WASHINGTON, DC (WJLA) - 'Tis the season for giving thanks, and dozens of diplomats are doing just that. They rolled up their sleeves Thursday and made meals for those who frequently go without.
"I'm preparing one of my favorite foods," said Ambassador Manuel Sager of Switzerland. "I'm preparing squash."
He channeled his inner chef at D.C. Central Kitchen alongside several others. They teamed up for the inaugural Share the Season event put on by the Office of the Chief of Protocol.
"It's time to give back," said Ambassador Mohamed Tawfik of Egypt.
"You have this fantastic holiday called Thanksgiving and we don't have it back home, but you have it here and it has such meaning," he continued. "It makes one think about the wonderful things we have in life that sometimes we take for granted."
One-fifth of D.C. residents live in poverty, and the number of homeless in the District is up more than nine-percent since 2008.
"I'm glad everybody sees that this a battle to feed folks," said James Nobles. He's a production cook at D.C. Central Kitchen and has dedicated more than a decade of his life serving up hope for the homeless.
"You can sit down, you can write a check and donate money and all that, but here we just rub elbows and we get a lot of work done," he admitted.
It warms his heart knowing his international guests share the same giving spirit.
"To reach out, to make a difference and give back to the community and being a diplomat here in the United States, I would very much like to be a part of this effort," said Ambassador Sager.
Ambassador Lacelia Prince of St. Vincent and the Grenadines feels the same way.
"The American people have been very hospitable and welcoming towards us, and it's our opportunity to give back and I'm very happy to do that," she said.
Thanks to the diplomats and many who volunteered with their spouses, thousands of meals are now en route to nearby homeless shelters.