DC chef launches new nonprofit to provide free, healthy dishes

Chef Kya Parker founded Kyanite Pantry to give Southeast D.C. residents access to free, healthy meals.

Kyanite Pantry, founded by Chef Kya Parker, focuses on vegan and vegetarian dishes. The nonprofit also provides groceries and toiletries to residents in need.

Kyanite Pantry, founded by Chef Kya Parker, focuses on vegan and vegetarian dishes. The nonprofit also provides groceries and toiletries to residents in need.

Kyanite Pantry, founded by Chef Kya Parker, focuses on vegan and vegetarian dishes. The nonprofit also provides groceries and toiletries to residents in need.

Kyanite Pantry, founded by Chef Kya Parker, focuses on vegan and vegetarian dishes. The nonprofit also provides groceries and toiletries to residents in need.

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A new community pantry is giving residents in Southeast D.C. access to free, healthy meals.

Kyanite Pantry, founded by chef Kya Parker, focuses on vegan and vegetarian dishes. The nonprofit also provides groceries and toiletries to residents in need.

Parker lost her job during the pandemic and got the idea to start a nonprofit after she began feeding protesters.

“I was thinking, ‘Let me just pop up with 25 tacos and some fruit,’ and it was gone within 5 minutes and I realized there was a legit need,” Parker said.

Businesses began donating and her organization has since grown.

Parker now holds weekly events, including Pull Up for Produce every Tuesday and Feed the City in Wards 7 and 8 a few times a month.

She said rain or snow, they show up for the community.

Her mission is to let people know it’s OK to ask for help.

“It’s a nice little block party vibe. To be a light in a tunnel for them, it means so much to be able to have the capacity to help people,” Parker said.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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