Festival brings food, music and charity together

Tim Bracken, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Like music, fun and food?

What about giving back to the community?

If the answers are “yes,” then Sunday’s “Sound Bites” is for you.

D.C. Central Kitchen (DCCK), a non- profit that prepares thousands of meals for shelters and local public schools every day, is joining forces with the 9:30 Club for a food festival, featuring music by Eric Hilton of the band Thievery Corporation.

Sound Bites will feature food trucks and all-you-can-eat food from 25 area restaurants. 9:30 Club co-owner Seth Hurwitz wants everyone to know that this isn’t the average foodie-fest.

“Food events, for the most part, are kind of chichi things with celebrity chefs and high-priced tickets,” Hurwitz says.

This is a festival for people who “want to wear shorts and sandals, eat good food, listen to music and be unpretentious about it.”

Hurwitz is also excited about the variety of eats that will be featured at Sound Bites, from local D.C. restaurants like Room 11, to the quick-serve chain Chipotle.

“I pride myself in going to La Tour d’Argent in Paris and going to Popeyes,” says Hurwitz.

There will also be a cocktail competition featuring local mixologists.

On the music side, there will be bands and DJs:

All proceeds will benefit DCCK. The 9:30 Club is providing its staff and venue, free of charge.

Hurwitz has known DCCK’s president, Robert Egger, for years and says he’s ecstatic to help with Egger’s mission to provide “real solutions for real people that need to start over or get a good positive direction in life.”

Hurwitz also identifies with Egger’s positive outlook.

“That’s what we need,” Hurwitz says. “That’s what helps people move forward … positive thinking and giving.”

DCCK’s Chief Development Officer Brian MacNair notes that the $40 ticket to Sound Bites is all-inclusive. Participants get to hear great live music, and don’t have to pay extra money for the 25 food samples.

“Last year, people couldn’t taste all 25, they gave out such great portions,” MacNair says.

MacNair and his development staff help raise more than $4.5 million per year for DCCK’s programs.

“DCCK sends out 5,000 meals every day from our industrial kitchen to shelters, transitional homes, halfway houses.”

The men and women who live in those shelters, MacNair says, are encouraged to come to DCCK to train “for jobs in the culinary industry, and they leave with a food handler’s certificate and a job”

DCCK also sends 3,500 locally-sourced, healthy meals to D.C. public schools every day.

Sound Bites kicks off at 5 p.m. this Sunday, May 20 at the 9:30 Club.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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