Announcing the Mildred J. Brooks Learning Center - Capital Area Food Bank
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Announcing the Mildred J. Brooks Learning Center

By Lynn Brantley September 7, 2012

The Capital Area Food Bank is pleased to introduce the Mildred J. Brooks Learning Center, the training space and teaching kitchen at its new distribution center. Mildred Brooks lived and worked in Washington, DC for over sixty years, leaving behind a legacy of grace and passionate service to her community. Ms. Brooks, who donned herself the Silver Fox, was the first African American President of the D.C. Dietetic Association and served on the Capital Area Food Bank’s board for many years. She was perhaps best known for her work in nutrition, yet had a great love of cooking and often shared her favorite recipes with community groups throughout DC.
The Mildred J. Brooks Learning Center is a state-of-the-art teaching kitchen and classroom, which includes five gas cooktops, four gas ovens, two fridge-freezers, four 50 inch flat screen monitors, two projector screens and seating for up to forty people. Located in the heart of the food bank’s new facility on Puerto Rico Avenue, the Learning Center is a space that will inspire, educate and train partner agencies and staff.
In 2003, the CAFB’s former COO Brian Smith noticed the growing need for the food bank to encourage healthier eating and believed a teaching kitchen was vital to accomplishing that goal. Now that his dream has been realized, the Learning Center kitchen will be a place for CAFB staff to promote healthy foods, test recipes and encourage more nutritious food options that will be offered in the upcoming year. It will also be used for trainings, such as the A3 courses and Top Shelf series, which empower and build capacity for partner agencies. The Mildred J. Brooks Learning Center will transform the food bank’s ability to address the root causes of hunger in the Washington metro area.
This fall, a number of exciting events will take place in the Learning Center including a celebrity chef and partner agency cook-off in October, as well as other activities leading up to Food Day on October 24.
The food bank is thrilled to dedicate this space to Ms. Brooks and look forward to continuing her life’s work.
Please contact Kate Tecku for kitchen volunteer opportunities and David Poms for partner agency training information.