[Nationals Baseball star Ryan Zimmerman at the wheel of the Venga bus]
Venga, which connects over 150 DC restaurants and bars with consumers via mobile apps, more than doubled its ambitious goal during the inaugural Stuff the Bus campaign to benefit DC Central Kitchen. This first-ever mobile fresh food drive delivered over 11 thousand pounds of food to the Kitchen, where it will be put to use creating healthy and nutritious meals as well as opportunity for DC residents in need.
From September 17-30, Venga’s vintage 1975 Ford school bus made stops throughout the region and people purchased produce from the virtual fresh food market or donated perishable and non-perishable items. In addition, Monster Government Solutions, the lead sponsor, donated over 3,000 pounds of food.
How did they get so much food? The bus was parked at various locations all over D.C., and donations could be made with food or by buying food virtually.
"We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from celebrities and every day citizens for Stuff the Bus and DC Central Kitchen," said Venga co-founder and President Winston Lord. "We heard a resounding YES from those we asked to support the drive – from USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon to Top Chefs Ferran Adria, Jose Andres, Spike Mendelsohn, Mike Isabella, and Geoff Tracy; journalists Cokie Roberts, Ed Henry, and Jonathan Karl and athletes Darrell Green and Ryan Zimmerman as well as countless food authorities and advocates. We look forward to an even bigger and better Stuff the Bus next year!"
Brian MacNair, DCCK’s Director of Development, added "We are excited to partner with organizations like Venga, Monster Government Solutions, FRESHFARM Markets, and the many chefs, restaurants and national and local influencers that joined the campaign. These organizations understand that DC Central Kitchen is not just about food, but that our focus is on using healthy, nutritious product in our meals, while empowering men and women with jobs in the food service industry."
In addition to the celebrities and Venga employees, the following people participated in the campaign: Amanda McClements (Metrocurean), Nycci Nellis (The List Are You On It), Naomi and Josh Davis (The Rockstar Diaries), Kelly Collis (94.7 FM), Tammy Gordon (Florida Girl in DC), Alejandra Owens (Borderstan), Cori Sue Morris [pictured left, in blue with Laura Raba] and Becca Loveridge (Bitches Who Brunch), Johnna Rowe (J Knows Good Food), Amos Snead (Famous DC), Laetitia Brock (French Twist DC), Marissa Bialecki (Bon Appétit Foodie), Stefanie Gans (Endless Simmer), Luke Johnson (The Passion Fruits), Kate Michael (K Street Kate), Nick Barron (The Y Mightier, Logan Circle ANC Commissioner), Mike Kohn (Borderstan), Dan Silverman (Prince of Petworth), Keyana Corliss and Erica Newman (Chocolate and Stilettos), Jana Erwin (Cherry Tea Cakes), Audrey Scagnelli (Delight Gluten Free Magazine), Missy Frederick (Washington Business Journal), the ladies of the Madisons, and the Staff of DC Central Kitchen.
All images courtesy Venga and Bitches Who Brunch