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New venue, more value at Sound Bites Festival fundraiser

DC Central Kitchen's Sound Bites Festival is at a new venue for 2014: The Woodrow Wilson Plaza at the Ronald Reagan Building.
DC Central Kitchen's Sound Bites Festival is at a new venue for 2014: The Woodrow Wilson Plaza at the Ronald Reagan Building.
Ezra Gregg

DC Central Kitchen’s outdoor street festival fundraiser called Sound Bites will showcase local restaurants, bars and bands, all to raise money for the non-profit’s services fighting hunger and poverty in the community. This year, the event takes place at a new venue, the Woodrow Wilson Plaza at the Ronald Reagan Building on May 4 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Also new, the $65 ticket price now includes drinks, in addition to food. All proceeds benefit DC Central Kitchen.

“It’s a fun, community event,” said Liz Reinert, DC Central Kitchen’s Associate Development Director and Sound Bites Event Coordinator. “I think it’s a great value to spend the day outside… listening to great bands, watching this great competition and make a donation. Our culinary job training students will be cooking on-site, as well,” she said. “At the heart of what we do is take individuals, about 80 a year, and completely change their lives through our culinary job training program. We touch so many lives that way,” said Reinert. She added that DC area chefs donate their time to teach classes.

The competition is the Bar Battle, featuring some of DC’s best mixologists. The battling bars include Founding Farmers, Hank’s Oyster Bar, Jack Rose Dining Saloon and Zaytinya. Four bands are scheduled for the lineup, including Billy Thompson, Black Masala, Ingleside Collective and DJ Harry Hotter. This marks the fifth year for the event. Tickets are on sale here. ABC 7’s Scott Thuman and Tommy McFly of 94.7 Fresh FM will host.

“DC Central Kitchen has always believed that food is a tool. It’s a tool to support our community,” Reinert said. “We create 5,000 meals a day and those meals are distributed back into the community to our 88 partner agencies, so we take a lot of donated food, scratch cook it using our chefs and we make these healthy meals and get them back into the community.”

DC Central Kitchen was founded in 1989. Since then, it has prepared 25-million meals for low-income and at-risk residents of the District of Columbia.