Larry P. poses for a photo before distributing bags of groceries.
Larry grew up watching his mother cook in his childhood kitchen. At a young age his mother taught him basic cooking techniques and skills that formed a knowledge base he would later use in his career. As Larry grew older and his mother became ill, he took the responsibility of cooking for the family into his own hands. With the help of his father, Larry prepared meals for his family using the same skills his mother had taught him years before.
As an adult, Larry fell on hard times and wound up in the unemployment to incarceration pipeline. In 2009 after being released from prison at 50 years old, he sought out work force education training in order to find a stable job and to not reoffend.
While interning at a community-based social services While interning at a community-based social services organization, Larry learned about DC Central Kitchen’s Culinary Job Training program through is cousin, who was interested in applying. Together they submitted applications and were soon enrolled in the program.
Despite his initial nervousness, Larry dove headfirst into learning. He attributes his knowledge and growth in the program to authentic instructors who taught him how to reflect on his past experiences and the lessons learned to the present.
“I had to look at the man in the mirror and have ownership over my journey,” said Larry.
His hard work and dedication came to fruition at his graduation ceremony in February of 2014 when he was able to celebrate his accomplishment with his mother.
Since graduating, Larry has been working at DC Central Kitchen in a few capacities. For the first year of the pandemic, Larry helped distribute more than 6,000 bags of produce a week at the Washington Convention Center.
Through his daily efforts to bring healthy food where it is most needed, Larry knows he is making a difference in his own community.
You can become a hunger fighter just like Larry by donating to DC Central Kitchen today.