At the annual Capitol Food Fight event, Egger said, “When I launched DCCK in 1988, it was the first program of its kind. Before us, only a handful of programs recovered food from restaurants, hotels and colleges. NOBODY used that food to empower people to own their own lives again. To most, food was just gasoline for the body. WE wanted to feed the soul of the city. And we did just that. Now, dozens of cities have ‘community kitchens’ based on our model … I am not only leaving DCCK… I will be returning to the city of my roots—Los Angeles—to launch the L.A. Kitchen in 2013.”
Egger outlined the many projects he helped launch, including:
Fresh Start Catering (1996): A social enterprise that employs Culinary Job Training programs.
The Campus Kitchen Project (2002): Empowers students to understand local food.
School Food Contracts: Prepares daily school meals.
Egger, a former nightclub manager, also has written Begging for Change, which explains his work on behalf of the nonprofit sector since 1989, when he “reluctantly climbed aboard a food service truck for a night of volunteering to help serve meals to the homeless and ended up starting the D.C. Central Kitchen by collecting unused food from local restaurants, caterers, and hotels, brining it back to a central location where hot, nutritious meals were prepared and distributed.”
At the October 9 event, Egger talked not only about hunger in economically distressed and poverty-stricken communities, but hunger in the senior population of Los Angeles. “Most of all, I want to delve deeply into the issue of aging in America,” he said. “L.A. Kitchen will be at the very forefront of supporting a new era of inclusion and health for our elders. I don’t want to feed to old; I want to help redefine aging in America. And I want to show the role that food and a dynamic nonprofit organization can play in keeping our elders engaged, healthy, vital and active.”
An outspoken critic of the notion that nonprofit employees are lazy and “rapists of the economy,” Egger has spoken out forcefully and convincingly against the criticism of Rush Limbaugh.
Robert Egger blogs for the D.C. Impact section of Huffington Post. On October 29, he wrote, “The future of America is tethered to a new economic reality — that non-profits and for-profits are equally essential in our economy. That is why, in addition to my work insuring that food, people and money aren’t wasted, I dedicate an equal amount of my time pointing out that the combined work of America’s amazing nonprofit sector cannot be squandered. We need all our resources and assets in the fight to rebuild our economy, and every candidate for office must display an understanding of this civic mathematics if they are to be taken seriously.”