Empty grocery shelves may be a hardship for those of us who were late stocking up on our milk, eggs and bread, but that’s a temporary inconvenience.  Power outages, while they might cause us a few chilly hours, aren’t likely to put us at real risk of hypothermia.  And losing internet and cable service might be a huge frustration, but they’re not going do us lasting harm.

For those without shelter, however, storms like the one we saw this weekend and the one we’ll see tonight pose a real threat.  Food, warm clothing and a place to stay become dire necessities.  And Washington’s charitable community steps up.

In weather like this, local soup kitchens and meal providers have to swing into overdrive to provide breakfast, lunch and dinner for DC’s homeless population.  Shelters stay open twenty-four hours a day.  All of that extra demand takes a toll on the services of groups like Food & Friends and the DC Central Kitchen.

We’ve received notices from both groups looking for extra help to make sure they can provide everything possible to those in need, and we’re printing them here in the hope that you’ll be able to help.

FROM FOOD & FRIENDS:

On Thursday, February 11th, Food & Friends needs 20 volunteers to deliver meals, especially those with 4-wheel-drive vehicles.  Those without cars would be very much appreciated in the kitchen, and it would be great if they could come between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.  Volunteers may sign up to chenderson@foodandfriends.org.  This information is also available on our website at www.foodandfriends.org/winterstorm2010.  Without Food & Friends, our clients likely will not eat, so the help of the community is vital.  Meals may be picked up from Food & Friends (219 Riggs Road, NE/Washington, DC) between 10 a.m. and 12 am., we will provide detailed delivery directions, and routes should take no more than 3 hours.  For more information, prospective volunteers may call 202.841.5347.

FROM THE DC CENTRAL KITCHEN:

Volunteer Alert!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I am writing to inform you that DC Central Kitchen will be OPEN for business on Tuesday through Friday regardless of any other closures that may be announced in the city.

If transportation does not prove dangerous for you, we hope to see you at the Kitchen so that you can help us make the meals. Here are directions to DCCK: http://www.dccentralkitchen.org/directions.php. We’re just a couple blocks from the Judiciary Square Metro (use the 4th Street exit).

Also, you are very welcome to bring friends, family members or roommates who are not signed up on our online system (all volunteers must be at least 12 years old). We’ve had a shortage of volunteers over the past few days because of the weather, so we have lots of extra prep work that we want to get to.

Carolyn Parham
202-234-0707  X 108
DC Central Kitchen
Volunteer Program Coordinator

If you work with any other volunteer or charitable organizations here in the Washington area and you’d like us to help get the word out about anything you’ve got going on, please feel free to contact us at capitalspice AT gmail DOT com.