Real Help for Real People

Interview by Billy Shore

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

When so many things feel out of our control in this world, how can we provide tangible help to people in need? Changemakers Michael Babin (Neighborhood Restaurant Group, Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture) and Meghan Ogilvie (Dog Tag, Inc., Dog Tag Bakery) are giving people skills and tools to find meaning and purpose. In this episode of Add Passion and Stir, Babin and Ogilvie describe what drives them to serve their communities and bring opportunities to deserving kids, adults and military service members. “The people who need good food the most are the ones least likely to ever have it show up on their plates,” says Babin. To address this need, his nonprofit Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture brings mobile farmers markets to low-income neighborhoods, runs farm camps for kids, and trains military veterans as farmers. His 16 Washington, DC restaurants also source their food from sustainable farms in the region.

Ogilvie’s Marine father once told her: “You’ll find your way to serve.” She found it in Dog Tag, Inc, a nonprofit with a fellowship program for military service members, spouses and caregivers that offers a Certificate in Business Administration from Georgetown University and real-life work experience in their bakery. “We are igniting the human spirit and finding purpose again,” she says of their graduates. Dog Tag Bakery also sources much of its supplies from veteran-run businesses in the DC area.

Don’t feel helpless – be empowered to help on-the-ground organizations like these provide real help for people in need in your community.

Resources and Mentions:

No Kid Hungry

Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is ending child hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day.

Root Cause Coalition

The Root Cause Coalition is a national, member-driven, nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing the root causes of health disparities by focusing on hunger and other social determinants leading to nationwide epidemic of preventable chronic health conditions.

Dog Tag

Our goal is to build a bridge to business employment and a productive civilian life for returning veterans with disabilities and caregivers that have served our country so well. Dog Tag Inc. seeks to provide a transformative opportunity for veterans with disabilities by offering an education at Georgetown University and real life work experience in our small business venture, Dog Tag Bakery. Upon completion of the Dog Tag Inc. program, transitioned veterans are business ready, competitive and employable.

Arcadia

Arcadia is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a more equitable and sustainable local food system in the Washington, DC area. Based on the historic grounds of Woodlawn Estate in Alexandria, Virginia, thanks to a landmark partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Arcadia manages four distinct program areas that address a specific need in the community, while collectively engaging consumers, farmers, schools, and institutions.

Neighborhood Restaurant Group

An award-winning collection of independent and idiosyncratic businesses devoted to the culinary arts in Washington DC and Virginia. Currently 19 different locations make up its portfolio of restaurants.

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