Venga Brings Mobile Food Bank to Clyde’s of Georgetown Sunday

Cokie Roberts Credit: Daniel Swartz / REVAMP.com

By Shaun Courtney | Georgetown Patch

Cokie Roberts Credit: Daniel Swartz / REVAMP.com

If you see a bus parked in front of Clyde’s on M Street Sunday, stop by to make a donation or drop off fresh produce to benefit the D.C. Central Kitchen (DCCK). Venga is organizing its first ever “Stuff the Bus” campaign to collect food and money to support the D.C. non-profit that provides food and job training for needy residents.

From noon until 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18 Venga will park its 1975 Ford Superior bus, which the company bought off of Craigslist for $1000, at Clyde’s. In addition to donations you could get the chance to meet Clyde’s Chef Salvatore Ferre as well as other supporters, including Ryan Zimmerman, Darrell Green, Cokie Roberts and Jose Andres.

“Were excited about this,” said Amy S. Bridges, a spokesperson for Clyde’s.

Darrell Green Credit: Daniel Swartz / REVAMP.com

Winston Lord, one of the partners behind Venga, reached out to Clyde’s to see if the restaurant would be interested in helping out DCCK. Venga is a free mobile app and website that provides information on exclusive offers, specials, happy hours, music, and events at over 130 local restaurants.

Lord said the businesses he works with avoid daily deals marketing.

Venga customers “understand that they have to market to people, but they don’t want to appeal to them through deep discounts,” said Lord.

His company has connected him with some of D.C.’s premiere restaurants and chefs, coalescing them to support DCCK was a natural evolution of those relationships.

“Part of our core mission is to give back to the community,” said Lord.

“I just love what DC Central Kitchen is doing in terms of meals and job training” he added.

“DC Central Kitchen uses over 3,000 lbs of fresh food to prepare almost 5,000 meals every day,” said DC Central Kitchen CEO Mike Curtin in a news release. “These numbers would not be possible without the support of community partners, like Venga and the participating restaurants.”

The Stuff the Bus campaign is a two-week, fresh food drive. People can bring donations or purchase produce from the Venga bus’ virtual store.

The Venga Bus will host daily food drives at local restaurants including Chef Geoff’s Downtown, Clyde’s Georgetown, Birch & Barley, Casa Nonna, Ping Pong Dim Sum, Front Page, Town Hall, Mason Inn, and We, The Pizza as well as area farmers markets.

“We just think that organization is wonderful” said Bridges about DCCK.

For everyone who registers for the free Venga app during Stuff the Bus, Venga and Monster.com will donate a fresh farm meal to DCCK. Other sponsors for Stuff the Bus include Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington, DC Food Truck Association and The Madison.

“Hopefully this will be the first of many” such campaigns, said Lord.

How can you help?

They Accept:
canned tomatoes (stewed, diced, paste)
canned beans
boxed pasta
granola bars, trail mix
applesauce, fruit cups

If you’re not able to bring food with you, you can use the virtual market that is set up next to the bus.

$5  = 1/2 dozen heads of hydroponic bibb lettuce
$10= 1 free range roaster chicken
$25= 1 case of plump Shenandoah Valley tomatoes
$50= 80 servings of hormone free, pasture raised local ground beef

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