2020 Transition Report:  Kamala Harris visits DC Central Kitchen.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff arrived at DC Central Kitchen at 3:17 pm for an OTR stop. 

Chef Jose Andres is here to greet them. He spoke with the pool for a few minutes before VPEOTUS arrived. He said he’ll spend Thanksgiving with his family. He said he first came to DC Central Kitchen in 1993 “and peeled potatoes” with them.

“She loves cooking,” he said of Harris, who he has met before. He also said he’s going to Columbia on Friday for his next international trip. 

“Hunger games are going to happen. We will see it here,” Andres said of increasing hunger in America. 

Also here is Mike Curtin, the CEO of DC Central Kitchen. He said this is the first Vice President-elect visit and he hopes not the last. 

Curtin said they expect to serve 10,000 meals tomorrow and have seen increased need since the pandemic. “The hunger gap is going to increase and last a long time,” he said. 

The group is standing outside the building’s Northwest DC location. There are also about a dozen volunteers from the organization. 

Everyone is wearing face masks. 

DC Central Kitchen’s mission is to use food as a tool to strengthen bodies, empower minds, and build communities, according to its website. The nonprofit provides hands-on culinary job training. 

DC Central Kitchen is where President Obama and the first family volunteered on Martin Luther King Day 2014. 

Please note the pool did not travel with VPEOTUS but arrived at site separately. 

Greeters

Mike Curtin, CEO of DC Central Kitchen

José Andrés, CEO of Think Food Group

DC Central Kitchen

Since its founding in 1989, DC Central Kitchen has served 40 million meals in the nation’s capital. Nearly 2,000 people have completed the organization’s Culinary Job Training program, overcoming barriers to employment like histories of incarceration, homelessness, trauma, and addiction to become culinary professionals. More than 100 graduates of this program now work for DC Central Kitchen full time at living wages, serving up meals in the nation’s leading farm-to-school program, bringing fresh, discounted produce to 50 corner stores in neighborhoods without grocery stores, and contributing more than $80 million in local economic impact each year. 

The pandemic has affected every aspect of DC Central Kitchen’s work. Unable to safely host volunteers in person, DCCK’s staff have worked tirelessly to prepare more than 2.4 million emergency meals since March. They’ve transformed nine schools into emergency meal sites and set up 9 more mobile feeding stations in high-need neighborhoods. They built a large-scale grocery distribution program that’s producing more than 5,000 bags of fresh produce each day and invested more than $1 million in hard-hit local farmers.

***

Hi everyone,” Harris said upon arrival. “Happy thanksgiving.”

She brought cookies from Dog Tag Bakery as thanks to volunteers. “They’re individually wrapped,” she noted. 

Mike Curtin described to her the number of people they’re feeding and their training program to teach to people to work in the restaurant industry.

Curtin said he hopes to see the VPEOTUS over the next eight years and then eight years after that. 

“Give her time Mike,” Jose Andres said. 

“Let’s get through Thanksgiving,” Harris agreed. 

“I wanted to come by in the season of Thanksgiving to thank you,” she said to the volunteers. 

“The measure of strength is based on who you lift up. Not who you beat down,” she notes. 

Emhoff noted food insecurity was a big issue that he saw when he traveled the country for the campaign. 

He said this would be one of his issues he works on. 

“As I figure out the things I’ll be passionate about this is definitely one of them,” he said.  

***

President-elect Biden, dressed in a blue suit, light blue striped tie, standing before two American flags and a backdrop with the image of the presidential seal and the number “46” gave remarks at The Queen in downtown Wilmington.

Biden spoke for about 17 minutes about the hardships Americans face this holiday season with the pandemic and noted the 260,000 who have died. He called for unity.

“We are at war with the virus, not one another.” CHECK QUOTES TO TRANSCRIPT.

“Let’s remember, we are all in this together.”

Biden reiterated that on Day 1, defeating the virus will be the top policy priority of his administration.

He also voiced hope that vaccines are being developed that can soon be distributed.

“America is not going to lose this war,” Biden said. “We are going to get our lives back.”

Until then, Biden said he would join Americans in foregoing holiday traditions. He is headed to a vacation home in Rehoboth Beach, Del., with Dr. Jill Biden, his wife, to celebrate Thanksgiving without a large family gathering.

 After remarks, he took no questions. 

The motorcade rolled back to his residence.

Lunch lid until 4 p.m.

***

Harris took a few questions. 

VPEOTUS was asked if she’s spoken to Leader McConnell. 

“I can’t speak directly to that but I will tell you that it has been the priority for the President-Elect and me from the beginning that we intend to and will work across the aisle to deal with these most intractable issues that are affecting people regardless of who they voted for in the election. And I can tell you that the President-Elect and I take that very seriously. And I’m here to talk with folks who are feeding the hungry. You may have heard me say one in six families in America is describing their children as being hungry. One in five are describing an inability to pay rent. These are real issues and the folks that we are talking about whoever they voted for deserve to have leadership that sees them through the lens of the life they’re living, regardless of the price negotiation and we feel very strongly about that.”

She said she has not spoken to VP Pence. 

“Not yet,” she said. 

She did not answer if she’s spoken to Gov. Newsom about a replacement for her Senate seat. 

VPEOTUS talked cooking with Andres for a minute but it was hard to hear all. She did say “I love to cook.”

Before departing Harris stopped to talk to a few fans who had been waiting to see her. She stood at a distance and thanked them. 

Motorcade departed at 3:34 pm. 

And that’s a wrap. 

Transition pool report

The latest news about the historic transfer of power. Your first stop for the daily updates about President-elect Joe Biden and the next administration.