22 March 2023 Food Justice

HWS joins with Geneva in welcoming the founder of DC Central Kitchen to campus. 

HWS will welcome the Founder of DC Central Kitchen Robert Egger and DCCK’s Chief Development Officer Alexander Moore on Thursday, April 13. The food justice giants will offer a public talk “An Inside Look at Building an Iconic Social Enterprise” at 5 p.m. in the Sanford Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library. While on campus, Egger and Moore will also meet with students in “Place and Health” with Associate Professor of Women’s Studies Jessica Hayes-Conroy and members of the Sustainability Club, as well as students interested in information about non-profit management and social innovation. 

The mission of DCCK is to use “food as a tool to strengthen bodies, empower minds and build communities.” Egger launched his solution to hunger and poverty in 1989. Since then, through his leadership of DCCK, his open-source approach to seeding and supporting local solutions across the country, and his role as a founding board member of World Central Kitchen (an international organization founded two decades later in part as an homage to DCCK’s core principles), Egger has had a hand in producing more than 400 million meals worldwide and empowering thousands of individuals to attain food service jobs.

Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning Director Katie Flowers was first introduced to the non-profit organization when she took a group of students to visit DC Central Kitchen in 2004. “I recall being impressed by their continuous and innovative focus on community empowerment,” says Flowers. “I’m so happy to have HWS and the Geneva community connect with these nationally recognized leaders.”

Jackie Augustine, executive director of BluePrint Geneva and co-chair of Geneva 2030’s Food Security Action Team, agrees. "We are thrilled to welcome these innovative leaders to Geneva to share what a system of food security in a community really looks like,” says Augustine, who will host a public discussion and brainstorming session at the Geneva Public Library at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 13. To register for the event, which includes a light meal, please call 315-577-3775.

In addition to addressing food insecurity, DCCK focuses on economic empowerment. Through partnerships and programs that connect food banks, volunteers, community gardens, job training programs and public policy efforts, they have been able to increase the availability of healthy foods in underserved areas while also contributing to job preparedness, training and placement. 

“DC Central Kitchen is an example of the importance of capacity building, recognizing that long-term solutions to community issues require building the skills and resources necessary for sustained progress, along with using bold solutions and creative thinking to challenge hunger on the most important battlefield: the brain,” says Egger, who will also connect with leadership from Sodexo at HWS and the Boys and Girls Club of Geneva.  

Egger is the author of “Begging for Change” which was recognized in 2004 with the Alliance for Nonprofit Management’s McAdams Prize. “Begging for Change” was leveraged in a non-profit grant writing course at Ithaca College attended by then student Alexander Moore who reached out to Egger to learn about ways to get connected with DCCK. Moore’s initiative landed him an internship that blossomed into a career of championing for innovation and food justice. 

Moore is the author of “The Food Fighters: DC Central Kitchen’s First Twenty-Five Years on the Front Lines of Hunger and Poverty” (2014).  He has served as a Mayoral appointee to the DC Food Policy Council and was named one of Washington Business Journal’s 40 under 40 in 2022.

In addition to CCESL, co-sponsors of the events include: Geneva 2030 Food Justice Action Team; Salisbury Center for Career, Professional, and Experiential Education; Sodexo and the Entrepreneurial Studies Department.   

More information can be found at: https://dccentralkitchen.org/