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Transcript: Church Reduces Food Waste at Campus Kitchen


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(Locator: Washington, D.C.)

These kale, squash and tomatoes were headed for the trash.

(Voice of volunteer) “On Saturdays, I typically get 4-500 pounds of produce.”

But Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C. has a chef who turns surplus food into made-from-scratch, healthy meals for the homeless and hungry.

Anthony Mickens, Executive Chef of Campus Kitchen of Washington, D.C.: “We get an abundance of meat such as lamb, veal, filet mignon. When the food recovery comes in, I look at what we have and then I do my meal planning.”

Efrem Perkins, Meal Recipient: “It kind of gives you that home-cooked taste.”

Campus Kitchens uses this model in several U.S. cities. Restaurants and groceries supply the food; success depends on volunteers.

Raneika White, Campus Kitchen Volunteer: “I’m on dish duty in the kitchen where we’re preparing apple crisp to go out and feed the homeless.”

Metropolitan Memorial partnered with nearby American University, but helping hands come from all over DC and from within the congregation.

Kent Weaver, Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church: “There are means of making our faith real. They can see the impact of what they do.”

Volunteer: “Fifty pounds of squash. I don’t know what Anthony will do with it but I’m sure he’ll make something good.”

The Rev. Charlie Parker, Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church: “We waste staggering amounts of food in our country. And so there’s a very profound creation-care piece to the ministry in terms of being good stewards of the food resources that we have."

Pulling in this weekly harvest, preparing 1300 meals, and transporting them all over town takes an enormous ongoing commitment. But volunteers and church members know that every meal makes a difference.

Efrem Perkins “A good meal means the difference between a good and a bad day.”

Anthony Mickens, Executive Chef of Campus Kitchen of Washington, D.C.: “Making sure that no one goes hungry is very fulfilling and sometimes that meal is the only meal that they see for that day.”

Raneika White: “It really makes me proud to be a member of The United Methodist Church, that we’re serving our communities and not just here taking up a space.”