My Day Cooking for The Dwelling Place

There are not too many days that move me as yesterday did. I had the opportunity to take part in an even sponsored by The Corporate Volunteer Council of Montgomery County ( , an organization that Allentuck Landscaping Co. has been active in for many years. The event was to work with The Campus Kitchens Project at the Universities at Shady Grove ( to prepare meals for the families served by The Dwelling Place ( . Our company and our customers had donated food to The Dwelling Place in the past so I was very pleased to be more involved.

A little background on these excellent organizations:

The Corporate Volunteer Council of Montgomery County is an organization that educates businesses on how to partner with and support non-profit organizations by helping create successful volunteer/charitable programs that positively impact the business, its employees and the local community.

The Campus Kitchens Project is a national leader in community service for students and is the future of hunger relief. It is active in 34 schools across the country. In many schools, the students work to recover extra food from their cafeterias. In the case of this chapter, the students in the hospitality program actually prepare the meals and distribute them. A true win-win stuation.

The Dwelling Place is a nonprofit organization that helps low income families in Montgomery County achieve housing and financial stability.

The afternoon started with a presentation by the head chef/instructor and students at The Campus Kitchens Project. They told us that they prepare 600 meals each month through monetary and in-kind donations, in all, 13,000 meals in the last 6 years. Very impressive. We also listened to the director of The Dwelling Place and learned more about their mission and challenges. We have poverty and people struggling even here in Montgomery County.

Next it was on to the kitchen. We would be preparing three different recipes for sixteen families of four. We worked in teams on the different recipes removing fat and bones from chicken breasts, cutting up broccoli, mixing ingredients and putting together the final meals to go into the oven. It was a lot of hard work but very enjoyable.

One of the nice things about the activity was the opportunity to get to know some of our fellow members a little better. I also got to be fully impressed by the students as well. These kids had their act together; they ran the commercial kitchen like seasoned (no pun intended) restaurant professionals and totally got the mission of service to others. I really enjoyed talking to them one on one and learning their stories and goals.

The day ended with a new group of volunteers who would be partnered with students to make deliveries to the families.

By the way, if you are interested in helping The Campus Kitchens Project, they are holding Dining With The Chefs on Monday April 21, 2014. It sounds like another fantastic event. Check their facebook page for more information.

Learn more about Allentuck Landscaping Co.’s involvement in the community.
Allentuck Landscaping Co. is a leading landscape contractor in Montgomery County, Maryland

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