The Washington Post

D.C. Tweeps 2011: Q&A with 2010 Favorite Nonprofit Miriam’s Kitchen

Mikko Kosonen, the executive chef of the Finnish Embassy, prepares ground beef for a casserole he is making at Miriam's Kitchen. (Timothy R. Smith/Timothy R. Smith/The Washington Post)

Name: Miriam’s Kitchen

Location: Foggy Bottom

Twitter handle: @miriamskitchen

In 200 words or less, please give us a short, witty bio about yourself or your institution: Miriam’s Kitchen works to end chronic homelessness in D.C. We advocate for permanent supportive housing and systemic change, and provide healthy meals, high-quality social services and arts to currently and formerly homeless individuals.

If you were a D.C. landmark, you’d be … Ben’s Chili Bowl! We’re both known for our awesomely delicious food that is both high-quality and accessible to most people. While our health-conscious chefs won’t let us serve chili cheese fries — we do offer lots of tasty options, just like Ben’s. The only thing we don’t have is a giant multi-colored panda outside our door …

If you suddenly woke up on the other side of the world, unable to return, what would you miss most about D.C.? We’d miss our Miriam’s Kitchen family the most. We’d hope our guests, volunteers and donors could join us on the other side of the world but if they couldn’t, we’d really miss:

• Our talented, generous and thoughtful guests.

• Our volunteer pastry chef’s famous chocolate chip cookies.

• MK volunteers who wake up at 5 a.m. to make breakfast in our kitchen or join us after a long day of work to make dinner for our guests.

• Generous donors who made it possible for us to double our program hours last year and offer our guests life-saving services in the evening as well.

• The community that’s working with us to end chronic homelessness in D.C.

• Staff scavenger hunts to explore the city, especially stops at the Spanish Steps and Roosevelt Island (not quite in D.C., but close enough.)

• The humid summers and bitter winters. Wait, that’s actually what we won’t miss about D.C …

What’s the best part of Washington – the one that no one knows about? We love D.C., and we think the hidden gem of the Nation’s Capital is the D.C. Public Library. The library provides a lot of great programming for D.C. residents. We’ve participated in Spanish and American Sign Language classes, Bollywood dancing lessons and book clubs that are always really fun. The best part — they’re free!

Why should you win Top Tweep again? We should win Top Tweep again because our friends on Twitter are the best in D.C. They’ve helped fill our pantry with healthy cereal, have funded life-saving programs for our guests, and have advocated along with us to end chronic homelessness in D.C. Most of all, though, they’ve helped our homeless guests feel welcome in a city that can sometimes be overwhelming. Winning Top Tweep again would be a great way to recognize all that our community has done for homeless men and women in Washington, D.C.

Other D.C. Tweeps interviews:

A Q&A with Favorite Restaurateur Spike Mendelsohn

A Q&A with Favorite Government Agency NASA

A Q&A with Favorite Fashionista Kelly Collis

A Q&A with Favorite Local Business 9:30 Club

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