WASHINGTON — Defined as a state of being without reliable access to sufficient quantities of affordable, nutritious foods, food Insecurity has been a long-time problem here in D.C., particularly for our children and seniors.
The District faces some of the highest rates of insecurity in the nation. And this was before the pandemic, which has further heightened the issue. Knowing this, when I heard about the work that local restaurateur Mark Bucher was doing to help those in need, I wanted to make sure that he got his flowers this morning.
Co-owner of Medium Rare steakhouse, Mark joined with local government agencies and restaurants to launch Feed the Fridge, a program dedicated to providing relief for some of the insecurity by installing refrigerators stocked up with high-quality, healthy meals in public areas. The meals are free and there for anyone to take, no questions asked. As you would expect, the fridges are cleaned out daily.
Started in the fall, there are now 8 locations set up across D.C., each filled daily with 25 meals. The plan is to provide 100 meals a day per fridge by the end of the year and expand up to 100 fridges by the end of January. That would mean 10,000 free meals a day for anyone in need. How do you not respect that?
Giving like this isn’t new to Mark. When the city shut down in March, he began offering meals from his restaurant to seniors in the area who couldn’t leave their homes. The need was huge, local officials connecting him with more than 300 seniors. Since then, close to 20,000 meals have been delivered. If you’re thinking this sounds like the work Jose Andres does with his World Central Kitchen, you’d be right. The two are friends and Bucher sites Andres as inspiration. But while Andres works more globally, Bucher’s focus is home base.
There are costs associated with this; $6 per meal paid to the restaurants, and the deliveries. These paid by Bucher’s Non-Profit; We Care. You can contribute if you’d like at Feed the Fridge dot Org.
It’s a little shameful that a country like ours needs groups like this. I could do a whole commentary on this alone, but right now, I’m just here to send a salute out to Mark. Thank you, sir, and well-done. Once again you can donate at Feed the Fridge dot. Org. I'll meet you there.