting DC Forum, DC Central Kitchen will serve up samples of another healthy alternative, our “Better for You Brownies.” This new addition to our Healthy Corners program are made with black beans, cocoa powder, oats, chocolate chips and maple syrup and have 115 calories per serving!