It’s no secret that the United States Of America has the highest prison population in the world. We build more prisons each year than most countries ever build. Our prisons are filled with mostly poor, mentally ill, drug addicted people. Prison rehabilitation programs are becoming an endangered species. If you are a felon you are not allowed to vote nor have a legal firearm. You become a second class citizen. Your job prospects are bleak at best. Our current prison system is a national disgrace, one of America’s biggest mistakes.
But there are culinary school programs that are looking to correct this mistake one felon at a time. DC Central Kitchen (DCCK)?is one of the premier culinary school programs designed to help the most disadvantaged people in our society find meaningful careers. The kitchen also works to fight hunger among the poor and homeless citizens of the D.C area. This kitchen is one of the most critically acclaimed programs in the nation. President Obama has even volunteered time at this kitchen.
The training course is tough. The chefs are unyielding in their expectations for dedication and hard work. They do not excuse no shows or slackers.
During a class one young man asked an instructor,
?If we are on parole or probation, are we allowed to be excused early??
Marianne Ali, director of the program, gave him this answer,
She went?on to explain that Washington’s cadre of Community Supervision Officers (CSOs) work in partnership with DCCK, and are willing to schedule parole meetings around the class.
That is just a small example of the importance these programs have. Felons are not the only beneficiaries of these culinary school programs. These programs also teach the homeless, the chronically unemployed, women from shelters, at risk teens, ect. They also use ingredients from hospitals and other places that are normally thrown away, and recycle that food into amazing culinary dishes made by these students and served to the poor and homeless. Culinary school programs such as this show the potential for human recycling, something that we as a society should strive to make the norm rather than the exception.
This video outlines?the origins of DC Central Kitchen.