M.A.Center, Washington DC

Volunteering at DC Central Kitchen

In honor of Amma's birthday, we have been volunteering at the DC Central Kitchen since 2013 reflecting upon Amma's message of celebrating Her birthday by giving selflessly. Every year, in Amma's birth month of September about 45 to 50 of our volunteers go to the DC Central Kitchen ((located at 425 2nd Street NW,  Washington, DC - 20001;  Phone: 202-234-0707) to cook for about 3000 people. 

How did it all begin?

AMMA’s life is a shining example of unconditional love and selfless service.  In honor of HER 60th birthday (to be celebrated in late September), a group of nearly 60 volunteers from the MA Center DC served at DC Central Kitchen on September 1, 2013, to prepare over 2300 servings of a meal for the low income, at-risk and homeless populations of Washington, D.C.. Several of the volunteers also contributed generously to cover the cost of supplies for the meal. The volunteers represented a broad cross section of people, and included some long-standing devotees of AMMA, some recently introduced to AMMA, and one lady who had never met AMMA but nevertheless was inspired by this effort of outreach and service to the community.  AMMA says that “Behind all great and unforgettable events is the heart. Love and a selfless attitude underlie all truly great deeds.”

The DC Central Kitchen was founded in 1989 and uses food, “as a way to strengthen our community,”   Their mission is “Combatting Hunger and Creating Opportunity”.  DC Central Kitchen is a leader in reducing hunger with recycled food, training unemployed adults for culinary careers, serving healthy school meals, and rebuilding urban food systems through social enterprise.  DC Central Kitchen is a model for 31 other food programs throughout America.   DC Central Kitchen serves over 3100 needy people in 12 locations including 500 people who spend their nights in the floors above the DC Central Kitchen.

DC Central Kitchen’s staff was well organized and a pleasure to work with.  They encouraged and guided the volunteers to complete the tasks correctly and in a timely manner.  They shared in and appreciated the snacks brought by the volunteers.  The afternoon drew to a close with smiles all around and many photographs of volunteers and kitchen staff taken. The MA Center DC volunteers were invited to return on a regular basis, and plan to do so.

As the volunteers left the building, one kitchen staff member enjoyed himself so much that he asked to join the volunteers in their group photograph. As Amma says, “When we forget about ourselves and live for the happiness of others, we experience the real beauty of life.” This is what occurred and the M.A. Center volunteers look forward to the next opportunity to serve the larger community in this way.